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The Emperor's Edge #1

The Emperor's Edge

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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 arson covers up human sacrifices, and a powerful business coalition plots to kill the emperor, she feels a tad overwhelmed.

Worse, Sicarius, the empire's most notorious assassin, is in town. He's tied in with the chaos somehow, but Amaranthe would be a fool to cross his path. Unfortunately, her superiors order her to hunt him down. Either they have an unprecedented belief in her skills... or someone wants her dead.

324 pages, Kindle Edition

First published December 22, 2010

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About the author

Lindsay Buroker

169 books5,169 followers
I'm a full-time indie fantasy and science fiction author. When I'm not writing, I'm ferrying my dogs to hiking trails for adventures.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,487 reviews
Profile Image for Helen 2.0.
407 reviews911 followers
July 22, 2018
A solid four stars from me for this book's entertainment value. It's a fantasy/steampunk mix with a heist-like plotline that never fails to make me laugh.

The story follows Amaranthe, one of the only female "enforcers" in her empire's capital. She gets on the emperor's top adviser's nerves and ends up as a fugitive from the law, cooking up a scheme to save the emperor's life through criminal means.

Along her journey Amaranthe builds a team of enigmatic followers. This is where the book really shines. The interactions between Amaranthe and her teammates, all of whom have rather.... colorful personalities, are so damn funny.
Sicarious in particular is a riot. He is a legendary assassin who is known across the empire to have killed several platoons of soldiers - alone, at once - and nonchalantly murders anyone who crosses him. Once we meet him, he is indeed cold and murderous, but in such a dry way that humor naturally follows in his wake. Especially since his trademark response is an emotionless "Huh".
"Truly, Sicarius, if it weren't for your sinister reputation, I'd suspect you of a sense of humor."
"Huh," was all he said as he walked out the door.
It's so damn funny because you can imagine Sicarius just goes through life like
Other characters also love to comment on how quirky Sicarius can be, for a mass murderer. (Well out of his earshot, of course.) Here we have the team discussing Amaranthe's views of him:
"Remember, she thinks Sicarius is mellow."
"Mellow," Maldynado said. "Oh, sure. Throw a girl in his bed, and he'd probably start doing push-ups on her breasts."
"If we're discovered, I'll do everything I can to make time for you and the others to escape."
"Sicarius too?"
"If Sicarius is discovered, I'll have to try and make time for the
enforcers to escape."

Maldynado is a close contender for my title of Favorite Emperors Edge Shithead (FEES). He's a high-born noble, disowned by his family and working as a male escort when Amaranthe drags him into her mess. He's incredibly handsome and, in accordance, so vain he'd go mirror shopping in his free time. At one point he gets offended that Amaranthe has a bounty forty times larger than his on her head:
"Forty times?" Maldynado clasped his forehead. "That's insulting. I'm much more, er.... I'm.... Look!" He stood sideways, thrust out his chest, and flexed his biceps.
"Indeed," Amaranthe said, trying not to laugh.

Basically, the best part about this fantasy series is that it doesn't take itself or its characters too seriously. Who says you can't engage in deadly criminal ventures AND have fun at the same time? Not this book.

There are issues, of course. (heeeere we go....) Many other reviewers have pointed out the disappointing lack of female representation, as well as the incomplete and sometimes inconsistent world building. These are valid points, but, looking forward, they did not bother me so much because Lindsay Buroker has many installments left in this series to remedy those shortcomings, and because I was too busy having fun with the story to be bothered by anything.
......almost anything. I was unhappy with some of the minor characters, specifically how one-dimensional some of them were. Hollowcrest and Sespian especially could be defined in one line, with no room to deviate from the flat characterization. I wish the author had devoted more time to fleshing out those players since they do take on big roles on the field.

tl;dr: Seriously funny, light, and simple story. Give this book a go if you're looking for a fantasy/steampunk read that isn't a huge commitment.
Profile Image for Bookwraiths.
698 reviews1,066 followers
November 16, 2015
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 underwhelmed rather than charmed me.

The Emperor’s Edge begins with Amaranthe Lokdon, a woman enforcer, of Stumps, the capital of the Empire. As a female officer, she is a rarity in town (even though women are the business owners of the city) and a stickler for proper enforcer behavior, determined to rise up the chain of command so that she can change all the wrongs of the male-dominated department. One day, Amaranthe finds herself patrolling the city when she stumbles upon a crime; thereafter, she single-handedly takes into custody several “bad guys” while unbeknownst to her the young emperor watches. Thereafter, Emperor Sespian complements her for her daring-do, bides her au revoir and that is that — though he is somewhat fascinated by her.

