Monday, November 10, 2014

[Review: Empire Of Shadows by Miriam Forster]

"Empire of Shadows"
Author: Miriam Forster
Series: Bhinian Empire #2
Pages: 496
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Date Published: November 4th, 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Format Read: eARC provided by publisher (via Edelweiss) for honest review


Cast out of her family three years ago, Mara turned to the only place that would take her—a school where students train to protect others. But Mara is stunned when guarding a noble girl in the Empire’s capital turns out to be more dangerous than she could’ve imagined. More shocking still, she finds the boy she thought she had lost forever outside the gates of her new home.

Mara knew her life in the dizzying Imperial city would hold dangers. How could she have known that her heart, as well as her life, would be at stake?

Empire of Shadows will take readers on a spellbinding journey into the world Miriam Forster first introduced in City of a Thousand Dolls—a world with a divided society, deadly courtiers, heroic traitors, and deeply laid conspiracies.

My Thoughts:

An Open Letter To Empire of Shadows,

Hey book, look at you with your gorgeous cover and your thick amount of pages. To be completely honest I would have been fine with you being about a hundred pages longer, but you weren't. You were full of mystery and death and swoony love. I'm not sure what is a better combination than those things, so you made me very happy. I'd like another book in this series, because God knows how much I adore companion novels that can stand on their own legs. 

-The White Unicorn

It's well known that I loved Forster's City of a Thousand Dolls, so I was elated to learn that there was going to be a companion novel. Forster, feel free to keep writing them, because if you do, I will read them! I really liked the cast of the first book, so I was curious to see who Forster was going to focus on this time around, and I have to admit that I fell in love with this cast just as much as the old one.

Forster is a master story teller. She weaves both of her novels together seamlessly. In a way that really works. She's the master of mystery and intrigue, blending characters and stories together in way that makes you realize that she really puts her work into planning her books out. She makes sure that no little detail goes untouched. And the best part is that it doesn't matter which book you read first, or if you read them both (but please read them both).

Empire of Shadows is a book that's told through duel POV. This keeps the book moving in a forward motion and also keeps the mystery hidden till the correct moments. I found both Mara and Emil's voices to be interesting and captivating. And their love story didn't seem to get in the way of the bigger picture either, which is always a plus. 

Mara is an interesting character. She carries a chip around her shoulder that's almost as big as the secret that she's a Sune (shifting human). The book is about her redemption in more ways than one. She's trying to make up for the wrongs that she's done in her past by becoming a warrior, sworn to protect one person till death. She's so multifaceted that she keeps you reading her story till the end. 

Emil is the perfect love interest for Mara. He's equally as loyal as she is, but in a sweeter, less feral way. The contrast really works well. Seeing things from his POV also lightens the book a tad, which is nice. They're really cute together and it's nice to see that their beginning leads to so much in the end.

The mystery and pacing of this book are also to be praised. As well as the large cast of secondary, cross over characters between both of Forster's books. It was so delightful to get to learn more about the people in Nisha's life (the main character in City of a Thousand Dolls). 

To end this review I'm just going to say that you should read these books. It doesn't matter how you read them or what order you read them in, it just matters that you read them!

5 Unicorns = Get your hands on this NOW! 

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