Review of The Emperor’s Edge Series by Lindsay Buroker

Bottom line: This is one of my favorite ongoing series. These are great stories, extremely well written, with awesome characters. The first book is free, so give it a try and see what you think!

Rating: Strongly Recommended

Review:

I was going to do a review on each of the books that are out, but then I realized the reviews would be virtually identical for all books, so I’m going to do it in one fell swoop for the books of the series that are currently out, and I’ll update as the other books come out. There are six planned total in the main storyline.

These books are excellent. It was one of those where I read the first one because it was free, not really expecting all that much from it. When I was done, I immediately downloaded the next two books in the series (the only ones that were out at the time), read all through the night, got an hour of sleep, and had to go to work the next day. I then discovered that there were short stories with the same characters, but not in the main storyline/time frame and bought and read those immediately as well.

 

There is so much to like about these books. They are that rare combination of great storytelling AND great writing, so that the more times you read them (and believe me, I’ve now read them an embarrassing number of times), the better they get. And to me, one of the most amazing things is how consistently good they are. All of the books so far have been worth reading in their own right, and not just because they are a part of the larger story. The plots are sufficiently different as to be continuously interesting, while still fitting into the larger scheme. (The one possible exception is book four, which was just released – there’s a cliffhanger at the end. Nooo!)

One of my favorite things is the characters. I think her characters are some of the best developed I’ve ever read, and the relationships between them shift and grow throughout the series. The dialogue is hilarious. It can occasionally be a bit on the raunchy side, but for the characters it doesn’t seem out of place. One of the interesting things the author has done is that the books are told from the point of view of Amaranthe, the main character, as well as a secondary character – which is different for each book. I think that really keeps the books feeling fresh and new to the reader, while still continuing with the story and characters that you’ve become invested in.

The setting is a fantasy world that has some steampunk elements, some sword fighting, some magic, but somehow it never feels unfamiliar or foreign. At its core, it’s really a story about people trying to find redemption and their place in the world.

Side note: This is mostly a review of the main books in the series. The two short stories are still very good, but seem mostly to be a way for the reader to spend some more time with the characters in between the book releases.

Books Out:  Below are the Emperor’s Edge books in order, and the list has been updated to include more recent releases.

The Emperor’s Edge (Book 1) (2010) – Available as a free e-book at Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Amazon, also available as a paperback at B&N and Amazon.

Blurb:

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.

Dark Currents (Book 2) (2011) – Available at Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Amazon

 

Deadly Games (Book 3) (2011)  – Available at Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and  Amazon.

 

Conspiracy (Book 4) (2012) – Available at Smashwords, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Blood and Betrayal (Book 5) (2012) – Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Forged in Blood I (Book 6) (2013) – Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Ice Cracker II (and other short stories) (2010) (Out of main story arc short story) – Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

The Assassins Curse (Out of main story arc short story) (2012) – Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

More Info: The author has a website here (http://www.lindsayburoker.com/) where she puts out tips for indie writers as well as information about her books and reader extras.

What did you think? Did you like the series?

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