Release Date: November 4th 2014
Series: Bhinian Empire #2
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy, Friendship, General, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Cast out of her family three years ago, Mara turned to the only place that would take her—a school where students train to protect others. But Mara is stunned when guarding a noble girl in the Empire’s capital turns out to be more dangerous than she could’ve imagined. More shocking still, she finds the boy she thought she had lost forever outside the gates of her new home.
Mara knew her life in the dizzying Imperial city would hold dangers. How could she have known that her heart, as well as her life, would be at stake?
Empire of Shadows will take readers on a spellbinding journey into the world Miriam Forster first introduced in City of a Thousand Dolls—a world with a divided society, deadly courtiers, heroic traitors, and deeply laid conspiracies.
If I had to pick one underrated series for everyone to read it would be this one. Miriam Forster is a seriously talented author, and her Bhinian Empire books, CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS and EMPIRE OF SHADOWS, deserve so much more love.
When I started EMPIRE OF SHADOWS I could only remember the vague basics of CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS, which I read as a 2013 debut. Thankfully, this one reads as a companion instead of a direct addition, so you can jump right into it. Perfect for people with extremely poor memories, like me!
Topics that were only touched on in CITY OF A THOUSAND DOLLS are much more developed more in this book. The world building in this series is absolutely fantastic, it is full of rich history and different cultures, plus more information about the shape-shifting race of the Sune (which are totally badass, by the way). It is clear so much thought went into it and I would love to see more from this world. Plus pickpocketing grandmothers, enough said.
Despite its hefty size of almost five hundred pages, EMPIRE OF SHADOWS has pretty good pacing. However, it wasn’t until I was on page 120 when I realized not much had happened and a lot was still being developed. I want to emphasize that this was not a problem because the pages still flew by and, like I said, I barely even noticed.
What I wasn’t in love with was the romance. The couple meet each other once and it’s pretty much full speed ahead the next time they see each other. After said initial meeting, the two can’t stop thinking about each other. There was little development in the getting-to-know-you stage, which made it hard to really get behind this romance.
While EMPIRE OF SHADOWS may not have done romance well, it tackled friendship perfectly! The protagonist, Mara, and her charge, Revathi, start off on somewhat shaky grounds, building trust and friendship gradually. The dynamic between these two was just so great, and I had a ton of feels when it came to the ending-THAT EPILOGUE. View Spoiler »So this is a prequel??? I need to reread City of a Thousand Dolls IMMEDIATELY. « Hide Spoiler