Saturday, November 15, 2014

Empire of Shadows by Miriam Forster

Published: November 4th, 2014
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 496
Copy: Edelweiss
Summary: Goodreads

Cast out of her family three years ago, Mara turned to the only place that would take her—a school where students train to protect others. But Mara is stunned when guarding a noble girl in the Empire’s capital turns out to be more dangerous than she could’ve imagined. More shocking still, she finds the boy she thought she had lost forever outside the gates of her new home.

Mara knew her life in the dizzying Imperial city would hold dangers. How could she have known that her heart, as well as her life, would be at stake?

Empire of Shadows will take readers on a spellbinding journey into the world Miriam Forster first introduced in City of a Thousand Dolls—a world with a divided society, deadly courtiers, heroic traitors, and deeply laid conspiracies.


I try very hard not to read too much about books that I have received ARC's for.  Sometimes I find it distracting and I go into the book with somewhat pre-conceived ideas about the story.  When I started Empire of Shadows, I really had read very little at all about it, and I could not remember what it was that had induced me to request the ARC.  As I was reading I kept thinking it reminded me very much of something else I had read and some of the characters names rang bells, but I couldn't pin anything down.

Cue the last 2 or 3 pages and it suddenly all made sense when Mara ends up at the City of a Thousand Dolls - as in the book by the same name, and as it turns out, by the same author.  I had a hilarious DUH! moment and had a good laugh at myself.  You see, Empire of Shadows is a prequel to City of a Thousand Dolls (as I'm sure you are already aware) and tells the story of the background characters from that book - yep, that's why they sounded familiar. I swear, I didn't realize it beforehand when I kept thinking that it reminded me of that book.

I must admit though, that I enjoyed Empire of Shadows very much on its own merit.  Ms Foster has an engaging style that I find really easy to follow and her characters have a roundness to them that appeals to me.  She has developed such  a complete world that it is fun to just fall into it and follow the story to its conclusion. This should be an absolute must read for anyone who enjoyed City of a Thousand Dolls or enjoys engaging fantasy with an oriental feel to it.  This was a great read.

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