But a single pebble can begin a massive landslide. At least it does in this novel, where the brief meeting between the young Emperor and a female police officer sends tremors through the status quo at the imperial palace. For you see, Commander of the Armies Hollowcrest has been the real power behind the young Emperor for years, viewing his young charge as a mere figurehead while he holds the true reigns of power in the Empire, and when he hears that Sespian has an interest in a female enforcer he views it as a threat to his monopoly over imperial power. (Why he feels this way is never fully explained.) Thus, the commander determines to kill Amaranthe. But since arranging the disgrace, disappearance, or death of a police officer is too much for the most powerful man in the Empire to facilitate, he personally meets with her at the imperial palace before sending her off to kill the most wanted assassin in the empire. All this done to get her out of the way.

Did I mention that Amaranthe had met the emperor only one time for maybe 5 minutes? Yeah, I guess I did mention it didn’t I.

Anyway, from this somewhat head-scratching beginning, the plot moves forward with Amaranthe quickly turning into a rebel against Hollowcrest. Soon, she gathers together a motley group of people whom she convinces to aid her in a plot to destabilize the Empire; all of them somehow getting onboard with trying to overthrow the most powerful man in the Empire — even if it might mean their deaths.

Now, to say, Amaranthe is the star of the tale that follows is like saying Batman is the main character of his movies. It is without a doubt a fact, not a theory, and in The Emperor’s Edge, Amaranthe quickly morphs from a simple police officer into a “Mary Stu” character. Only she can charm the most heartless of men. Only she can escapes death time and again. Her goodness of heart turning even the most hard-hearted criminal into her ally. Soon, she is not only capable of outwitting the most powerful and corrupt politicians in the empire, but also outthinking the most devious spies and wizards. Hell, even biological weapons have no chance against Super Amaranthe!

When I spoke these feeling out loud to my friends, they immediately pointed out that Amaranthe’s “Mary Stu-ness” and the somewhat silly plot was all campy fun. The eye-rolling luck of the good guys very much like an old school superhero comic or a classic, pulp fantasy. And I totally agree that it can be read that way, because Buroker does seem to emphasize the humorous camaraderie between Amaranthe and her helpers over the complicated realism of a true epic fantasy thriller. However, even though I did warm up to Amaranthe’s interaction with her co-conspirators, the unrealistic campiness of everything grew into more of a negative with me rather than a positive. Something that inevitably ruined my overall enjoyment of this novel.

So to wrap this up, The Emperor’s Edge is a fantasy set in a world of steam with some fun characters and many laugh out loud moments, but the only way to fully enjoy it is to accept that campy adventure is the rule, not the exception here.

July 16, 2020
Previous rating: 3 stars.
New rating: 4 stars. Because DUH and stuff.

And the moral of this reread is: If I didn't have Impeccable Book Taste (IBT™), I'd say there's a very slim possibility that I might possibly have read this book very wrong the first time around. But I do, so I obviously didn't. No, I think this is just a case of me having survived enough super extra crappy stuff Not So Very Good Stories (NSVGS™) in the last six years to recognize a Slightly Very Entertaining Book (SVEB™) when I read it. Ah, it's so good to be old and ancient and wise and stuff. Sometimes.

And the other moral of this reread is: Amaranthe and her delicious persistent toenail fungus ways + Sicarius the Blade-Happy, Eyebrow Twitching Assassin of the Disapproving Glare (yum, poof gone harem and stuff) + Maldynado the hilariously vain ex-whore, sorry I meant former male escort + the awesome rest of Amaranthe's awesome ragtag gang + hahahaha dialogues + slightly glorious gender role reversal + bloody shrimping hell of the stinking fish, I didn't see that one coming (and it's not like I already read the book and knew what to expect or anything) + give me more and stuff =

You could say that, yes.

Oh yes, you could say that, too.

👋 To be continued and stuff.

· Book 2: Dark Currents ★★★★
· Book 3: Deadly Games ★★★★
· Book 4: Conspiracy ★★★★
· Book 5: Blood and Betrayal ★★★★
· Book 5.5: Beneath the Surface ★★★★
· Book 6: Forged in Blood I ★★★★
· Book 7: Forged in Blood II ★★★★★
· Book 8: Republic ★★★★
· Book 9: Diplomats and Fugitives ★★★★

[February 2014]

💌 A friendly message from 2020 me: Read the following crap ancient crappy-non-review at your own risk. Thou hast been warned and stuff.

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 the real strength of this series. The author puts together and oddly-assorted group of people which might be a bit clichéd but makes a great cast. Surprisingly enough, I like all of the characters in the story and really enjoyed the interaction between them. Amaranthe, with her crazy ideas and sense of humour, makes a great heroine. I think there is a lot of potential in terms of character development and I can’t wait to read the next instalments in the series to see how that goes.

