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The Emperor's Edge (The Emperor's Edge #1)

4.03  ·  Rating Details ·  8,899 Ratings  ·  1,001 Reviews
Don't miss out on the best-selling Emperor's Edge series (2013 Goodreads Choice Awards Nominee).

The adventure starts here...

Imperial law enforcer Amaranthe Lokdon is good at her job: she can deter thieves and pacify thugs, if not with a blade, then by toppling an eight-foot pile of coffee canisters onto their heads. But when ravaged bodies show up on the waterfront, an ars
Kindle Edition, 324 pages
Published December 22nd 2010
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Jackie Duarte I believe the series starts her at 25? it mentioned it pretty early on in the book.
Maren Very slow building over the course of the series and it's perfect. Ms. Buroker is very good with uh, sexual tension, without being explicit. Under…moreVery slow building over the course of the series and it's perfect. Ms. Buroker is very good with uh, sexual tension, without being explicit. Under this name, anyway. :-)(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Nov 16, 2015 Bookwraiths rated it it was ok
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths Reviews

After all my friends had positive things to say about The Emperor’s Edge, I decided to give it a try. Any novel that was described as “one of the bright stars of fantasy self-published fare” was something I had to read. (For those who were wondering, one of my friends used that description.)

Well, after finishing this one, I can understand why so many people adore Lindsay Buroker’s steampunk fantasy epic. However, the fun, campiness of the tale underwhel
Megan Baxter
May 19, 2014 Megan Baxter rated it liked it
Remember when I was writing, just yesterday, how a lot of fantasy had started to blur together? How I'd read some perfectly competent works that just didn't have their own unique voice - there wasn't anything wrong with them, per se, there just wasn't enough right? This was one of the books I was thinking of.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read th
Jul 11, 2013 Willow rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, steampunk
The Emperor’s Edge is a fun fantasy book. It’s about intrepid, law enforcer, Amaranthe Lokdon, who manages to get on the wrong side of the law (where she definitely doesn’t want to be) when she uncovers a plot against the Emperor. This turns her world upside-down and brings her into contact with all kinds of shady characters.

I liked Amaranthe. She’s sort of like a female Dudley Do Right only much smarter and more inventive, but with all the same noble intentions. And I liked her band of crimina
Aug 04, 2012 Hannah rated it really liked it
I can't believe that such a good book is available for free, but there it is! The Emperor's Edge is a ripping good adventure set in a fantasy world that reminds me faintly of Ancient Rome, but with a light steampunk flavour and plenty of action.

Amaranthe Lokdon, female enforcer, is thrust into more adventure than she had ever wanted when she stumbles upon a plot against the young emperor and becomes the target of the plotters. On the run, she slowly forms a team of outcasts and create a plan to
Brittney ~ Her Bookish Things
3.5 Perhaps? So this was quite fun- and i'll definitely be returning to the series (quite soon) - but there were some definite issue with the writing/world-building that are hard to overlook. Regardless, I enjoyed myself.

The Characters [were awesome]..

Let's start with Amaranthe, the MC. She's quite likable and relatable. She's a little too smart and righteous for her own good- and I wish I knew more of what makes her so noble. Even still, she's funny and enjoyable, although her thought ramblings
From my blog at

Three and a half stars.

2013 ended with a bang; a number of highly recommended books made it to the top of my list and gave a wonderful finish to the year. (Humans of New York, Zoo City, Alif the Unseen, Shipbreaker, and Stray Souls, in case you are wondering). The end of 2014 has been slightly more toward median range with books that entertained–but missed the wow factor. The Emperor’s Edge is one of those that just missed the high bar. Whi
Re-read count: Very Many

So I was trying to think of how I first found out about this series, but I can't remember. All I know is that I was going through an obsessive assassin phase at the time (what, that's not normal?) and I came across this book somehow. And it was awesome.

