Over the years I’ve read all seven of the Emperor’s Edge series, Lindsay Buroker’s wonderful alternative universe with some elements of steampunk and other of scifi. It starts when Amaranthe is kicked out of the Emperor’s law-enforcers for something she didnt do, and has to redeem herself. She forms her own vigilante group, to give the Emperor (a young man seriously misled by his advisers) an edge against those who wish him ill (i.e. the advsiers).
At book 7, the series ostensibly ends. But the fans wanted more. Well, who wouldn’t want more of Amaranthe and the hot assasin, Sicarius. I mean if you’ve read any of my previous reviews you’ll know what an attractive pair they are.
Republic (The Emperor’s Edge #8)
by Lindsay Buroker
After the notorious outlaws Amaranthe and Sicarius helped overthrow the corrupt faction controlling the empire and brought in a great war hero to lead the nation to prosperity, they finally earned their pardons–and some time off. A tropical vacation cruising around in a private submarine? Perfect. But their trip is interrupted by a summons from the new president: they’re needed back at home. Trouble unlike anything they’ve ever dealt with threatens to destroy the capital city and throw the fledgling republic into chaos.
The follow-up to The Emperor’s Edge series, Republic takes place a few months after the events of Forged in Blood I & II. It is a complete 210,000-word novel [goodreads]
The oddest thing about this book is that it doesn’t seem anywhere near as long as the blurb indicates. It reads well, it’s an exciting plot, and I loved it. We greet old friends in new roles, or coming to terms with new roles, at any rate. Some are just looking for a new job, with ideas way above their station (or at least their talent).
There is an extremely interesting and novel danger in the water of the lake, and it is attacking the city. How can the fledging republic tackle it? By changing attitudes for starters, and a lot of this book is enhanced by the problems well-known characters are having adapting to the new reality, yet still tackling stuff they used not to be able to admit to.
I love the way Lindsay Buroker put this story together. It is brilliantly told, well fitted to the whole Emperor’s Edge world, and with great continuity. A fitting end to the saga.
Diplomats and Fugitives (The Emperor’s Edge #9)
by Lindsay Buroker
Even though Basilard is the official Mangdorian ambassador to the Turgonian Republic, he still isn’t fully trusted by his pacifist people. After he was enslaved and forced to entertain spectators in pit fights that left him scarred and mute, his kin turned their backs on him, condemning him for choosing violence. They don’t let him travel home without supervision, and he isn’t allowed to see his daughter.
When trouble arises in his homeland, a mysterious blight that could cause widespread starvation for his people, he’s invited to take several old friends to travel to his country to investigate. If Basilard can solve the problem, perhaps his people will finally realize he’s not a bad influence on his family. But unlikely obstacles stand in his way, including a strange Kendorian woman that he’s ordered to take along on the mission.
A Kendorian fugitive hiding in Turgonia, former tracker and assassin Ashara Longbow wants to start a new life, so she can sneak her children out of her country to join her in the republic. Not only is she hunted back home, but the Kendorian ambassador in Turgonia has learned she exists and wants a favor in exchange for keeping her secret. If she doesn’t help him thwart Basilard’s mission, she may never see her children again.
This is a labour of love for the author, giving the fans one more bite of the cherry, and a leading role to one of the sidekicks who maybe hasn’t had enough limelight. Well, the fans kept asking for more. I expect some Basilard fans enjoy it, but to me it seemed a desperate attempt to find another exciting story in the same universe. Even throwing Amaranthe and Sicarius in late in the plot did not save it. Nobody’s saying how long this is, but it seemed much longer….
Warning to all series authors: know when to stop. I’m taking this as a warning to me, of course.