The plot is a bit weak but I’m hoping it will get better as the story develops in the rest of the series. Despite a few flaws The Emperor’s Edge is an enjoyable read and although I am not actually anxious to find out what happens next, I am certainly curious about it and will probably be reading Dark Currents (the second instalment in the series) soon.
Profile Image for Megan Baxter.
985 reviews664 followers
May 19, 2014
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 the entire review at Smorgasbook
Profile Image for Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽.
1,880 reviews22.8k followers
January 3, 2017
The first three books in this fantasy series are Kindle freebies as of January 3, 2017: https://www.amazon.com/Emperors-Edge-...

Amaranthe Lokdon is with the kingdom's law force, dedicated to her job, and good at it, but not everyone around her appreciates a woman in the force. When a notorious assassin, Sicarius, shows up in the city, and the bodies start to pile up, Amaranthe is assigned to the case, even though no one has ever been able to catch Sicarius--those chasing him tend to end up dead. Perhaps a little creative thinking might save Amaranthe's hide...

This is one of the best indie fantasies I've read; and definitely worth your time if you like the genre. It's one of those books where a gang group coalesces around a leader and gets into trouble adventures. There's lots of exciting action and unusual characters.
Profile Image for Willow .
236 reviews102 followers
July 12, 2013
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 criminals that she brings together to help her with her cunning plan. Lot’s of humor comes from Amaranthe being so honorable, while her helpmates are (how should I say it) morally ambiguous. She’s a true leader though, which is rare for women in books.

The action is nonstop. Amaranthe gets in so many scrapes and scuffles. I forget how many times she gets captured. Fortunately though, her captors are pretty inept. And some of her escapes are pretty implausible. . It was entertaining though.

There’s one character, Sicarius (his name kept making me think of Icarius from the Greek legend) who is like the Tasmanian Devil. He fights like a whirlwind killing everyone around him in minutes. And of course he has a dark secret. He’d make the perfect manga character.

In fact, this whole book would make an excellent graphic novel. And I say that with the highest of praise. The dialogue would fit nicely into dialogue bubbles. I can easily imagine all the action scenes drawn out. The characters are archetypes. And it’s wildly addictive. If you love manga and comic books, I think you will love this book. Nothing real deep and serious, it’s just a lot of fun. I’m definitely going to read book 2.

Right now this book is free on kindle. You should go download yourself a copy. :D

*This was a buddy read with Leyoh*
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,322 reviews2,142 followers
December 27, 2019
This is the first book in what is now quite a lengthy series, and the first book I have read by this author. It turned out to be entertaining and not badly written but I was not at any point glued to its pages.

I enjoyed the characters. Amaranthe is a genuinely strong female lead who does not wait to be rescued by males. Sicarius is an assassin who kills people without a conscience or so it seems. I imagine in future books Amaranthe will become his conscience. There is the appearance of a magic system which hopefully will expand in future books.

It all seems to be good ground work for what is to come. Since I bought a three book set I will certainly be reading the next two.
Profile Image for Hannah.
661 reviews53 followers
August 4, 2012
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 thwart the emperor's enemies and save his life. This is a fast-paced, well-written read that balances a great cast of characters and a page-turner of a story. The steampunk element is very light, but the world is a fascinating one and the introduction of a magical midnight prowler amps up the suspense and keeps Amaranthe's team on their feet.

Lindsay Buroker's created a great team of characters who are each intriguing in their own right; there's obviously enormous potential to be explored there and I can't wait to find out more about them. Amaranthe is our female protagonist and leader, who leads with her quick mind, glib tongue and righteous streak. Sicarius is the silent assassin who trusts no one (and it really tickled me pink to see how Amaranthe managed to win him over to her cause with her resourcefulness), Maldynado's the irrepressible, good-looking flirt, Books is... well, the smart, cautious one, and Akstyr is an ex-gang member with an attitude. All with very different skill sets, but it's a lot of fun seeing Amaranthe keep them in line. The only one I don't really like is Akstyr - he's rebellious, selfish and even more difficult than Sicarius; I can't help but think Amaranthe would've been better off without him. Surely she could have found someone else to act as her magic consultant? He was probably the least useful member of the team.

