You guys probably know that I regularly request ARCs (usually eARCs on NetGalley, though lets not even talk about that particular problem right now) and earlier this year, I also signed up for a blogger program ran by Random House’s German division and I’ve gotten a few ARCs from them and for today’s post, I’ll be reviewing the most recent one I got: Empress Of A Thousand Skies – or, Herrscherin der Tausend Sonnen for you Germans reading this!
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.
I feel like my reviews have been a little bit all over the place lately, so I think I’ll try and go back to the format I used in the very beginning and structure my thoughts into different categories, to make it easier for all of us involved here!
Empress Of A Thousand Skies is without a doubt a really fast-paced book. We start the story off, following Rhee through the city she has been living in as she’s running away from guards because she doesn’t want to leave the city yet to go ‘home’ and take the throne that is rightfully hers once she turns 16. And the book continues right along those lines to the very end. We’re constantly on the run. Constantly surrounded by people we don’t know if we can trust them or not. There are so many secrets being uncovered and you do find yourself asking who is behind all of it.
And while it may take you a little while, I feel like as a reader, you’ll be able to tell rather quickly what exactly is going on and who’s at fault here. But thinking about it now, I don’t even mind knowing? Because as a reader you start to view these characters through a different lens and you see how their minds work.
One thing that did bother me quite a bit was the fact that there were so many different places we were constantly traveling too and objects we were traveling on. Sometimes I was confused as to who was where and what kind of transportation. And I hate being confused by things like this while reading.
I can only speak for the German translation here, as that’s what I read, but this book really felt like it was written or translated with a younger audience in mind. The way these characters spoke felt really quite young, even Alyosha who was 17 or 18 (I think). What did surprise me about this book was the fact that the characters were allowed to swear. I don’t think it’s something we come across that often in Young Adult literature which made it stand out to me even more!
And on a bit of a sidenote here, I can’t believe how long it took me to read this book and to get into reading in German??? We’re talking about my first language here. German is the language I grew up with and use in real life all the time and yet when I pick up a book in German, I suddenly have a really difficult time with it. Seems like I need to read in German more often.
Empress Of A Thousand Skies is told from two perspectives: Rhee, the princess and Aly who is a soldier turned reality star (yes, you did read that right. Aly and his friend Vincent are on board a ship and being recorded 24/7 for a reality tv type of show). And while I don’t think the characters were really that fleshed out overall, they did have very distinct voices which I enjoyed because I knew who’s perspective I was reading from without having to go back and check all the time.
We mostly just spent time with these two characters while meeting the people in their life for short periods of time. And much like the two main characters, the side characters aren’t that fleshed out either. I honestly couldn’t tell you much about them after finishing the book? Which is quite sad, actually!
As I said before, I quite liked this book overall and I’ll definitely read the sequel when it comes out next year! I did have some issues with the book, as discussed above, but that’s usually the case with most books so I am not holding it against this one. I loved how fast the story moved along even though it confused me at times as far as current location went. But I’d rather have a fast paced book that at times confuses me with the location than a really, really slow paced story that makes me want to throw my book across the room. No one wants that, right?!
Overall, Empress Of A Thousand Skies is getting a 3.5-star rating from me! I feel like if you enjoy a good sci-fi story set in space with a fast-moving plot and a bit of a mystery, this book could be what you’re looking for! My copy also says it’s good for fans of Marissa Meyer and Victoria Aveyard, so if you enjoy both those authors’ work, get on this!
US: February 7th, 2017 by Razorbill | DE: October 30th, 2017 by cbt
How about you guys? Have you read this book already and if so, what did you think? If you haven’t yet, is it on your TBR or are you going to put it on there? Let me know in the comments down below!
And as a bonus question for today’s post: What are some of your favorite and least favorite tropes in Young Adult literature? I know this may seem like it’s a bit out of left field, but there were some tropes used in this book and I was wondering if some of them were on you guys’ least or most favorite list! But I won’t talk said tropes as not to spoil this book for anyone!