First book review of the year, how strange is that. It feels like a lifetime ago that I did a book review and I am happy to write this one.
I hope you like the review and maybe put this on your TBR.
The emperor’s reign has lasted for decades, his mastery of bone shard magic powering the animal-like constructs that maintain law and order. But now his rule is failing, and revolution is sweeping across the Empire’s many islands.
Lin is the emperor’s daughter and spends her days trapped in a palace of locked doors and dark secrets. When her father refuses to recognise her as heir to the throne, she vows to prove her worth by mastering the forbidden art of bone shard magic.
Yet such power carries a great cost, and when the revolution reaches the gates of the palace, Lin must decide how far she is willing to go to claim her birthright – and save her people.
Published: September 2020
Published Edition: April 2021
Genre: Fantasy, LGBT, Adult,
Star Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
I’ve had this book on my wish list for a over a year, I saw the cover on Instagram, added onto my wish list and completely forgot about it until the second book was released recently. I had no idea what I was getting myself into but I am really glad that I finally picked this up.
I realised while reading, this book had similar vibes to The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon, there are multiple characters and jumping back and forth from one another but also including an LGBT couple and even an heir to the throne trying to win favour. Obviously, there is no dragon but things called Constructs that are used by the Emperor into creating spies in his entire island, which I automatically thought of Yubaba’s bird in Spirited Away. I loved the scope of the Empire in an Asian style, it was so fasinating to imagine this empire with the clothing and the description of the palace but also the tension between Lin and Bayan trying to recieve all the keys in order to become the new Leader of the Empire.
Lin is the daughter of the Emperor, she is the heir but it having to fight for the throne with Bayan, a cousin, but she got sick and lost 5 years of her life and while trying to remember everything and earning her father’s trust, she gets competitive and tries to cheat. Along the way, she teaches herself how to use Bone Shard Magic and starts to discover the secrets hidden in the Palace. Jovis is another character, he is trying to find someone but during his journery across other islands he is often helping families saving their children and sending them to other family members, he becomes a bit of a legend and is also being hunted for this acts. He comes off as a heart of gold type of man but doesn’t care if his hands get a little dirty, he wants to be alone and handle the problems himself but other people intervene having hope that he would help no matter what.
I don’t want to spoil anymore but I want to continue to gush, so I am gushing. The bone shard magic is dark, creepy dark, it is essentialy a bone from a person and then created into a Construct, which is combined with an animal turning it into a thing that the Emperor uses as his little puppets. At first, I wasn’t thinking of The Island of Dr Moreau but somehow it started to click and I realised that the Emperor is Dr Moreau creating things in his lab and not only that, creating a child. I was gasping when my prediction came true, I started to suspect after the scene with Lin and Bayan when he was freaking out and asking Lin to hide him. I started to suspect that The Emperor might be the villian, but to not only create a child but also create her and age her to become his new wife was so sadistic but took me by surprise.
I forgot the mention the LGBT couple in the book, and that is Phalue and Ranami. Phalue is a General’s daughter but loves her girlfriend and wants to marry her. Ranami is then discovered to be a rebel and wanting to destroy Phalue’s father, the general, leaving Phalue where her heart lies with. They don’t have a strong pressence in this book but I hope to see more of them in the second.
I really liked this book and I am so glad that this was the first book read in 2022. I hope your reading year is going well, have a great weekend xx