As for Amaranthe, I really liked her sense of humour (even in dangerous situations) and more than admiring the fact that she's kickass, I appreciate her intelligence. The trend towards strong female characters has led to many a "tough woman with a painful past." I am so glad that Amaranthe bucks this trend. She might have had it rough as one of the only female enforcers in the country, but she liked her job and was dedicated to it. More impressive was how self-aware and clear-headed she is. Amaranthe has a righteous streak which matches her job as an enforcer, but she doesn't preach, make silly decisions because of it or put her teammates in danger just to satisfy her morals. Eminently sensible, she might not like the inevitable deaths of people on the opposing side, but as she comments at one point, she can't pick up the sword and then squeal when she gets blood on it. We also get a peek at her slightly girlier side in one or two of her casual musings about Sicarius, but can you blame the girl? Sicarius is awesome. The fact that he is so damn stoic makes each of his reactions more rewarding.

There is potential romance here, but it remains potential only. I'm always open to a well-written romance, but I'm actually quite happy at the developments so far; it's a credit to Buroker's writing that I find myself more interested in watching Sicarius' trust and respect for Amaranthe increase slowly rather than any amorous overtures. The dry wit in their exchanges is one of my favourite parts of the book. This is a great fantasy adventure with an awesome cast of characters (not to mention Emperor Sespian, whom I'd like to see more of in the future) that is definitely worth a read. If this is what it's like in book one, I can't wait to see what happens in the rest of the series!
Profile Image for Mimi.
699 reviews198 followers
April 1, 2017
A decent, light fantasy.

It was easy to read and kept the pages turning, and that was all I was looking for this week.

Since this is the author's first book, there are various things in the story that aren't as polished or fully developed as they could have been, like the "steampunk" setting and world building, but I found myself not too preoccupied with figuring them out or trying to make sense of the technology or politics while reading because the story was entertaining and it didn't seem to take itself too seriously.

The main character, Corporeal Amaranthe Lokdon, is one of the few female enforcers (police) in an imperial city that only just recently allowed women into the force. Lokdon is a hard worker and fairly good at her job, but she continues to be ignored by her superiors and thus gets passed over for promotions. Meanwhile, her slacker partner gets noticed and promoted.

At the beginning of the book, Amaranthe is investigating an arson case when she catches the eye of the young emperor who quickly becomes attracted to her. Because of this attraction, she's marked for death by Hollowcrest, the emperor's right hand man, who just happens to be controlling the throne behind the scenes. Hollowcrest sets her on a mission to bait and kill the infamous Sicarius. When she unravels his plan, Hollowcrest has her captured, and that sets the rest of the plot in motion.

Amaranthe goes on the run and teams up with Sicarius, all the while coming up with a plan unmask Hollowcrest and save the emperor. She puts together a rag-tag team of misfits to help her carry out her plans. Sometimes annoying, other times endearing; nevertheless their interactions and misadventures in the city are amusing to read. I can see the potential for them becoming an interesting team later on.
Where he had found the outfit, she did not know, but everything from the boots to the gloves to the parka and fur cap fit reasonably well. And there were no grizzly bloodstains to suggest he had killed someone to get it. That was something, at least.

"Do you have..." A list? A pamphlet? A room full of naked men lined up like pastries on the shelf at Curt's Bakery? "How does it work?"

"If we're discovered, I'll do everything I can to make time for you and the others to escape."
"Sicarius too?" he asked with a hint of amusement.
"If Sicarius is discovered, I'll have to try and make time for the enforcers to escape."

"Any assassin who allows himself to be distracted by his word deserves a knife in the back. It's not professional."

With that said, I should mention there's some suspension of disbelief required to enjoy this story. Like for instance, I still have a hard time figuring out
- why Hollowcrest wants Amaranthe dead almost immediately--there really is nothing threatening about her
- how Amaranthe isn't recognized more often if her face is on wanted posters plastered all across the city
- how she's gotten so lucky recruiting just enough men for her elaborate plan
- that "elaborate" plan...
- and why so many men...?


Although this book doesn't really give you a good sense of the scope of the story arc, the empire, or the world in general, it does lay the groundwork for something bigger with the promise of more depth and adventure to come. I'm hoping the next few books will provide that, and I'm willing to give this series a few books to find itself and get going.

Originally posted at https://covers2covers.wordpress.com/2...
Profile Image for Mei.
1,882 reviews424 followers
May 27, 2015
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! :)
Profile Image for Nina.
306 reviews410 followers
February 9, 2017
The Emperor's Edge had been on my Kindle for almost a year, patiently waiting to be read. I bought it on a whim and because it was cheap. Don't judge me. It turned out to be a nice, quick read, but nothing more than that unfortunately.

With The Emperor's Edge, Buroker has written an entertaining fantasy novel with an enjoyable squad of outlaws at its centre, weaving a solid plot of mystery and court intrigue with a feminist touch. It would have, however, needed a polish to stand out amongst other fantasy works. Its biggest flaw was its utter mediocrity. There was nothing special to distinguish Buroker's work from your average fantasy. Nonetheless, I had a good time with this book, even if a forgettable one.

