Encrypted, Enigma, and Decrypted are the three books in Lindsay Buroker’s Forgotten Ages series. These are set in the same world as the Emperor’s Edge, but many years earlier. I think I got one of these in a Storybundle, and the rest in a discounted Forgotten Ages box set. There are multiple copies on my Kindle, anyway.

I reviewed Encrypted in the autumn, and spread the others over the first six months of the year. They are one of two successes so far in the 2022 Finishing the Series Reading Challenge. They also provide the D and E for my Alphabet Soup Challenge.

Enigma (Forgotten Ages #1.5)

After surviving ancient booby traps, deadly puzzles, and torture-happy imperial marines, cryptanalyst Tikaya Komitopis can’t wait to return home, even if that means explaining to her family how she came to love Fleet Admiral Rias Starcrest, the empire’s most notorious commander and the man responsible for the decimation of her people during the war.

Tikaya and Rias believe they’ll have several calm weeks at sea to mull over the problem of irate citizens and horrified parents, but the ship they board is on the run. The captain has acquired a mysterious stolen artifact… and the owners want it back. When he learns of Tikaya’s background, he urges her to decode its secrets, implying her life—and everyone else’s—might be forfeit if she fails.

Engima is a 15,000-word short story set after the events in Encrypted. (goodreads)

Decrypted (Forgotten Ages #2)

Professor Tikaya Komitopis knew that bringing Admiral Rias Starcrest home to meet her family wouldn’t be easy, not when he led the fleet that decimated her nation during the war. She isn’t surprised when people believe she’s been brainwashed, that Rias is still loyal to the empire, and that he has nefarious plans for her homeland. She is, however, surprised when Rias’s designs to build a submarine lead them to stumble across an ancient secret shrouded in mystery, time, and lies.

If revealed, this secret could mean devastation for Tikaya’s entire nation. It could also mean choosing between her people… and the man she loves.

Decrypted is the sequel to Encrypted and is loosely tied in with the author’s “Emperor’s Edge” series. (goodreads)

My Review

These stories follow directly from Encrypted. Much of the internal dialogue for Tikaya is how her family and friends, indeed the whole of her country, will react to her new love. Enemy of the People. The starry-eyed innocence is probably realistic, and well done, but a little tiresome for the more grounded cynics among us. Cynics or realists?

Enigma, the novella of the journey home, is an enjoyable wheeze. It provides more twists, and explores more richness of the Forgotten Ages world. It’s a fun read. Maybe you shouldn’t choose it as an entry to Buroker’s work, but if you’re a fan, it’s great fun, and a worthy addition to the canon.

Decrypted gives Buroker terrific scope for all the things she does best: weird machines; family gatherings (and tensions); historical artefacts; development of the minutiae of her worlds, sexy hero and feisty heroine, and a great tale. All delivered in settings which you would love to explore yourself.

In general I have a preference for the fantasy side of Buroker’s writing, but the Goodreads Space Opera Group have been reading her scifi Shockwave recently, and raving about that. So maybe I should take another look at her other work. Yes, she has great strong women, and handsome, dangerous (and highly competent) heroes. But she also writes well. And prolifically. I should check some more out.

Book Review | Encrypted series by Lindsay Buroker: Enigma and Decrypted – all the things Buroker does best in settings you would love to explore yourself. #fantasy #ForgottenAges #strongfemale @GoblinWriter Share on X

Book Review | Encrypted series by Lindsay Buroker

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