In the midst of a burgeoning war, a warrior, an assassin, and a princess chase their own ambitions no matter the cost in Devin Madson’s propulsive epic fantasy.
War built the Kisian Empire. War will tear it down.
Seventeen years after rebels stormed the streets, factions divide Kisia. Only the firm hand of the god-emperor holds the empire together. But when a shocking betrayal destroys a tense alliance with neighboring Chiltae, all that has been won comes crashing down.
In Kisia, Princess Miko Ts’ai is a prisoner in her own castle. She dreams of claiming her empire, but the path to power could rip it, and her family, asunder.
In Chiltae, assassin Cassandra Marius is plagued by the voices of the dead. Desperate, she accepts a contract that promises to reward her with a cure if she helps an empire fall.
And on the border between nations, Captain Rah e’Torin and his warriors are exiles forced to fight in a foreign war or die.
As an empire dies, three warriors will rise. They will have to ride the storm or drown in its blood.
This is an action packed fast paced novel, leaping between three first person narrators as the countries of Kisia and Chiltae go to war.
Without too much preamble or heavy back story, you’re thrust straight into the heart of the story, as Chiltae’s army captures Levanti soldiers and forces them into its ranks as it aims to conquer neighbouring Kisia.
I loved Cassandra, the whore turned assassin with a secret, annoying, passenger, who just wants to get paid, not dragged into politics. Snarky and grumpy, she’s easily the funniest character.
Miko is the most complex character, convinced she’s got to do the right thing for her family, her country, herself. Conflicted and never sure about her plans, she seems to just cross her fingers and hope it all works out.
I look forward to book two, We Lie With Death, as the ending to this gives absolutely no clues as to what might happen next.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.