And yeah, I'm sure it has its share of problems, but this was one of my very first indie series loves and I REALLY love it. So if there are any faults, I am completely blind to it as I am apt to be sometimes when love is in
Jul 23, 2016 Ashley rated it really liked it
Recommended to Ashley by: Megan Krogh
Shelves: 2016-favorites
4.25 stars!

First off, thanks a million to Megan for recommending this hidden gem to me!!! Where do I begin? This book is not perfect by no means, it's just so damn fun to read. The world building was relatively lacking, occasionally a random holiday, event, or country would be mentioned and I would have no clue the importance of it, but that never bothered me because I was constantly thrilled and guessing what was coming next. Honestly, when books like this are so entertaining, the world buildin
May 27, 2015 Mei rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I enjoy immensely a good fantasy read and this is one very easy to like!

There's everything, the nice world building, interesting story line, a strong heroine, an intriguing assasin/hero, great secondary charaters, witty dialogue: what's not to like? :)

I'm jumping on the next! :)

I forgot to say that the romance is absent here... there's a tentative attraction from heroine's part, but that's it! :)
Jul 15, 2012 Tim rated it liked it
This book was recommended by my wife, and it's easy to see why. The Emperor's Edge is clearly written for women, not so much because of its strong female protagonist, but because the details that are embellished upon cater to (heterosexual) women. Having just finished the Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson, I am in a good position to elaborate on what I mean, before continuing with my mostly positive review.

In Mistborn, a street urchin named Vin is recruited for a caper and trained to play the
Sherwood Smith
The two outstanding features are the voice, and Amaranthe, one of the most fun heroines I've met this year. Initially a low-ranking enforcer (cop) for an empire that doesn't encourage women to take up weapons, Amaranthe finds herself turfed summarily out, but before long she is up to her neck in plots, action, chases, along the way introducing the reader to a colorful cast of characters whom you hope will survive long enough to bond into a team.

The world is painted in broad strokes, which is suf
Snarktastic Sonja
Oct 10, 2014 Snarktastic Sonja rated it really liked it
I really struggled with the rating for this book. I have my own little criteria for how many stars I give to books, but I wanted to add 1 to this book - because it was free. But, in the end, I had to be true to my system. I was able to put down this book - the action frequently lulled - but I sure wanted to return to spend time with this little band of characters.

The heroine, Amaranthe, is quite unlike your typical heroine. She is not snarky. She does not kick butt. She is just honorable. And t
Sep 18, 2013 Anachronist rated it it was ok
My impression:

A high fantasy novel with steampunk elements, featuring an intrepid female protagonist and a stone-faced, ninja-like assassin who simply have to work together and can’t help liking each other more and more – what can go wrong? Add to that a handful of colourful secondary characters: an elderly professor, drowning his sorrows in wine, a handsome and vain swordsman, a surly street rat dabbing in magic, a young and idealistic emperor who, living in a splendid isolation, is being slowl
Lala_Loopsie [fire breathing B!tch Queen]
Rating:...4.5 stars. (I know i'm a b*tch for not giving it 5, but deal with it)

For those of you who haven't read this cool book, please read!

I'm a b*tch for various reasons, one stated above, another one, i'll whatever the hell i want and it'll be short.

1......... The book is awesome. I loved it. I almost went to bed late to start the next book, emphasis on the almost. I need sleep.

2......The characters were a CLAH bunch (Cackle Like A Hen). An unseemly group of individuals, all here for diff
Sep 25, 2013 Dorian rated it really liked it
Shelves: other-ebooks
I saw this recommended somewhere, and when I checked Amazon it was free (and at time of writing still is, so I recommend snapping it up!), so I gave it a go, and I'm very glad I did.

Our heroine, Amaranthe, is at the start of a book an enforcer - what her world calls a police officer. A chance encounter with her Emperor, however, has a most chaotic effect on her life, and soon she's organising a distinctly rag-tag bunch of misfits (I'm sure this ought to be an OMT) to foil a plot against the Empe
Erin Kathleen
This. This was SO FUN.

