I love this book. It is a great beginning to a fast-paced, character-driven fantasy adventure series. The Emperor’s Edge has all the ingredients for a great story: loveable characters, witty dialogue, a clever plot, evil bad guys, exciting derring-do, courageous heroics, engaging relationships, a hint of romance, and more! And…it’s a FREE e-book!
It’s a story about a motley group of mostly ordinary people who come together and fight against the evil in their city. I suppose they’re a bit like everyday superheroes – they thump the bad guys and do what’s right in the name of the empire and become the heroes they never knew they were. I like to think of it as Industrial Revolution fantasy with a bit of steampunk thrown in for good measure. There’s steam engines and magic and sword fights and trickery and it’s all a rollicking good time. I think my favorite aspect of the book is the characters and their relationships with each other; these are smart, plucky, amusing, courageous, and delightful people (yes, even the taciturn former imperial assassin and the surly teenage wizard.). The main characters are well-defined and completely enthralling – one comes to love them all and care quite deeply about their well-being. The dialogue is well-written and quite funny at times, especially as the camaraderie grows among our intrepid heroes. The tone is upbeat and lighthearted and good humor abounds. The story is quite positive in attitude; of course, there are dark moments, but the atmosphere remains optimistic throughout. You will cheer the team's triumphs and sigh at their defeats, and you will be excited for the next book, Dark Currents.
This is a fun, fast-paced, engaging novel which will keep you up all night. I highly recommend it, as well as the subsequent books in the series, which only get better as we get to know the characters and see their growth (there are six books currently, as well as various shorter pieces.). Lindsay Buroker has created a very appealing steam-driven world filled with captivating characters and exciting adventures – The Emperor’s Edge is a brilliant read.