The Emperor's Edge
by Lindsay Buroker
After my last review, where I prattled on about my disappointment of The Staff and The Sword series, I happened to be chatting to a fellow book geek and realised something terrible.
I have had a book blog for over a year and I have not mentioned The Emperor's Edge.
I cannot begin to explain what a sin this is.
I have mentioned the series, the author and the characters in many of the interviews I have given; promoting them as clear favourites.
So let me correct this oversight by giving my first series review. I won't go into detail of each book, but allow me to give a quick introduction to the first in the series:
The Emperor's Edge #1
*Free to download from Amazon*
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.
There is nothing I don't like about these books.
Amaranthe is an original heroine, there's nothing particularly special about her, all she hopes is to become the first female Sergeant in the empire. But events conspire to bring her to the attention of the young Emperor Sespian and the questionable Commander of the Armies Hollowcrest, who throws her into the path of infamous assassin Sicarius.
Amaranthe can take care of herself when it comes to a fight, but she has a real skill for talking her way out of (and back into) trouble. She is a very "wholesome" character, who doesn't always know when to shut up.
She brings together a very unlikely band of heroes, a scholar; a charming fop; a mute foreigner and a teenage wizard with an attitude problem. Not to mention an assassin.
The assembled cast are a brilliant squabbling family. Each book focusses on a different character, their history and the ambitions that drive them to repeatedly risk their lives for the empire. The team is full of mistrust and of clashing personalities; but they work well together when it counts.
Then there is Sicarius. I love Sicarius, he is simply one of my favourite characters across any series.
He has been honed into the most dangerous living weapon, with as much personality as his daggers. He is driven only by logic and survival, and will kill anyone he considers a threat.
He has his own reasons for joining Amaranthe's team, and swings from being it's biggest asset to its biggest problem.
It is constantly entertaining to see the interaction between him and Amaranthe; and to see over the whole series as he becomes a little more human.
The first four books are individual adventures, but all build into the overall arc of the series. The final three books see them becoming a real rebel force and taking on Forge.
Buroker has provided a series that is impressively creative, the story is always moving forward and developing, while maintaining its charm and humour. This is how you write series, people!
If you hadn't already guessed, this series is rated a 5 out of 5.
My recommendation now, is to go to Amazon and download the first book for free - you won't regret it!