“Back of Book” Summary:
Imperial law enforcer Amaranthe Lokdon is good at her job: she can deter thieves and pacify thugs, if not with a blade, then by toppling an eight-foot pile of coffee canisters onto their heads. But when ravaged bodies show up on the waterfront, an arson covers up human sacrifices, and a powerful business coalition plots to kill the emperor, she feels a tad overwhelmed.
Worse, Sicarius, the empire’s most notorious assassin, is in town. He’s tied in with the chaos somehow, but Amaranthe would be a fool to cross his path. Unfortunately, her superiors order her to hunt him down. Either they have an unprecedented belief in her skills… or someone wants her dead.
I loved it! This book kept my attention the entire way through it. For the first time in a while I found a leading character that I truly like. Amaranthe Lokdon is a strong leading female character. She is one of the few law enforcers in the Turgonian Empire and fights hard to be among the best, most disciplined officers, all the while dealing with gender discrimination. While she is virtuous and believes in upholding the law, she also has respect and the desire for the continuity of the Empire in even higher regard and thus became the most wanted women throughout the Empire as she abandoned her enforcer job to pursue less-than-legal means to ultimately save the Emperor’s life from a planned coup.
All of the characters in this book were fantastic. The villains were really bad, vile people. The heroes, unlike Amaranthe, were not your typical good guys. An assassin, a wizard gang banger, an alcoholic deadbeat ex-professor, and a wealthy male escort are certainly a funny cohort of good guys that lead to much humorous dialogue especially with Amaranthe’s character who is as witty as they come.
The book’s tag line: “A high fantasy novel in the era of steam” is the first professed “steampunk” themed book I’ve read.
Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery, especially in a setting inspired by industrialized Western civilization during the 19th century. Steampunk works are often set in an alternative history of the 19th century’s British Victorian era or American “Wild West”, in a post-apocalyptic future during which steam power has regained mainstream use, or in a fantasy world that similarly employs steam power.
In the Turgonian Empire transportation is done with trains and trolleys, industry is conducted with coal furnaces and massive amounts of metal. This is the age of industrialization. The environmentalist in me cringed everytime coal powered trains or industrial practices were mentioned. This was a dirty, polluted world. However, I can see the appeal of the steam era. Machinery was progressing to the point that humanity was entering the modern era, yet people and society themselves were still traditional and “old fashion-” yet certainly not innocent, cute, or quaint. Steampunk imagery allows for a world to be harsh and difficult, yet quirky and fun.
Overall, The Emperor’s Edge is a wonderful read. This is the first in the series by the same name. I recommend this book and would certainly read more books in this series.
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