Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Rating: 4/5 stars
Category: YA, fantasy, romance
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In an empire on the brink of war…
Ahn is no one, with no past and no family.
Altan is a lost heir, his future stolen away as a child.
When they meet, Altan sees in Ahn a path to reclaiming the throne. Ahn sees a way to finally unlock her past and understand her arcane magical abilities.
But they may have to pay a far deadlier price than either could have imagined.
Altan is the son of the late Emperor and the rightful heir to the Dragon throne, but his uncle murdered his father for the throne and sent assassins after his mother, sister and him. At a young age, he loses everyone that matters to him and his birthright. He was rescued and trained to use his magic in a land far from his Kingdom. The Empire of Shi is not tolerant to people with magic, if they are not priests (the only ones allowed to have magic, and it has to be fire) under the new Emperor’s rule but the Emperor (Altan’s uncle) is now dead and the Empire is in mourning. Altan is back to look for the Jade sword and restore the right order to his Empire but the sword he is looking for only responds to the life stealer.
Ahn is the life stealer but she has no memories and for fear of the priests she has been suppressing her magic, until she kills two mercenaries when under threat for her safety which brings the priests to her door. Ahn is reunited with her father, whom she doesn’t remember much of and she meets Altan. They have a connection that is electric but their purposes are contrasting with each other. What happens when they fall in love with each other but their goals are at cross purposes? Will Altan give up revenge and his throne for Ahn? Will Ahn resist the pull of evil and keep away from the mistakes of Altan’s great-grand father (the previous life stealer)?
We read from Altan and Ahn’s POV which I love. And the illustrations in the middle of the book were beautiful. This book is giving me serious wuxia Chinese drama vibes. The descriptions in the book of the Shi Empire were so vivid and exceptional. I loved the way it ended as well. The epilogue gives infinite possibilities but I hope this is a standalone and not a series because it ended beautifully and I loved the sense of a continuation of a story that doesn’t need to be told.
I gave 4 out of 5 stars because the sceneries were so excellently described that I felt I was watching it as a drama. I loved how full of Chinese culture it was even with the fantastical elements, the inspiration was not lost. I would recommend this to people who love watching historical Chinese drama with fantastical themes because this book will give them the same feeling.
If you like this review and are interested in reading this book, you can purchase it using the links below:
Waterstones (UK) – https://tidd.ly/3prSyR7
Book depository (Free worldwide shipping) – https://tidd.ly/3FvdFrh
Audible (audio books) – https://tidd.ly/3EtH3gz
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