Amaranthe I'm not sure whether I liked or hated. I enjoyed how Buroker used her profession as an imperial law enforcer to demonstrate how Amaranthe stood out due to her gender. She's a ballsy character, but she makes the most ridiculous and naive choices in this book. She trusts blindly, even though she's proven time and time again that people's motives are not what they say they are. The rest of the squad, however, was delightful: Dark and brooding assassin called Sicarius (yes, he does kill a lot), flirts-with-everything-that-has-a-heartbeat Maldynado (who I somehow pictured as a Latino?), smart and educated Books (ha, did you see what she did there), and shady ex-con Akstyr (dude has an attitude, though). Their bonding over witty banter was so enjoyable to watch, which was probably one of my favourite aspects of the book.

Friendship is as selfish as any other relationship, perhaps more so because it masquerades as something noble. I am more comfortable with those who approach me with blades drawn.

The plot kept a steady, even though at times slow pacing. I was incredibly impressed by how subtle a romantic subplot Buroker introduced. If you like how Victoria Schwab writes her romance, which means with a barely noticeable spark, then you'll like Buroker's style. There's an underlying current of tension between Amaranthe and Sicarius, but nothing openly outspoken or even remotely close to an actual romance. From what I've heard, their romance is a slow burn, growing slowly throughout this series.

His hair stuck up more than usual, but he was otherwise neat in his typical black. If they lived through the mission, she decided to buy him an obnoxiously cheerful shirt. Something in sunflower yellow, perhaps.

The world-building did its job but I would've expected more from a fantasy novel. Dammit, the world-building is supposed to grasp my attention. It's supposed to be distinct from others, so that I enter this world and immediately recognize it for what it is. The subtle hints at steam-punk elements were a good start, but which could've been more developped.

The writing was good, even though a little mechanical at times, but it became clear that this book was self-published, for especially the dialogue could be incredibly choppy to the point where I wondered whether anyone had proof-read this novel. Some exchanges were wonderful, others were so unrealistic it made my eyes roll.

All in all, The Emperor's Edge was an entertaining but average Indie fantasy novel, which offered a delightful cast and a well written slow burn, but could've been better in the departments of world-building and writing. Personally, I'm not interested enough to continue the series, even though the sneak peek of the sequel sounds really promising. I just have too many other books on my TBR that I'm prioritizing over this series.

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Profile Image for Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink.
261 reviews4,946 followers
August 31, 2016
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 got to be a little too much at times. Regardless, she was charming in her own way and I was rooting for her.

The rest of the cast was imaginative and perhaps the reason I enjoyed this so much. Sicarius is obviously my favorite - because who doesn't love a brooding, mysterious assassin? From the moment he walked on the page, I wanted to read only scenes with him in it. Maldynado was hilarious - a delightfully arrogant but sweet as a cinnabon. Honestly the array of personalities in this book is what really shines.

The World Building

I'm a sucker for anything steampunk... but I didn't even figure out that this was steampunk until about 1/3 of the way in (and really only because of some of the fan art and mention of steam engines.) The world had very little development and descriptions which was really off putting to me. There's mentions and tid bits of magic -but again, I was totally lost.

The Plot

The general idea was really fun, and I have to give major props to the author for creativity. Somehow she managed to come up with extremely detailed schemes. The plot was pretty chaotic but well planned - though again, it left me confused quite a lot due to the lack of world building. For example - a lot of Amaranthe's plans involve detailed ploys with steampunk-isn terms that were never explained - so I was lost quite a bit. Regardless, I had fun just due to the mystery in the characters *cough* Sicarius *cough*.

I know this is a long series and I've heard lot of great things about what is to come - so I'm anticipating really enjoying the next installment. I'd recommend this for sure- as long as realistic expectations about the lack of world building/etc are set.

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Profile Image for carol..
1,566 reviews8,218 followers
January 3, 2015
From my blog at https://clsiewert.wordpress.com/2015/...

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. While engaging and enjoyable, it suffered from a number of staple fantasy tropes.

After six years in the Imperial Guard, Amaranthe is still a corporal. Despite her professional attitude, her immaculate presentation, and her commitment to the guards, she’s never going to get promoted. Women have only recently been allowed to join the city law enforcement, and the glass ceiling is quite solid. When she and her partner are responding to a fire, Amaranthe notices a theft in progress. Her quick reaction gains the attention of the young Emperor. Later that night she is summoned to the rooms of the Emperor’s Advisor, Commander Hollowcrest (!), and given a top-secret mission: seduce and assassinate the assassin Sicarius. Despite ethical qualms, she realizes this could be her long-hoped for opportunity to advance, and reluctantly takes the mission. Before she leaves the palace, she runs into the Emperor again, and is struck by his boyish, charming demeanor. Amaranthe leaves for her mission and events quickly spiral out of all expectation.

