The Emperor's Edge
on Feb. 23, 2011
Buroker's world building was solid without burdening the story and had a bit of a steampunk feel. Where Buroker shined was in her characters. They were all fully developed, even the secondary ones, and I had a good sense of their motivations.
The heroine, Amaranthe, started out as a 'by the books' officer but as the story progressed she had to change and grow. She was a strong female character who could fight her way out of a mess if she had to but was just as likely to talk her way out of trouble. She becomes the leader of her little band of misfits somewhat out of default, another layer to her character as she struggled to fit into that role.
The hero (anti-hero?), Sicarius, was everything you could wish for in an assassin. I was intrigued by the mystery surrounding him that we learn bit by bit along with the heroine. Buroker did a masterful job of making me sympathize with Sicarius though arguably he's more villain than hero.
I loved the banter between these two characters. It often stole the show for me. Add to that the diverse characters within Amaranthe's gang and there were times I laughed out loud. This is a fantasy so I wasn't expecting a romance to develop between the leads yet I could see where their respect and friendship might someday lead in that direction.