I am delighted to share my review today for The Bone Shard Emperor by Andrea Stewart. This is the 2nd book in The Drowning Empire series and I am loving it.
My huge thanks to Tracy at Compulsive Readers for my invite and spot on the Blog Tour and for arranging my e-copy of this book from the publisher, Orbit Books, via NetGalley.
Andrea Stewart returns with The Bone Shard Emperor, the second instalment of this unmissable, action-packed, magic-laced fantasy epic.
The Emperor is Dead. Long live the Emperor.
Lin Sukai finally sits on the throne she won at so much cost, but her struggles are only just beginning. Her people don’t trust her. Her political alliances are weak. And in the northeast of the Empire, a rebel army of constructs is gathering, its leader determined to take the throne by force.
Yet an even greater threat is on the horizon, for the Alanga – the powerful magicians of legend – have returned to the Empire. They claim they come in peace, and Lin will need their help in order to defeat the rebels and restore peace.
But can she trust them?
Following on from the first book, The Bone Shard Emperor follows Lin, now the Emperor as she tries to unite the Islands. Trying to break the mistrust of the last Emperor and show that she does in fact care about the people is going to be hard for Lin. She does however have Jovis by her side, someone the people look up to him and tell the songs of his smuggling days.
If you have not yet read the first book then I do highly recommend doing so before going into this book. The main characters, the basic premise for the series and of course the events all follow through to this second book.
The islands and their people are worried, some of the islands have sunk, there are rumours of constructs attacking villages and even more worrying is that mentions of the Alanga returning are starting to take hold. Governors and people of the Islands believe Lin to be like her father, the old Emperor, cruel, aloof, and never having time for them. Lin starts as she means to go on, but it is definitely an uphill battle. Return the bone shards to their owners is only part of the process, bringing unity is going to take something more.
I really enjoyed this second book, it felt similar to the previous but more detailed. I found this contained more history, background stories, and legend. The author added more details to her characters and brought the main ones more into play.
I enjoyed the way the author built on the mistrust between several characters and also on the whole within the islands. No one is quite sure how much each other can be trusted, and this adds to the intrigue of the story overall. This did feel slower, and at times I did wonder where it was going, but still very addictive. The pacing may have started a little slower, but my goodness did it speed up as it progressed.
The way the author has created the imagery within the story is fab, especially when it comes to Mephi and Thrana, the bone shard magic and of course the Alanga. Add into this as to why the islands are drowning, why the constructs are attacking and it all builds a magical fantasy empire full of secrets. It makes for an entertaining, absorbing and brilliant read full of adventure and action in the later stages. While this second book has brought Lin to the forefront and has repaired some of the trust that had been lost, there is obviously a lot more to be done.
This book is a fabulous second in the series, while it cements the characters, it also introduces new ones and adds more dimensions, questions and intrigue. This is a series I am absolutely loving and I cannot wait to see what happens next. There are so many possibilities and the author has left some tantalising hints.
If you are a fan of fantasy then this is a brilliant book, as I mentioned this is one you do really need in order. I adored everything about it and I would definitely recommend it. Addictive, magical, vivid imagery, good character development and completely addictive reading.
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