This was a completely random choice for me – I purchased this on my kobo ages ago because it was on sale and sounded intriguing and have only just gotten around to reading it.
I am glad I did! The Emperor’s Edge by Lindsay Buroker is set in “Stumps”, the capital city of the Turgonian Empire, a place where the old Warrior Caste are the ruling elite. Amaranthe Lokdon is one of the few female enforcers (i.e. Police). Ruled by the young Emperor Sespian Savarsin, the empire has a long history of conquests and killing. Amaranthe is neat, loyal, and someone who follows the rules.
After a chance encounter with Sespian, Amaranthe is called in to see the Commander of the Armies: Hollowcrest. As Sespian’s former regent and now Commander, Hollowcrest is a hard man. Amaranthe is given an impossible mission – to kill the assassin Sicarius. Though his reasons are unclear, Sicarius is loyal to the Emperor and instead of killing Amaranthe they form an unlikely alliance. Amaranthe has a plan to save the emperor from the machinations of Hollowcrest. She pulls together a raggedy crew. With limited time, the team must be cunning and quick in order to save the Emperor. They must work together while avoiding a deadly and mysterious beast prowling the city and the Enforcers who are on the lookout for Sicarius and Amaranthe, with orders to kill on sight.
Amaranthe is tough, smart, and suitably fazed by Sicarius’s cold-blooded approach to killing. She’s good at talking people into doing things for her – or talking herself out of crazy situations!
Sicarius is one tough nut. Cold, calm, and professional, Sicarius shows no emotion. I loved the interaction between Amaranthe and Sicarius!
Books, a one time history professor turned drunkard, adds some more brains to the operation.
Maldynado – an egoistic pretty-boy who was disowned by his warrior-caste family adds some appreciated comic relief
Akstyr – a former gang member and broody practitioner of the “mental sciences” (a.k.a. Magic) adds some teenage-style moodiness.
Another bonus: there are sequels!
This book has a good mix of plotting, poison, fights, and intrigue. There are deaths – including a few somewhat graphic descriptions of mauled bodies (as a warning) but I didn’t find them overwhelming.
A great read overall! 4/5 at least!