Title: Empress Of A Thousand Skies (Empress Of A Thousand Skies #1)Author: Rhoda Belleza
Publication Date: February 7th 2017
Publisher: Razorbill (Penguin RandomHouse)
Part of a Series?: Yes, Book 1/2 of the Empress Of A Thousand Skies Duology
I Got A Copy Through: Penguin Random House International (THANK YOU!)
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Blurb Description: CROWN PRINCESS RHIANNON TA'AN WANTS VENGEANCE.
The only surviving heir to an ancient Kalusian dynasty, RHEE has spent her life training to destroy the people who killed her family. Now, on the eve of her coronation, the time has finally come for Rhee to claim her throne - and her revenge.
ALYOSHA is a Wraetan who has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. Despite his popularity, Aly struggles with anti-Wraetan prejudices and the pressure of being perfect in the public eye.
Their paths collide with one brutal act of violence: Rhee is attacked, barely escaping with her life. Aly is blamed for her presumed murder.
The princess and her accused killer are forced to go into hiding - even as a war between planets is waged in Rhee's name. But soon, Rhee and Aly discover that the assassination attempt is just one part of a sinister plot. Bound together by an evil that only they can stop, the two fugitives must join forces to save the galaxy.
In this exhilarating debut for fans of Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles and Pierce Brown's Red Rising trilogy, RHODA BELLEZA crafts a powerful saga of vengeance, warfare, and the true meaning of legacy.
The first thing I noticed about Empress of A Thousand Skies was HOLY CRAP THAT COVER. It is SO FREAKING beautiful – and it took me about two weeks to even SEE the girl on the planet. It truly is one of the PRETTIEST covers this year!
The second (and what the cover obviously alluded to) was that this WAS A SPACE BOOK! After reading Illuminae and Gemina earlier this year, I have become OBSESSED with books set in Space!
Also, add in the words Empress, Fighting for her Throne, Vengeance and Politics AND I HAVE ALREADY WANTED TO READ THIS MORE THAN ANYTHING.
“An entire universe full of stars and planets, and not a single one that would hold her.”
Rhiannon (Rhee) Ta’an is the last surviving princess of the legendary Ta’an Dynasty. After her parents and older sister were killed, she was shipped to a moon orbiting the planet she would rule over one day, to learn and to grow.
The book opens on the day she’s scheduled to go back to her planet, for her coronation, only to have her best friend’s father try to kill her. On the run with a boy she doesn’t know with secrets of his own, she must find her way to reclaim her throne and avenge her family.
Alyosha is a Wratean. His planet was blown up in the Great War ten years ago that ended in the Unrew Treaty which Rhiannon’s family paid the highest price for. After he is blamed for the assassination of the princess, he goes on the run, trying desperately to prove his innocence.
What I LOVED about this book:
1. THAT ENDING: Gorgeous. Spectacularly Done. WONDERFUL. Such a set up for Book Two! I CANNOT WAIT for the next instalment.
2. THE FACT THAT ROMANCE DIDN’T PLAY THAT BIG A ROLE: In a war that will overtake a galaxy, I AM SO HAPPY that it focused on the war, and the rebels, and the Ravaging and the Overwriting of Cubes that there were no star crossed lovers mooning for each other. SUCH a breath of fresh air.
3. THE TECHNOLOGY: While I did LOVE the technology in this book – and the misuse of it, I wish it had been better explained. What were hyperloop trains? What were the functions of NX Droids? I felt like I had to make a LOT of assumptions and it left me feeling sort of uncomfortable. STILL. LOVED ALL OF IT.
What I didn’t like about this book:
1. RHEE TA’AN’S DECISION MAKING PROCESS: For some reason, I HAD NO IDEA WHAT THIS GIRL WAS DOING. Why WHY did she get the Mark on her face – there HAD to have been 8 billion other disguises. WHY did she not reveal herself? Especially if all the media was there TO RECORD IT. If she’s the girl everyone’s looking for, won’t they believe her? Why did she leave Dahlen? SHE WAS GOING TO WHERE HE WAS.
2. The Fact That Something Was Missing: The viewpoints switched between Aly and Rhee and well, each time it switched back, the characters weren’t in the same place we left them and it had me slightly… disoriented? It was a strange feeling, and I kept feeling like SOMETHING WAS MISSING.
A beautiful book on loyalty, family, vengeance, war and traitors. SET IN SPACE. I LOVED it and I could not recommend it more. 4 stars.
Rhoda Belleza was raised in Los Angeles, where she grew up writing XFiles fanfiction and stuffing her face with avocados. When she's not writing, Rhoda obsesses over nail art tutorials, watches kung fu movies, and sews together crooked things that pass for clothes. She's a children's editor at a publishing house and writes from a sunny Brooklyn apartment stuffed far too many bikes and far too many shoes. Empress of a Thousand Skies is her debut novel.
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