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ARC Review: The Bone Shard Emperor by Andrea Stewart


The Emperor is dead. Long live the Emperor.  

Lin Sukai finally sits on the throne she won at so much cost, but her struggles are only just beginning. Her people don’t trust her. Her political alliances are weak. And in the northeast of the Empire, a rebel army of constructs is gathering, its leader determined to take the throne by force.  

Yet an even greater threat is on the horizon, for the Alanga – the powerful magicians of legend – have returned to the Empire. They claim they come in peace, and Lin will need their help in order to defeat the rebels and restore peace.  

But can she trust them?


The Bone Shard Emperor is the second book in The Drowning Empire trilogy.  Lin is now Emperor and battling with all the pitfalls that brings as well as the fact none of her subjects trust her.  The writing is good, very descriptive and the world is fabulous.  The main problem for me is the pacing, it is unbearably slow for the first two-thirds of the book, it meanders and seems to lose it’s way and I really did struggle to get through this part of the storyline.  It was difficult to get to grips with the plot and to keep track of the different characters’ points of view.  Thankfully, the pace picked up for the remaining third of the book, it built up beautifully to the explosive battle scene with a few little twists along the way.  This later part of the book was action-packed, gripping and hugely entertaining and had it not been for these scenes my rating would have been lower.  

The romance is kept to a minimum and I was actually rooting for Ranami and Phalue’s relationship rather than that of the two main characters.  The introduction of Ayesh was an interesting turn of events, the ending hints that we may possibly be seeing more of this youngster and I’m really looking forward to learning more about her back history.  The Ossalen (or familiars) Mephi, Thrana and poor little Lozhi are wonderful side kicks to the Alanga, they are a complete mystery and you can’t help but think they have a hidden secret or agenda.  

The world continues to be extremely intriguing, revealing more Alanga folk and their magic system and the bone shard magic system is as unique and fascinating.  The bone shard constructs add lots of drama and the mystery of the more sinking islands is completely puzzling.  It ends rather abruptly but could be a turning point for an interesting new character dynamic in the final instalment.  I’m looking forward to seeing what the final book brings us.

Publisher:  Orbit
Publication Date (UK):  25 November 2021
Series:  The Drowning Empire #2
Format:  eARC/eBook
Page Count:  571
Genre:  Fantasy
Rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thank you to the publisher for the gifted advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

I hope you enjoyed this review.  For my current reads, recommendations and anything else book related, please follow me on Instagram , Goodreads or Twitter

Please do not hesitate to comment below if you liked my review or have any comments about this book 😊 

Happy reading!


Twisted in Pages Blog


Published by twistedinpages

Reader • Reviewer • Blogger

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