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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

... court intrigue and a bridal candidate

The Emperor's Arrow by Lauren D.M. Smith

For a moment I thought I wandered through familiar territory. I was wrong. This is an interesting departure from the warrior woman story, with shades of Terun Edun and Sarah Maas. The central character Evony of Aureline doesn't become a warrior woman despite the opinion of her society, she is one because she comes from a clan of warrior women, she is an Amazzi warrior. 
(Ok very close to Amazons but there you go--a small shrug of the shoulders!)
The Amazzi, unlike the rest of the satellite rulers are allies to the Fuscienne family from before they became Emperors. Emperor Galen is the Adnuhom (the man the Amazzi bow to). They are his arrows, his personal army.
Having won a competition amongst the Amazzi clans, Evony is sent to Emperor Galen's court. To her dismay Evony finds herself being presented as a candidate with other highborn women of the realm to be the Emperor's bride. (A fact her hilarious sisters had failed to notify her about!)
Of course Evony is startling different to the other contestants from the get go and sorely puzzled by the attributes her competitors see as desirable. Evony is happy to breed a child, but life at court is not for her. She has the freedom of a warrior. Indeed Emperor Galen finds he has bitten off more than he can chew with this particular candidate. Evony becomes involved in the court intrigue, searching for a traitor in their midst at Galen's behest. In doing so she and Galen come to know each other as comrades in arms and so much more.

 A NetGalley ARC 


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