Publication date: 7 June 2022

Rating: 4/5 stars

Category: YA, fantasy, romance, action

Pages: 765

Publisher: Hot Key Books

Source: Netgalley

Trigger: None

Hello Readers, welcome back to my blog.

Empress Crowned in Red by Ciannon Smart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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The Doyenne is dead, and the throne is empty.

Iraya, her revenge taken and magic unfettered, turns her sights on a bigger goal: freeing Aiyca for the Obeah. But first she must shed the guise of the rogue warrior and become the Lost Empress her people need.

Jazmyne has crowned herself the doyenne and is prepared to go to extreme lengths—and court ruthless danger—to prove to her people she deserves the throne.

But there is more at stake than Jazmyne or Iraya know: a new threat is awakening on the other side of the island that could destroy everything they’ve been fighting for.

Trust is scarce, and betrayal a breath away. But Iraya and Jazmine once again find themselves turning to each other—after all, better the witch you know than the nightmare you don’t.


The Doyenne is dead Jazmyne is now regent, not Doyenne because she hasn’t inherited her ancestor’s magic yet, and the Unlit have declared their intentions for war against Aiyca. Deceit and double-crosses are the norms among allies. The island that Jazmyne wants to rule is divided into groups and they all have agendas that do not align with each other, Jazmyne needs to find common ground with all the factions at play to protect Aiyca. Iraya is a wild card, as usual, it is never clear what her intentions are until the last minute and even when they are clear, she adapts very quickly to situations which makes her unpredictable.

Jazmyne remains in Aiyca to keep the Unlit from taking the entire island, without magic to aid her. The job she has to do is very political. Those with magic are very powerful and what’s to stop them from challenging a magicless witch who seeks to rule them? Despite this view, Jazmyne is determined to prove those who undermine her wrong. While she does all she can to keep Aiyca from falling to the Unlit, Iraya is out seeking an army of her own. Iraya needs an army that will help her and Jazmyne defeat the unlit and their monsters but when she follows Kirdan to his home, there is a lot she has to deal with that are unexpected. The first of which are Kidan’s scheming uncles and his spiteful sisters.

I gave 4 out of 5 stars. I missed Iraya and her sassy attitude and speech. And the most growth prize goes to Jazmyne, she had the most ups and downs of all the characters, she lost her way and found it several times. The betrayals that happened has me spinning and gasping. You are lured into a false sense of security and then the rug is pulled from under your feet over and over again. It is a dizzying feeling to not know what to expect and expect the worst. I have one question (why do some rulers think that fear equates to respect?). I loved the end, two ladies who will never like each other but who can grow and evolve together. This is the kind of female empowerment story I like to read, if they are petty it is not for a man and if they stab each other in the back, it is for power, not a man. A balanced matriarchal society where men are not subjugated but women are the clear rulers by design.

 If you like this review and are interested in reading this book, you can pre-order it using the links below:

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Luke 12:6-7  – “What is the price of five sparrows – two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.

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