Monday, 13 October 2014

Review: Empire of Shadows by Miriam Forster

Title: Empire of Shadows (Bhinian Empire #2)
Author: Miriam Forster

Release date: November 4th 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: eARC
Pages: 339

Source: Edelweiss

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?

Empire of Shadows will take readers on a spellbinding journey into the world Miriam Forster first introduced in City of a Thousand Dolls—a world with a divided society, deadly courtiers, heroic traitors, and deeply laid conspiracies.

Empire of Shadows is a companion to City of a Thousand Dolls, but I think it'd be better to call it a prequel. If you've read the previous book and remember things about it, I'm sure you'll know exactly who this book is about. I was thrilled as soon as I started reading, because the names clicked immediately! And that got me even more excited.

Mara is a Sune, a shape-shifting human. We came across these first in City of a Thousand Dolls, with the spotted cats. Well, Mara is bigger and way more terrifying than them! Anyway, she's been cast out because of something she did, something she's not proud of. And she decides to join the Order of Khatar, for people who want to regain lost honour. When her decisions lead her to the Imperial Palace itself, she finds that there's way more danger lurking around than she'd realized.

I loved Mara, she was perfect and flawed and though that makes no sense, you'll get it when you read the book. She's strong, she's tough, and she's also so very kind-hearted. I loved her first interaction with Emil, the boy she keeps running into, and that started a light but powerful romance that I know carries on forever.

Emil was just as amazing. He's a part of the Kildi tribe, and is being groomed to be leader. Except that he doesn't want to be. His twin brother is exceedingly jealous of him anyway, and when his rashness leads him into trouble, Emil goes after him. Which of course leads him to the Imperial Palace as well, where Mara is.

This book is fantastic - everything about it. I loved seeing Esmer again, and she plays a big role in this, which was awesome. And the whole world-building, the stories, the magic... it's all brilliant. No wonder I loved this more than the first book!

There's lots of danger infused throughout, which keeps the story going. And though Mara is primarily looking for someone she can 'pledge' to, someone she can swear to protect forever as she needs to as someone from the Order, she's also on a self-discovering journey. Mara has ghosts in her past that she can't get rid of, but maybe she doesn't have to. She learns to embrace who she is, and who she's always been. And that's a great message that Empire of Shadows tells us.

I've already fallen in love with this world, and I desperately want more! Be it the rest of Nisha's story, or something that tells us what happens to Mara and Emil after this, because though I know the general story, I want details! For those of you who don't remember much from the previous book, the end will come as a shocker to you! And a very good one at that. But I'd recommend a reread of City of a Thousand Dolls, because I think you'd want to know as much as you can while reading this.

I feel like nothing I say can live up to how amazing this book is and how much I loved it. Just read it! It'll blow your mind with its beauty. Since it's a companion, you don't even have to read the first one - though I'd say you should. I found Empire of Shadows more enjoyable, though. Gosh, I want to read this over and over, I loved it that much!

*Thank you to HarperCollins for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 5/5


  1. I haven't read City of Thousand Dolls but I'm glad you enjoyed this novella. It'll probably help me if I read this first, eh?

  2. I really need to read City Of Thousand Dolls, it sounds like my kind of book! Awesome review!
    -Jon from Bookish Antics!


Thank you so much for stopping by my blog! I love reading your comments :) Make sure to link your blog (if you have one) so I can visit you back!