The setting is vaguely steampunk, roughly equivalent to a London 19th century era. Workers cut blocks of ice to store for summer, but there are public trolleys for transportation, and the fire brigade uses self-propelled fire pumps. While there are pistols, they are reserved for military use only, and the guards themselves use swords. It is, we are told, a city of millions, although it seems much smaller, allowing for numerous coincidences at the same time allowing the troop the anonymity of the city when needed. Fantastical elements are eventually introduced, attributed to ‘mind-magic.’

In some ways, the plot feels like a structured role-playing game: each task Amaranthe completes inevitably leads her to the next, with just enough clues to see the logical–and perhaps trope-given–solution. Thus, while I didn’t predict the ultimate conclusion when I started, I didn’t find any step along the way particularly surprising. Entertaining, certainly, but hardly innovative. Themes in both personal independence and developing romance reminded me of The Blue Sword, in which a heroine learns to succeed in a man’s world.

Characterization is out of central casting, but like many movies, is still enjoyable. There’s a sloppy co-worker, a dark, brooding assassin, a drunk intellectual, a dandy of a swordsman, and a street sorcerer/thief. Amaranthe is definitely wearing Mary Sue perfume, but at least it was her brains and attitude that stood out. Oh, and her cleaning OCD (I’m not complaining; it’s an occupational hazard) and her comfortableness with her body (which did seem a little incongruent for the culture). Unfortunately, much like The Blue Sword, I’d note that it largely fails the Bechdel test, with Amaranthe’s band of miscreants formed of merry men.

In a charitable mood, I’d recommend it to fans of fast-paced heist stories such as Lies of Locke Lemora, only Amaranthe is far, far too moral to compare to Locke– although she does share traits of smooth talking, creativity and daring. Much like Locke, much of the entertainment comes out of the chicanery of the team of miscreants. I’d recommend it to fantasy fans looking for an adventure with an interesting female lead, but suggest that you be in the mood to accept predictable elements.
Profile Image for Denisa.
1,227 reviews297 followers
August 2, 2019
Definitely the best series I've read this year

I can't believe there aren't more people reading this! It's so, so much better than you can possibly expect.

I absolutely love all the characters. Yes, Amaranthe is awesome, but she would be nothing without her trusted friends.

As a fantasy reader, you expect a lot from your books. Great heroes, amazing plot, well-written world, a lot of action (and blood and monsters, but maybe that's just me) and an overall story that flows, that lets you wanting more.

Yes, that's a lot to ask from any book, let alone from an author you've never even heard of. Imagine my surprise when I saw that Lindsay Buroker did all that and more.

I want to see more people reading this. I want this series to become a go-to for every fantasy lover out there. I want this book to be everywhere!

In case you didn't get my point, I will say it again: READ THIS SERIES!
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Profile Image for mich.
651 reviews234 followers
January 6, 2015
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 involved. This series isn't for everyone, I completely understand that, but I fucking love it! (see, look how much love I got in just this one paragraph -- LOTS :D)

note: my original review below was written when only 4 books were then currently out. Buroker ended up splitting book 6 into two books, so there are 7 total in the series (with an eighth book that I have yet to read being added on later, but the series wrapped up nicely at 7 and you could very well stop there).


READ THIS BOOK! It's free! It's good! Do you really need another reason? Fine, here's more: it's got action, adventure, a hint of possible romance, great characters, funny dialogue and an engrossing plot.

This is the 1st of a 6 book series (all moderately priced so far - less than $5 each). Each book's narrative features the point of view of Amaranthe, as the main character, along with one of the side characters (Book 1 is Sespian, 2 features Books, 3 is Basilard, 4 is Askyr and 5 is Maldynado). This rather unique tactic allows the reader to be treated to insights into each supporting character, endearing them to us where they otherwise might not have. There are fantastic revelations in each successive book, and the pacing of the ongoing overall story arc is perfect. This book is the beginning of one of the best series I have ever read.
Profile Image for Ashley.
370 reviews111 followers
June 27, 2018
Update 6/27/18

I was glued to the Hallmark channel (of all places!) and during the commercial break, a movie promo came on, and the male lead, wowza, all my mind was repeating was Sicarius. Sicarius. Sicarius. Now, no one can convince me that minus the tattoos, less beard and more scruff, this is my Sicarius.

