The Emperor’s Edge is the first book in the Emperor’s Edge series (of eight books), by author Lindsay Buroker. I have only read the first two books in the series, so don’t know whether book eight (Republic) is the conclusion or whether more books are planned. This review is solely of Book One.
The story revolves around Amaranthe, a woman in her mid-twenties. She is an Enforcer (Enforcers are the police), and to her knowledge is the only woman in the force. Within the Turgonian Empire in which she lives, women run businesses, but don’t get involved in security services, so she is often discriminated against in terms of her career.
When she gets noticed by the Emperor and subsequently is offered an opportunity for promotion if she succeeds in a dangerous mission, she therefore accepts. And thus begins a roller-coaster journey for the heroine as she crosses a deadly assassin, discovers treasonous plots, fights magicians from foreign lands (magic officially doesn’t exist in Turgonia) and gathers together a small band of outcasts to embark on a wild plan to save the Emperor.
I surprised myself in thoroughly enjoying this book. Why was it a surprise? Well, there is virtually no character development, and my favourite books are those that delve into the main protagonist’s inner world. There’s not really any of that in The Emperor’s Edge. There is also nothing here to make you stop and think about the world we live in: something I also enjoy.
It is, however, utterly fun. Amaranthe is a wonderful character who has a delightful way with words as she coerces… sorry, gently persuades, others to provide her with information or to undertake tasks that further her aims. She would be a complete nightmare to live with, but I found her a totally lovable character (from the distance of a book cover). The other main characters also all have their own distinctive personalities, and participate in some great banter. The book is a perfectly good standalone novel, but at the very end it is set up well for future books.
As far as the plot goes, there were some interesting quirks, but I didn’t find the overall plot especially unusual – and I had worked out the big reveal early in the book. But none of that mattered. It was an enjoyable romp of a read, and I’m looking forward to the rest of the series. If you like a fun read to distract you from life, I would recommend The Emperor’s Edge.