Review: The Emperor’s Edge (The Emperor’s Edge #1) by Lindsay Buroker

Genre: Fantasy
Format: Kindle ebook
Publisher: Lindsay Buroker (November 22, 2010)
How I got this book: Bought (This book is currently being offered for FREE at several online retailers.)
Links: Amazon Goodreads

Blurb from Goodreads:

Imperial law enforcer Amaranthe Lokdon is good at her job: she can deter thieves and pacify thugs, if not with a blade, then by toppling an eight-foot pile of coffee canisters onto their heads. But when ravaged bodies show up on the waterfront, an arson covers up human sacrifices, and a powerful business coalition plots to kill the emperor, she feels a tad overwhelmed.

Worse, Sicarius, the empire’s most notorious assassin, is in town. He’s tied in with the chaos somehow, but Amaranthe would be a fool to cross his path. Unfortunately, her superiors order her to hunt him down. Either they have an unprecedented belief in her skills… or someone wants her dead.

My rating: 4/5 Stars – A good read.  I really enjoyed it.

Review: 

Lindsay Buroker is the second indie author whose books I’ve tried (the first was Susan Ee), and again I wasn’t disappointed.  The Emperor’s Edge exceeded my expectations in every way.  It’s a delightful fantasy romp that kept me up all night reading.  It has a wonderfully campy feel to it, like a summer action movie; there are cheesy moments, predictable plot points, and unbelievable escapes, but it’s just so much fun that I didn’t even care about the flaws.  Likewise, I initially thought the writing was a bit amateurish, but then I got lost in the story and ceased to notice anything besides the characters and their exciting escapades.  The POV shift between Amaranthe and Emperor Sespian seemed like an unusual choice to me, but it works; Sespian’s scenes are interesting and insightful, but short enough not to distract from the main thrust of the story.

The setting is an intriguing blend of sword-and-sorcery and steampunk-like technology, but it is the characters and their interactions that really make this novel shine.  The banter is hilarious, and I love how this motley crew of misfits manages to work together.  Amaranthe struck me as very uptight and morally straight-laced at first (and she is), but soon the circumstances propel her to develop a remarkable talent for prevarication and talking her way out of trouble.  She proves that she doesn’t see the world in black-and-white when she recruits criminal accomplices and concocts a startlingly treasonous (and dangerous) plan, all for the good of the kingdom she loves.  The conflict between staying true to her values and justifying her illegal activities is a major struggle for Amaranthe, and it makes her a more complex, interesting, and sympathetic heroine.  I also love that her intelligence, leadership, and, above all, ability to see the good in people inspires loyalty from her ragtag band and penetrates Sicarius’ icy shell.  (I’m sensing a romantic subplot and struggling to contain my pleasure.  I am totally on board this ship.)

Overall, The Emperor’s Edge is solid entertainment.  I can’t wait to grab the next book in the series.

4stars

Reading Order:

  1. The Emperor’s Edge
  2. Dark Currents
  3. Deadly Games
  4. Conspiracy
  5. Blood and Betrayal
  6. Forged in Blood I
  7. Forged in Blood IIexpected publication August 2013

Also reviewed at:

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About Lesley

I love big dogs, ravioli, and all things nerdy. Books are my crack.
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