Last year, I read City of a Thousand Dolls, the first book in the Bhinian Empire series. I flew through the book in one day. i got sucked into the splendor of an exotic and mysterious land filled with badass women and warrior cats (yeah, I said warrior cats). When the sequel dropped, I knew I had to get my hands on it. Let me tell you, I am one happy girl. I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Empire of Shadows by Miriam Forster
Publish Date: November 4th, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
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? (Goodreads)
My Bookish Likes:
The writing in this second novel is much stronger than in City of a Thousand Dolls. Forster grants the reader beautiful storytelling, as well as some single lines that just blow your mind. The world she builds isn't overwhelming, but contains enough detail that makes it lifelike and so desiring. Before each chapter the reader is given and excerpt from a cultural document that discusses various elements of the Bhinian Empire. Combined with the story telling it is all a magical journey that didn't cause me to want to put the down.
My Bookish Loves:
Mara, a Sune girl that was banished from her clan is the protagonist of this story. I fell in love with her story from page one. Strong and independent, she carries so much pain on her shoulders. As a reader, you ache for her as soon as she realizes the power she has, and how she learns to love and let other lover her in return.
This book requires no damsels being saved by men. The girls do it all on their own. Mara's friendship with Revathi takes center stage in the book, while Mara's romance with Emil is secondary. This was super refreshing to read, since many books rely so much on love. All in all, it was a beautiful and empowering read.
I absolutely loved this book! This series is definitely one you should get a jump on, as Forster's writing and storytelling seem to get better with each book. I cannot wait to see how this series grows and expands It will definitely be a beautiful journey.
I gave this book 5 stars on my Goodreads.