SO fun, I tell you! Please read this! Everyone! Unless you're a 14 year old who really likes SJM's writing style that has nothing to do with anything except for pecs and whiney heroines, then you really won't love this book about an empowering female who has a witty, fun personality.

I really needed a break from the dreadfully boring, unrealistic world of YA fantasies. And thank GOD I found The Emperor's Edge. How is such a wonderful book FREE?! I'm a lucky girl.

The charact
Melissa McShane
Aug 27, 2015 Melissa McShane rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
I really enjoyed this book. I loved Amaranthe. She's competent and clever, but not so powerful that she doesn't fail at things or need help from people. I also liked the team she put together through extortion, bribery and manipulation that ended up actually being a team. And I like her relationship with the assassin Sicarius that may or may not end up romantic, but is definitely one of equals--something I think she needs. The counterfeiting plot to ruin the Empire struck me as a little too pat, ...more
Fast paced and fun steampunk-ish novel featuring a ragtag group of misfits trying - and failing - and trying again to overthrow an evil plot against the emperor. And it's FREE!

Some of the plot devices veered toward ridiculous and completely unbelivable, but the breakneck pace keeps the reader from thinking about it too much. And I can't believe I'm writing this, but it could've used more explanations and descriptions.

I deliberated over giving it a 3 or a 4 star rating, but in the end the fun fac
Jan 20, 2012 Ann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Emperor's Edge is a fast-paced, character-driven page-turner which -- together with the related short story collection Ice Cracker II and EEs just published sequel Dark Currents -- literally gobbled up my last weekend, including the nights.

The imaginative - and neatly anal-retentive - female (former) police officer Amaranthe and the taciturn, mono-if not no-syllabic (not-quite-former) assassin Sicarius (yes, the one from Encrypted, but as a grown man now!) are an irresistible composition.

Jul 14, 2013 Ian rated it really liked it
Recommended to Ian by: cEe beE
Amaranth is an Imperial Enforcer in a world where women are not considered capable of the job. She is routinely passed over for promotions and finds herself doing crowd control and cleaning up rather than investigating crimes. So when she is recruited for a special assignment to trap and kill the notorious assassin Sicarius, she thinks she is finally getting some long overdue recognition.

But what she discovers is deep-seated corruption, and collusion between powerful business people and those e
Tricia Mingerink
Feb 22, 2016 Tricia Mingerink rated it liked it
I really wish I could give this book a higher rating. The plot is amazing. I love the characters. I read this book in a little over a day because the tension is so high.

But...this is a secular, adult fantasy. The morals aren't exactly great. There are A LOT of sexual innuendos. And a bunch of blatant references to sex. One character has no sense of modesty, so there are some instances of nudity and almost nudity. For all that, the book didn't contain any graphic descriptions nor were any bedroo
 Simply Sam ツ
***3.5-ish Stars***
I really liked this one except when I didn't. Does that make sense? The lack of other female characters and the characterization of her as a female really ticked me off at times. I loved Sicarius. Leave it to the psychopath to save the book. RTC. Maybe.
Pauline Ross
Apr 24, 2012 Pauline Ross rated it really liked it
I was bouncing around websites looking at reviews for something else when I tripped over this. It was free, it had good reviews, it sounded intriguing - a female enforcer (cop) in a steam-punk fantasy setting - so I downloaded the sample, and just kept reading. It's not deep, but it's pacy, funny and has interesting characters, and sometimes that's just what I'm in the mood for.