Carry on with your day now, and if you still haven't, read this book!

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 building gets put off to the side. It's book with a boring, redundant plot and absolutely no world building that I grant low ratings because that means the book is neither fun nor interesting. Pacing, characterization, and plotting are definitely on this author's side, and I honestly believe the world building will get better as the books continue. Holy crap! There are nine books in this series. NINE. Holy smokes! I've already ordered books two and three because that's all my wallet can afford at the moment.

THE CHARACTERS IN THIS BOOK ARE SO GOOD. HOLY CRAP. Plus, all their names are badass. Amaranthe? Sicarius? Maldynado? They're all so original and slay-worthy. I love how fierce and independent Amaranthe is, I mean she is a former crime fighter, so of course she's going to put the bad in badass. I can't forget how witty she is. She's such a fun, drama free character, and I can't wait to learn more about her past!

How can you not love Sicarius? The man whose favorite word is an unintelligible "huh." Seriously, how many times did he say that in the book? I did love that one scene where the man tribe wasn't listening to Amaranthe and he gives this fierce command that "you will listen to the lady." aaaah so stone cold and fierce, and I can't wait til his frozen walls unthaw and the romance begins.

Oh, and Maldynado, probably my favorite character in the book. He reminds me a lot of Nikolai Lantsov. I just love that he has no filter, and that one scene where Amaranthe walks outside to find him peeing his name in the snow. Oh, that was so charming. I don't honestly know if the author is going to focus on the romance just between Sicarius/Amaranthe or somehow Maldynado is going to be involved or even Sespian, (which after the twist in the book, would be really weird:P) but I'm super excited to more slow burn, steamy romance.

I can't forget Books and Akstyr! I honestly loved the tribe, their interactions were hilarious, and I tagged so many of them, especially that one line where they were making fun of Sicarius saying he would do push-ups on a girl's chest if he brought someone to bed. Ha! I couldn't get over that, they're all so cute and charming. Oh my favorite little thieves/assassin/convicts squad. They're like the Six of Crows squad, only more vulgar and entertaining. I loved the fantasy, the steampunk, the badassery, and basically everything in between about this book. I definitely recommend this if you're looking for something fun and to be surprised by such a wonderful, hidden story!
Profile Image for Sylvia Mercedes.
Author 30 books1,525 followers
November 8, 2017
Another instance of an awesome book having a less-than-awesome cover. Though this fault (at least in my opinion it’s a fault) doesn’t seem to hurt Lindsay Buroker’s sales at all, as the Emperor’s Edge and it’s continuing series are fantastically popular . . . and deservedly so!

I’ve been told by a trusting reading friend to pick up this series for a while now. She told me that if I loved the Sam Vimes books in the incredible Disc World series (by the inimitable Sir Terry Pratchett) that I would love this. I looked at her askance. You don’t go comparing people’s writings to THE Sir Terry Pratchett. You just don’t do that.

But . . . you know what? I kind of loved this book.


Amaranthe. I just adored the heroine of this book. She is a nervous, nail-biting, high-strung, utterly focused, smart talking, kickass, ambitious gal, and you just cannot keep her down! She makes mistakes, but she bounces back quickly, and she’s always learning on her feet. She is a fantastic viewpoint heroine, and you see very quickly why she’s the leader of her little rebel band (however reluctant she is to turn rebel in the first place). I would follow her into battle in a heartbeat.

And . . . Sicarius. The assassin. The assassin who ACTUALLY ACTS LIKE AN ASSASSIN. I mean, this man is dangerous. Hard. Inscrutable. Frightening. He almost—almost—breaks Amaranthe’s neck in one of their first encounters. He is not your warm-and-fuzzy assassin with a secret heart of gold. And yet . . . could he possibly turn out to be a hero in his own right? (I don’t want to spoil it for you but . . . yes.)

Lindsay Buroker writes with a constantly upbeat style, even when she’s dealing with dark and dangerous things. She’s not an overt comedian (like Sir Terry), but she’s bright and effusive and just utterly, utterly readable. Her story goes on crazy twists and turns, some more believable than others, but all of them completely enjoyable. She’s got a wild world here that is just waiting to be explored in more depth . . . and thankfully she’s got a nice long eight-plus series in which to explore it.


I literally cannot think of anything I disliked in this book. The characters were great. The plot was great. The writing was great. Was it brilliant, classic literature? No. Does it have to be? Absolutely not! It’s just plain fun. And sometimes that’s what you need in a book.

And yes, I immediately picked up book 2 in the series. Because it’s just that compulsively readable, people.

