1.) The Emperor’s Blades ★★★★★
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! No matter who you have in your life, or who you do not have, I hope your day is filled with love and amazing books.
Well, I’m not sure how I’m really going to function with the ending of this book, but okay. Holy shit! This book was so amazing! I thought The Emperor’s Blades was action packed, and then this book just blows all those expectations out of the water!
“You can explain a lot of things to a man. His own death is not one of them.”
Our story still follows the three siblings (even though we do get a flippin’ amazing POV from Gwenna, and I was pretty much living for it) and their individual struggles for power, information, and to just stay alive.
Kaden – Still the rightful heir to the Unhewn Throne, but the battle for it hasn’t gotten any easier, nor have the mysteries surrounding it.
Valyn – Now on the run with his wing from his elite military comrades, who he’s lived and trained under for eight years, while constantly questioning who he can truly trust.
Adare – After finding out who her father’s killer truly is, Adare is trying to confront the truth, while also trying to find who she really is.
I’ve seen a lot of people dislike Adare in this book, but I completely understood her and where she was coming from. She has grown up in a world where she is capable and powerful, with every advantage at her disposal, yet is constantly reminded she will never be as capable or as powerful as men. I’m not justifying her actions or choices, but I am completely empathetic towards them.
Speaking of which, Brian Staveley writes some amazing female characters. Every single female character in this book is strong on their own, not just strong enough to be a sidekick to a man. Adare, Triste , Gwenna, Annick, Pyrre, Nira, are ALL amazing in their own different ways, and it’s absolutely beautiful to read about each of them.
“Yer history is all about men, your ritual is about men. Unless you’re plannin’ to strap on a terra-cotta cock and go back to Annur thwackin’ people in the face with it—which I don’t recommend—ya need to tip the whole board full of history directly into the piss bucket and start over. You need people to see you, not the man you’re not.”
In this book, we are introduced to so many new characters, too, but my favorite is, hands down, Nira. Oh, Nira, my heart. Without getting into spoiler territory, Nira was a character I had been waiting for, but I didn’t anticipate anything close to her storyline and became so invested with her character so very quickly.
If these first two books are any indication of what The Last Mortal Bond is going to be like, then I know I won’t be able to put it down! I can’t wait to start and devour it as soon as possible!