I've never read anything steam-punk before, but it was well done. The setting felt perfectly believable, with steam-pow
May 14, 2012 Tiffany rated it it was amazing
I picked this up as a bargain recommendation from Amazon for my Kindle, and OMG what an amazing recommendation it turned out to be. I was instantly entranced with Amaranthe and her mercenaries, and smitten with Sicarius in particular. I enjoyed book 1 so much that I have purchased and read the entire 4 books in the series over the last 5 days, and am eagerly and impatiently awaiting the publication of book 5. I have even downloaded the Goblin Brothers book and am reading it to my son. Ms. ...more
Aug 30, 2012 Michelle rated it liked it
One of the pleasure's of having a partner who is an avid reader is that books appear in my life without any effort on my part. This book started slowly for me, and I nearly set it aside before the end of the first chapter. The plot, the characters from central casting (mysterious super-skilled assasin--check; older scholarly type full of just the right piece of information when needed--check; vain and shallow stud with heart of gold beneath--check; kickass woman with gift of gab--check; sullen ...more
Douglas Meeks
Jun 13, 2012 Douglas Meeks rated it it was amazing
The Emperor's Edge (The Emperor's Edge #1)The Emperor's Edge by Lindsay Buroker

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I finished The Emperor's Edge and it was great! I love being surprised by a book (especially a free one). The story is a good cross of UF/steampunk and fantasy. Unfortunately, it seems that any romance will be teased along until one of the later book but this one ended with a decent resolution with a touch left over to hook you into the next book, this is a pretty solid 4.5 Star read if you love the wizard/warrior fantasy type books. T
✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)
This first instalment in The Emperor’s Edge series is entertaining and fun but is quite lacking in terms of world building. It isn’t clear what kind of world the characters evolve in as there are elements of fantasy, magic and steampunk, with some kind of caste system thrown in. Somehow the setting also made me think of Ancient Rome. This was a bit unsettling at first but it didn’t bother me that much after the main characters where introduced and I really got into the story.

The characters are t
Apr 28, 2012 Hallie rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I seem to be having problems with the review for this - either GR returns the status to 'currently reading' or marks it as read and chews up my review (such as it was). Here's what I wrote before, anyway:

I liked this a lot - it might not be the most ground-breaking of stories (might be too, for all I know), but the characters are engaging, and there's nothing annoying to bounce you out of the action. I especially like Amaranthe, and her ability to compensate for not being the strongest fighter b
Jacob Proffitt
May 29, 2013 Jacob Proffitt rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I wish I had reviewed this one closer to actually finishing. Short take: I thoroughly enjoyed the story. The heroine was a great example of organization and empathy and a willingness to improvise overcoming great obstacles. This was wonderfully contrasted to her pal, Sicarius, who has a much more... direct... approach to things. Seeing them interact and leverage each other for their complementary strengths was entertaining. Seeing them develop an appreciation for each other that may turn to the ...more
Jan 05, 2015 Feminista rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Your dream cast for Emperor's Edge series? 2 48 Apr 23, 2016 03:35AM  
Sci-Fi & Fantasy ...: May/June 2015 Group Read: The Emperor's Edge 5 20 Jun 21, 2015 04:52PM  
Fringe Fiction: The Emperor's Edge, Lindsay Buroker 2 15 Dec 01, 2014 11:35PM  
Indie Book Club: Steampunk BOTM: Emperor's Edge 21 100 Dec 26, 2013 03:51PM  
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I'm a professional blogger by day and an indie fantasy author by night. Evenings belong to the dogs, tennis, and books.
More about Lindsay Buroker...

Other Books in the Series

The Emperor's Edge (9 books)
  • Dark Currents (The Emperor's Edge, #2)
  • Deadly Games (The Emperor's Edge, #3)
  • Conspiracy (The Emperor's Edge, #4)
  • Blood and Betrayal (The Emperor's Edge, #5)
  • Forged in Blood I (The Emperor's Edge, #6)
  • Forged in Blood II (The Emperor's Edge, #7)
  • Republic (The Emperor's Edge, #8)
  • Diplomats and Fugitives (The Emperor's Edge, #9)

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“Trust me, I never underestimate my charm or any of my other magnificent attributes. They work great on women. Alas, men tend to see me as an unwelcome rival. You, he might listen to. You're good at talking people into things."

"What makes you say that?"

"Because I'm perched in the rafters of a cannery, at risk from a man-slaying magical creature, and spending time with a drunk, a gangster, and an assassin at . . . what time is it?”
“I didn’t faint, I passed out in a manly way,” Sespian muttered.” 30 likes
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