No middle book syndrome here this is masterclass in fantasy writing
The Emperor’s Bone Palace by Hailey Turner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I have absolutely no idea how to review this beyond epically good book.
I will ponder and come back to it but I’ll state for the record The Emperor’s Bone Palace does NOT suffer from middle book syndrome!
So, I’ve sat and thought about it some and all I can say is that this book will shock, it will make your heart pound, it will have you raging, it will cause conflicts, it will establish firmly your beliefs on which characters are acting with the best interests of all in mind, and which side needs stabbing in the back by someone they trusted the most (yes Eimarille I’m lookin at you!).
Whether those beliefs turn out to be true remains to be seen in the final instalment of this exceptionally good piece of fantasy steampunk.
The action picks up almost from the moment book one ended and readers hoping for some news of Nathaniel will get their wish, though there will be no spoilers here.
With consummate skill, Hailey takes the reader through multiple viewpoints as we catch up with what is happening in each of the major arenas of action. Vanya and Soren are still dealing with duplicitous Houses in Solaria, Caris is on the run, with Blaine and Honovi separated as a result of what goes down in the opening chapters here.
As the book progresses not only do tensions arise between some of the romantic pairings at the heart of this story, but also between Caris and those seeking to influence her future. This leads the reader to have both empathy and also frustration with where this part of the narrative is driving things but also to recognise that the Star Gods set each of these characters on their paths and woe betide anyone who tries to change that.
We also get further insight into the devious plans of the now Queen of Daijal and her sights are firmly set on the Ashion throne with manipulations going all both secretively and out in the open.
In Book One I wasn’t sure whether I admired Eimarille’s determination to get what she considers her birth right. In Book Two I’m no longer on the fence, I want this woman to suffer the greatest of epic downfalls ever written! I want her to lose everything she’s ever valued, I want her to feel the most pain imaginable and I want her to crash and burn – hopefully literally – in the ruined embers of her ambition.
So, there’s that!
As for the rest, again no spoilers, let’s just say I have my eyes on you Hailey 😁and the final book in this exceptional trilogy – The Queen’s Starfire Throne – has got a lot of putting right to get through!
Did this book deliver on its promise as the middle one in a trilogy? Hell yes and then some. It takes you right into the action, it brings you close to those who are most in danger, it makes you want to scream and it makes you want to cry.
The emotional rollercoaster Hailey put me on with this book is the very reason why fantasy will always be my number one genre to read.
Now bring on the final battle!
#ARC kindly received from the author via Valentine PR in return for an honest and unbiased review
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