Genre: Fantasy, Adult
Publication Date: January 28th 2020 by Orbit (first published June 7th 2018)
My Rating: 4/5
War built the Kisian Empire. War will tear it down.
Seventeen years after rebels stormed the streets, factions divide Kisia. Only the firm hand of the god-emperor holds the empire together. But when a shocking betrayal destroys a tense alliance with neighboring Chiltae, all that has been won comes crashing down.
In Kisia, Princess Miko Ts’ai is a prisoner in her own castle. She dreams of claiming her empire, but the path to power could rip it, and her family, asunder.
In Chiltae, assassin Cassandra Marius is plagued by the voices of the dead. Desperate, she accepts a contract that promises to reward her with a cure if she helps an empire fall.
And on the border between nations, Captain Rah e’Torin and his warriors are exiles forced to fight in a foreign war or die.
As an empire dies, three warriors will rise. They will have to ride the storm or drown in its blood.
Goodreads link: here
Thank you, to NetGalley and Little, Brown Book Group UK for providing me with an eARC for my honest opinion.
I have to admit that I went into this book with some prejudice… I was sure that it would be an adult fantasy that reads like a YA where the author makes sure not to break their reader’s hearts… I was wrong. So wrong ad shame on me for having those prejudice! This definitely taught me a lesson. Anywho to the review.
Things I liked
- We follow 3 very different characters: A princess, a soldier and a prostitute/assassin. Kisian the other is Chiltae and the other is Levantin. And be having all those different characters give you a better understanding of the world and how each side thinks on the other and I found that so interesting.
- The story and characters were so well crafted. Every action and dialogue make sense and feel natural. Every action that character makes or every word they say have consequences and sometimes you really don’t expect the consequences. So much so sometimes I could help but having some Game of Thrones vide. Things never go the way you think they will and many heads fall because of that. Don’t get attached to any character is my advice!
- On the same note, I found the story quite unpredictable. Throughout the book only one of my predictions was right.
- I’m politics are to my favourite thing in books yet in this one, it was well done and not too complicated.
- There are violence and gore but it’s always the right amount. We have scenes of war that are vividly described but the author never crosses the line where the description feels likes it’s there just to shock the reader.
- I really enjoy following Cassandra and her connection to death. I still have so many questions about what is going on with her and get wait to find out in the next book.
Things I didn’t like
- So despite having three different characters for all three part of this world I still felt the world-building lacked a little bit. We do get to learn a little more and the Levanti and their culture but when it comes to Kisia and Chiltae I still don’t know much about them and their culture.
- The magic in the book if very light and not really explained. So much so that somethings happened to a character that is never explained how those things are possible in a way that actually annoyed me. I’m ok with withholding information from your reader but up to a point otherwise, it feels like it’s just for convenience.
- I have a feeling that this is going to be an unpopular opinion but Rah for me was a little to prefer. Yes he is a captain and he has to think of what’s best for his people but I felt he was a little too perfect. Always feeling guilty for not saving everybody or putting he Swords in danger even if there was nothing he could do about. He even cares about the enemy and spends time “freeing their souls” because no one deserves to be stuck even the enemy. He cries 4 or 5 times in the book. Yes, he is companionate and carries and all that but a little too much. It felt like the author really wanted you to like his
- Very light magic.
- Trigger warnings for violence, gore. rape and everything that comes with war and battles.
What about you guys? Have you read this book? Are you interested in picking it up?