Although this saga consists of nine books, I decided to review the first seven separately for two reasons: first, these are the seven base books of the saga (the other two were written later) and there is an important ending in book seven; second, taking advantage of this end, I decided to read the small parallel stories that the author published since there are reference to them in the main story.
The Emperor’s Edge, a fantasy saga in the steampunk style, was a good surprise. To be honest, the first book did not please me much. It starts with a very interesting and promising plot that leads to a story of intrigue and mystery, well balanced action with psychological depth of the characters, good descriptions and lots of adventure. However, at a certain point, it became boring to me. The story is reduced to the accomplishment of the tasks necessary to put Amaranthe’s plan to help the emperor to action. Also, I didn’t bought that plan. At least I didn’t though it was much of a clever or interesting plan as I was expecting by then.
Even so, and though I did not get completely hooked on the story, the book has a kind of entertainment of its own that makes reading at least fun. There’s an ironic sense of humor in the way the characters relate and in the jokes they do that I like a lot.
In the final part, the book returns to the initial rhythm and adventure type and becomes interesting again, which is why I gave the second one a chance. It was an excellent decision!
The rest of the saga is simply fabulous! There’s constant intrigue and mystery in a cleverly created plot. It’s a saga that manages to be really fun despite the more heavier situations it includes. China Miéville said that “part of the appeal of the fantastic is to take ridiculous ideas very seriously and pretend they are not absurd.” I think Amaranthe’s plans (which excluding the first one are quite amazing) fit well into this definition, and the author is indeed able to, through the way she writes and develops the story, make us take them very seriously no matter how absurd they are. Even if the events are completely crazy, they make such a sense in this world that they have never made me question them. At the same time, the level of imagination they contain kept me constantly eager to know what the characters are going to get into next and what they will invent to deal with each event.
The ironic humor is a constant throughout the whole saga, to my great satisfaction. Another aspect I liked was how romantic relationships are introduced into the story without taking the foreground completely (let’s face it that if you wanted to read a romantic story you would not be reading a fantasy book) but being present in the natural way they affect the behaviour of the characters.
Would also like to notice how captivating the characters are. I do not think there’s a single boring character. They all are extremely interesting in their own way. In an interview, author Lindsay Buroker states that her writing is centered around the characters and the depth they have confirms it.
The plot throughout the books is very good and it’s fantastic how situations that seem non related are intertwined in the future.
In short, if you like to take ridiculous ideas very seriously and pretend they are not absurd, a story with humor involved and a plot that surprises us with situations at least improbable but that fit perfectly in the whole of history, then I advise you to read this saga. I can’t express enough in this review how much I loved it and how great it is.
Tânia Gomes | Mystic Wings
(The english translation is made by me so, if you see anything that needs correction, please let me know)
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