Review – The Bone Shard Emperor

Title: The Bone Shard Emperor

Author: Andrea Stewart

Series: The Drowning Empire #2

Release Date: Paperback – 21/4/22

E.S.C.A.P.E Score: 51
(see below for breakdown)

5 stars

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I received a free eARC copy from Orbit ,via Netgalley and Audiobook copy via Hachette Audio in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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?

My Thoughts

This book picks up where Book one finished. I will admit it took me a little while to get back into it, having to remind myself who characters were and what role they played in the previous book. While Lin, Jovis and Mephi jumped back to my mind straight away, I did struggle with a lot of the minor players. It wasn’t until the second or third chapters from their perspectives that I began to recall who they were. This made the multiple perspective jumps a little slow for me in the beginning.

This book felt a lot more political that the previous and to me that is not a bad thing. There are so many secrets kept, spying and double crossing, sneaking around, deals upon deals struck, that its just fun to see all the threads interweave before coming together in one hell of an Ending! And oh the ending. I wont say much but it will pull your heart in all kinds of directions and leave you desperate for book 3!

I love the way Stewart plays with memory and personal identity throughout the book, how characters weigh up who they are verses the expectations on them, their selfishness and their social conscience at odds.

That is not to say that this book is devoid of action, there are so many exciting and tense scenes that it was near impossible to put down. I was so lucky to have both the ebook and Audio at hand so I could move between them and not have to stop. I really enjoyed the flow of the story and how I could not tell what was going to happen next. I just adore Stewart’s writing. The world-building is just so detailed, while Bone magic is not as integral to this plot as that of the previous book, we get to learn so much about it and it is just a fascinating magic system. We also get insight into not only the political machinations of the islands in the empire but also into the history of those islands. The magic system behind the Alanga was developed so much more in this book and it just has such a rich historical feel to it that made me eager to learn more.

Overall, I just really enjoyed this book, it took the story and the characters off in a new and interesting direction which I can’t wait to see where they end up next.

ESCAPE Score

ENDING – 8

STYLE AND PACE OF WRITING – 9

CHARACTERS – 8

ATMOSPHERE AND WORLDBUILDING – 9

PLOT – 8

ENJOYMENT – 9

I would love to chat all things bookish with you! You can comment down below or find me on Twitter or Goodreads!

Happy Reading!

3 thoughts on “Review – The Bone Shard Emperor

  1. I really enjoyed this one. I read it quite soon after finishing the first one so it didn’t take that long to get back into it. I’m really interested to see how it’s all going to work out.

    Liked by 2 people

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