Series: Empress of A Thousand Skies #1
Written by: Rhoda Belleza
Published: February 7, 2017 by Razorbill (Penguin Book Group)
(Amazon / Goodreads / Audible)
Synopsis: CROWN PRINCESS RHIANNON TA'AN WANTS VENGEANCE.
The only surviving heir to an ancient Kalusian dynasty, RHEE has spent her life training to destroy the people who killed her family. Now, on the eve of her coronation, the time has finally come for Rhee to claim her throne - and her revenge.
ALYOSHA is a Wraetan who has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. Despite his popularity, Aly struggles with anti-Wraetan prejudices and the pressure of being perfect in the public eye.
Their paths collide with one brutal act of violence: Rhee is attacked, barely escaping with her life. Aly is blamed for her presumed murder.
The princess and her accused killer are forced to go into hiding - even as a war between planets is waged in Rhee's name. But soon, Rhee and Aly discover that the assassination attempt is just one part of a sinister plot. Bound together by an evil that only they can stop, the two fugitives must join forces to save the galaxy.
In this exhilarating debut for fans of Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles and Pierce Brown's Red Rising trilogy, RHODA BELLEZA crafts a powerful saga of vengeance, warfare, and the true meaning of legacy.
This book was amazing! Hearing that it is a YA book about political intrigue in space absolutely seemed like a book I needed to read. And I'm glad that I did because it was fantastic.
For one thing, I loved the plot development of this book. I'm a very plot driven reader so when the plot is good I am going to probably love the book. And the plot here was so good. It's one of those books that has a ton of moving parts that don't all come together until the very end. But it's also a book that is full of action and adventure. There are so many Darin escapes and thrilling scenes throughout this book that had me on the edge of my seat waiting and watching to see what would happen. It also absolutely built to a thrilling climax full of surprises and amazing reveals that left me so enthralled that I need the second book.
So much of what made this book so complex was the way it is written. The book is told in alternating perspectives between Rhiannon (Rhee) and Alyosha (Aly). I'm used to that concept but I feel like a lot of times the two perspectives have the same storyline and it doesn't seem needed. But here they both had their own stories that didn't overlap and instead complimented each other. It made for a very interesting and deeper story that I really enjoyed.
I will say, however, that this concept didn't leave a lot of room for character development. I did really like both characters and I found them likable and complex but the focus wasn't on the characters. You did get to know the characters pretty well however and I was invested in their histories their struggles which is important. The changing perspectives also meant that there were a host of different secondary characters to meet and none of them really made a very lasting impression despite making a strong impression. I just think there was more emphasis on the plot here and that was okay by me.
The world also didn't get as much attention as I would have liked but that was because it was so interesting. It definitely is one of those show don't tell kind of stories, which is fine but it left me with a lot of questions. This is clearly a science fiction read that definitely has some space opera vibes and I loved all of those aspects but much of that world and the science aspect didn't get much attention until the very end. I wanted a little bit more explanation of some of these things that came into the plot in a big way.
But I think more of the focus for the world was placed on the political intrigue. And oh boy, this book was full of political intrigue. Like Game of Thrones level political intrigue. There were so many scheming characters aiming for power. And it went beyond the princess who is the rightful heir trying to regain her power. Yes, that was an element and I liked that element but it went deeper than that. So deep in fact that I don't even think we know exactly how deep it goes.
This is only the first book in a series and I loved it so much I am seriously invested in knowing what happens next. It had a fantastic plot full of action and mystery, a great science fiction world that I want to know more about, complex characters, and a ton of political intrigue. It was amazing.
Buy/Borrow/Bypass: BUY! I would absolutely recommend this book. If you are a fan of science fiction or YA fantasies you need to read this book. It totally is like Game of Thrones meets The Lunar Chronicles. Read it and then come flail with me.
Have you read Empress of a Thousand Skies? What did you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts. Thanks ford topping by and HAPPY READING!