My November TBR went from finishing up my October reads to sci-fi reads courtesy of my local library. One such book I picked up while being ditched on a boba date was Emperess of a Thousand skies by Rhoda Belleza. The title alone already had me intrigued.
Empress of a Thousand Skies tells the Story of Princess Rhiannon Ta’an, the last surviving member of the royal family in her galaxy. Rhee is heading off to her coronation ceremony when things go wrong and someone, she thought she trusted turns on her. With the help of a random stranger, Rhee survives her assassination attempt. This leaves Rhee pissed. Rhee, now set on revenge on the person who killed her family and attempted to take her life, is determined to make them pay.
Alyosha is the star of a popular reality show all about him and his friend Vincent, as soldiers in space. Aly also happens to be a war refugee, although, due to the prejudices against these refugees, he keeps this part of himself hidden. After Princess Rhiannon’s assassination attempt, word spreads across the galaxy that the Princess is dead, and the assassin is none other than holostar Alyosha. Even though it was Rhee’s father who signed the peace treaty that ended the war, Aly becomes known as a violent war refugee. Aly has no choice but to go into hiding until he has the chance to clear his name.
Both Aly and Rhee must take out the person who wronged them, but they can only do that if they link up.
My biggest issue with this book is that Aly and Rhee could have got a lot of things done if they met up together, which seems likely once you read the synopsis of this book, but they don’t. That’s right, the two main protagonists never meet, despite being on the same planet at the same time and in the same place.
That is the most frustrating part. I expected Aly and Rhee to meet, and fall in love, you know the typical romance plot. Instead, a new character is introduced towards the end of this book and becomes Aly’s love interest.
That doesn’t sound too bad, but this new rando character is seemingly the most important person in this book, and she doesn’t even get a POV chapter like the other two protagonists.
However, let’s put aside my issues with the plot for a second. Another big issue I had with this book is that the characters are kind of boring. I was interested in both of their stories in the beginning, but towards the middle of this book, I lost interest. I think that was mainly because this story is more plot driven than a character study.
I wanted to like this novel, it has all the elements I could ever ask for in a sci-fi space opera: POC characters, kickass heroine, and a pinch of Star Wars realness. This novel delivered on all the above, the political elements and Rhee’s drive for the crown was reminiscent of Game of Thrones. However, I just could not get behind this novel, and I wanted to quit multiple times. The last chapter of this book gave me some hope for the future of this series, but given my feelings, after reading the first installment, I don’t see myself continuing with this series.
My Review 2.5 stars
Until next time friends continue living in libros,