The Emperor is Dead. Long live the Emperor.
Lin Sukai finally sits on the throne she won at so much cost, but her struggles are only just beginning. Her people don’t trust her. Her political alliances are weak. And in the north-east of the Empire, a rebel army of constructs is gathering, its leader determined to take the throne by force.
Yet an even greater threat is on the horizon, for the Alanga – the powerful magicians of legend – have returned to the Empire. They claim they come in peace, and Lin will need their help in order to defeat the rebels and restore peace.
But can she trust them?
Hi and welcome to my review of The Bone Shard Emperor!
The Bone Shard Emperor is the second book in the Drowning Empire trilogy and I absolutely adored book 1, The Bone Shard Daughter, last year. It was hands down some of the best fantasy I’ve read, ever. Expectations for The Bone Shard Emperor were high, but I have to admit I was also feeling a slight trepidation because the curse of the sequel is real, you guys.
I’ll just come out and say it: I tend to feel a bit meh about second books in trilogies. Often that second book is a long and winding bridge to get from book 1 (the introduction) to book 3 (the riveting finale), and I often think that with some hard editing, the trilogy could have been a duology (or even one big-ass book) and would have been better for it.
Not so with The Bone Shard Emperor! Obviously you need to have read the previous book before reading this one, but The Bone Shard Emperor is definitely NOT just a construct (see what I did there 😏😂) to get the characters in place for the finale. It is a full-fledged and sumptuous story. The world-building continues and the character arcs are immense. As Lin, the new Emperor, travels the islands in search for support against her enemies, we get to see a lot more of the world we were introduced to last year.
Just like in The Bone Shard Daughter, there are various points of view, which keeps the momentum going. There’s action and magic, there’s islands sinking into the Endless Sea, there’s a hard-to-cure illness, there’s fierce love and some non-cheesy romance, there’s intrigue and betrayal, there’s politics and rebels and a young woman trying to do right by her people although she doesn’t quite know how to do that, or even who she really is, seriously, this book has it all and if fantasy is your bag you need The Bone Shard Emperor in your life stat!
The Bone Shard Emperor is absolute fantasy perfection. It’s epic but extremely readable, quite a tome but the pages fly by and if it had been twice as big I would have happily read on. Bring on book 3 ASAP, I can’t wait to find out how, where and with whom all my beloved characters will end up. Highly recommended.
The Bone Shard Emperor is available now in digital and audio formats and in hardcover. The paperback is to follow in April 2022.
Massive thanks to Orbit for the phenomenal review copy. All opinions are my own.