Title: Empire of Night
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Genre: YA Fantasy
Series: Age of Legends (Book #2)
Publication Date: March 8, 2016
Format: Hardcover, 448 Pages
ISBN-10: 0062071289 (HarperTeen)
ISBN-13: 978-0062071286 (HarperTeen)
Reviewed by: Kaitlin
SISTERS MORIA AND ASHYN ARE THE KEEPER AND SEEKER OF EDGEWOOD.
OR AT LEAST, THEY WERE. Their village is gone. Their friends have betrayed them. And now, they are all but prisoners in court, forced to watch and wait while the Emperor decides whether to help the children of Edgewood, who remain hostages of the treacherous Alvar Kitsune.
But when the emperor finally sends the girls on a mission to rescue the children – accompanied by Prince Tyrus and a small band of men – the journey proves more perilous than any of them could have imagined. With lies and unrest mounting in the empire, Moria and Ashyn will have to draw on every bit of influence and power they possess to unite their people and avert an all-out war.
Quick & Dirty: An excellent, pulse-racing installment to the series.
Opening Sentence: In retrospect, Moria should not have pulled her dagger when she was attempting to pass through the imperial city unnoticed.
Moria and Ashlyn, Keeper and Seeker of Edgewood, have returned. This time they don’t have to only deal with angry spirits, but they have to rescue a whole village of kidnapped children and defeat a tyrannical sorcerer, all while juggling their own problems. Their enemies are not always visible, and snaking through the perilous political gossip of court will be a challenge of its own…
The first novel of this series for me was alright. Fine, not brilliant, but good. I picked this up wondering how it was going to fall on the spectrum for me – higher or lower than it’s previous installment – and ended up being pleasantly surprised. I will admit it took a little bit to get into this one, and there was a decent stretch towards the beginning where I was bored, but once it picked up I was hooked, racing through not only this one but the next within a few days. You definitely need to read the first to understand this one, and I had read it so long ago I needed to do a quick reread/skim of the first novel to understand what was happening in the next.
Both sisters are badass in their own rights. Moria is the typical girl-turned-warrior, with her edgy, bold personality that turns heads. She has a sharp tongue and wits that keep the book interesting. Ashlyn is more shy, more reserved. She’s still a powerful girl, but she is the opposite of her twin in many ways, and helps to moderate Moria when her brashness gets them into situations less than favorable. I enjoyed them both for their flaws and their strengths, and found I could see growth throughout the book as they developed. Although, they never lost theirselves or the spunk that made them interesting in the first place!
The boys, the romances, caught me off guard. I was awfully worried about a love triangle, which aren’t my favorite, and was relieved about the absence of a big one. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some sexual tension and questions in our characters minds, but it doesn’t distract from the most pressing plot points or occupy most of the pages. I liked how the romances worked out a lot, actually. Not too fast, not too slow, and I found myself actively supporting both couples.
The book had a wonderful atmospheric tone that spoke of clashing kingdoms and rising magic. I love it when authors can create dialogue that sounds straight out of the time period and setting they are trying to convey, and Armstrong nailed it, right along with her glowing imagery and the gorgeous sensory experience she crafted with her keyboard. There was no lack of tension, suspense, or even romance in this story; the chapters also alternated between Moria and her sister, but I found that I was always hooked to both of their stories. Reading through the pages now, trying to get a grip on what kind of review to write, I only find a longing to reread. Definitely would recommend.
“Do you love him?” Guin asked as they rode.
Ashlyn started to say an abrupt know, then stopped herself and said instead, “That’s a complicated question.”
“No, it isn’t. You do or you don’t. It’s that simple.”
“It is?” Ashlyn looked at the young woman. “I used to think so. I’m not sure anymore. It isn’t like lighting a candle, which either catches or it doesn’t. It’s like trying to light a fire. Sometimes you get a spark and you aren’t sure if it’s enough. It might start the fire. Or it might just sputter out.”
Age of Legends Series:
FTC Advisory: HarperTeen/EpicReads provided me with a copy of Empire of Night. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.