The Bone Shard Emperor

The Bone Shard Emperor by Andrea Stewart is a fantastic continuation of the series. Lin Sukai is finally emperor, but there’s still too many pieces to feel safe.

From Goodreads:

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?

All quotes are from an advanced reader copy, and may or may not reflect the published edition.

“The Shardless Few were right: she had secrets. And they’d charged me with uncovering them.”

This was such an amazing continuation. I was worried about the many moving pieces that I wouldn’t quite feel this way. There are several points of view you are given, and the different islands of the empire to follow. However, it all managed to keep the pacing interesting and the moving pieces worth following. The use of Mephi and Thrana was well-done. We learned more about the former emperor’s experiments and the Algana, and this worked well in the story. It never felt too much like info-dumping, and much more showing instead of just telling.

“You could injure me in a thousand ways with the secrets I’ve told you.”

The slow-burn romance wasn’t really necessary, but it worked and I didn’t hate it. Do I prefer our main duo to simply be best friends? Absolutely. This could be my general preference of no romance in my fantasy, though. I just worry about how that could develop in the future book (or books) in this series. It didn’t feel like they clicked romantically as well as they could as simply friends. Yes, it worked. Yes, it was tolerable. I still don’t think it was needed.

“No revolution is bloodless. No change comes without suffering.”

Although it was slow in the beginning, the pacing of this really picks up about 50% and just gets more un-put-down-able from there. Stewart has provided us with a great second book, and survived the dreaded curse of sequel syndrome. We have a genuinely great setup for the next book, as well.

“I was Lin. And that would have to be enough.”

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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