Loved the cover on this one, reminded me a bit of the intro to Black Sails.
The emperor's reign has lasted for decades, his mastery of bone shard magic powering the animal-like constructs that maintain law and order. But now his rule is failing, and revolution is sweeping across the Empire's many islands.
Lin is the emperor's daughter and spends her days trapped in a palace of locked doors and dark secrets. When her father refuses to recognise her as heir to the throne, she vows to prove her worth by mastering the forbidden art of bone shard magic.
Yet such power carries a great cost, and when the revolution reaches the gates of the palace, Lin must decide how far she is willing to go to claim her birthright - and save her people.
Not a bad read, some nice imagery and words of wisdom:
My insides boiled like a pot ready to accept a feast of crabs. I breathed out the heat of it and kept my face cool.
The drip, drip, drip of my blood on the floorboards, like the remnants of a storm that had long since passed.
When a shark offers up a pearl, be wary of its teeth.
And some poignant moments:
Later, on nights where we'd sit on the beach and gaze at the stars, she told me that she fell in love with me on a rainy day in my mother's kitchen.
"You were helping your mother make dumplings," she'd said, her head pillowed on my shoulder. "You were quiet. For once in your life, you were quiet. And when I sat next to you to help, shoulder to shoulder, I could feel a future in that silence. You always say so many things. Always, always talking. So many stories. But it wasn't until you were silent that I could feel the truth of you beneath all the words, all the stories..."
Suitable for anyone who likes high fantasy. It reads as the set up to a series. Like most people probably did, I was expecting Sand to turn out to be Jovis's abducted love. She still might, but we'll find out in the next one, as the book ends on the brink of war.
I also had a lazy brain-fart moment. I was finding it hard to imagine Mephi, so my mind latched on to Snarf from ThunderCats, and that is what he became. I hate when your imagination hijacks you like that. It might have been something about the way the part was narrated in the audiobook.
It was a big and interesting world, though. I like the idea of islands that can migrate and change size - or completely sink. And the idea of constructs, which are artificially created beings that follow set commands.