Heavy is the head that wears the bone shard crown especially when you have to fight errant Bone constructs, a growing rebellion and an ancient magical enemy. Read my review of the Bone Shard Emperor by Andrea Stewart. as part of the March of the Sequels hosted by Sue’s Musings.
Series The Drowning Empire Book 2
Source of the book: My own
This book picks up from the end of the Bone Shard Emperor Daughter ( review here) where Lin has killed her father to become the new Emperor. Jovis has now become Captain of her Guard, a reluctant spy for the Shardless Few and someone who now has superpowers.
This book definitely didn’t suffer from the second book of the trilogy syndrome and the plot continues to race along. The point of view characters remains the same with Lin, Jovis and Phalue being the main ones.
Lin’s struggles to become an effective emperor and different from her father is well described and introduce some political intrigue and manoeuvring into the story. The Alanga, the ancient magical enemy play a significant role in adding another layer to the story.
The first book in an intriguing fantasy series with a diverse range of characters iand an atypical magic system. I can’t wait to read the next book especially if there is more of Jorvis, pirate turned accidental hero. Here’s why
The emperor has kept his people safe with a special form of magic- he can create constructs that follow his commands but this comes at a high cost acceptable only to him. The constructs are created from small shards of bone taken from children, in a special ceremony that can sometimes be fatal.
When a person’s bone shard is in use by the emperor, their life force slowly drains leading to a slow, painful death. Lin, the emperor’s daughter tries to master this magic behind her father’s back and in the process realises that the empire is failing and she needs to stop her father. But she isn’t the only one who feels this way, there is a revolution brewing across the empire.
I found myself immersed in a well-realised world with a magic system that felt fresh and new. The story is told through several points of view-my favourites were Lin the emperor’s daughter, Jovis, a pirate and accidental hero of the people and Phalue, the governor’s daughter and reluctant rebel leader. The points of view are a mix of first person and third person which works really well and keeps the plot moving naturally.
The plot is fast paced with no lag, with plenty of action scenes and Jovis provides plenty of humour especially in his interactions with Memphi, a strange animal who adopts and his ongoing bewilderment when he finds himself becoming a hero by accident. The mystery surrounding Lin’s origins and the emperor’s experiments kept me hooked till the end.