Lindsay Buroker is officially the newest author on my Favorites List. Welcome to the esteemed club, Ms. Buroker!
Profile Image for Tim.
23 reviews3 followers
July 15, 2012
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 part of a noblewoman. Much is made of her difficulty with dresses, her growing love of being feminine, and her self-doubts about her ability to play her role.

In The Emperor's Edge, one of the only female enforcers (like town guards or police), named Amaranthe, recruits a gang of misfits (all men) for a caper. Much is made of her difficulty with getting them to work together, her self-denial of femininity and, most of all, how the guys smell, look and arch their eyebrows at her comfortableness with their varying states of undress.

Both are good stories and both are worth reading, I think it's just important to point out a writer's audience often determines what elements of a story get focused.

This is not to suggest that The Emperor's Edge is a thinly veiled romance novel; far from it, this first entry into the series takes great pains to have the protagonist deny that any such feelings may develop. No, this story is primarily about Amaranthe's quest to save the emperor of her kingdom from an assassination attempt. Her methods are a little mundane, but that actually made me more interested, not less. Too often, a fantasy trope involves what I call the Howitzer Effect: Using far too much fantastic force for what is required. It would have been easy, within the context a steampunk fantasy setting, to use deus ex machina in the form of steam science and magic to propel the plot forward and upward, to such lofty and fantastic heights that only an equally epic resolution would be required. The auther avoids that by keeping the plot grounded in semi-reality, only bringing forth the steampunk and fantasy elements where they make sense. Unfortunately, there is one element that is fantastic and does too often serve as deus ex machina.

If I had to describe The Emperor's Edge in one sentence, it would be, "An episode of the A-Team, played in reverse, if they were all strangers and the plucky woman client hired them individually." I'd probably have to use two sentences, though, because, "Oh, and instead of Mr. T, there's a godlike inhuman assassin with a troubled past for all the ladies" is kind of an important detail.

I don't much care for Sicarius. He is a little too much the 'troubled superman anti-hero' cliche for my tastes. I realize this is a fantasy series and he is a fantastic character, but so much time is spent on showing how dark, brooding and superhuman he is that it's hard to consider him more than walking, (sometimes) talking fan service, there to rescue our damsel in distress and be mysterious.

It wasn't until the last chapter or two of the book that I saw any character development, and grudgingly at that. I hope that he continues to develop further, but I also understand that he is probably a big draw for many of the readers. I never read Twilight, but I imagine that Sicarius reads very much like Edward Cullen. Dark, mysterious, brooding, and superhuman. Every woman's dream....(?)

All in all, I would recommend this book to male and female readers alike, because despite what I've said about it being geared towards women, it also has plenty of things that all readers can appreciate: humor, well-written dialogue, and a well-paced plot.
Profile Image for Andrea.
1,734 reviews1 follower
September 19, 2022
"She decided to forgo her ambitions of creating a cohesive unit. An occasionally functional one with tendencies toward violence seemed more within reach."


I seriously love this series, and have re-read it multiple times. I think what I enjoy the most is the team aspect and camaraderie between the characters.

In this story we have our h, Amarante Lokdon, an enforcer who all of a sudden finds herself on the wrong side of the law, and embroiled in a plot to over throw a kindly young Emperor.
In her quest to find and stop the forces trying to eliminate him- she find herself not only aligned with a notorious assassin named Sicarius, but struggling to put together a team to help her with her plans.


I love the characters and how they all grow into their own as the story goes on, as well as into a team.
The story is well written, I love the characters humor, and I really like the world building!
Profile Image for Sherwood Smith.
Author 150 books37.5k followers
February 25, 2014
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 sufficient for this high-energy, wise-cracking tale. The pacing gallops straight to the end, which resolves just enough to finish this portion of their adventures, firmly setting them up for more. And more of Amaranthe & Co. is good!
Profile Image for Anachronist.
148 reviews76 followers
September 18, 2013
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 slowly poisoned by his closest advisor…sounds so nice, right? And yet…

Ok, let’s start on a positive note. The camraderie and interaction between the characters themselves was the best thing about this book, and honestly, it could be quite humorous at times. And here my praise stops - even it did not make up for the shortcomings in the main leads and the story itself.

Somehow neither the feisty Amaranthe Lokdon, nor the mysterious and deadly effective Sicarius, always clad in fitted dark clothing, won my heart. Ok, I admit it, perhaps it is too early to judge them so harsh, it is just the first part of a long series but they all seemed a tad too schematic - to a point when I could easily guess their thoughts and choices even before they opened their mouths or did anything. Their roles were also pretty clear from the very beginning. Maldynado, the most handsome gigolo and coxcomb in the city, and Books, the unhappy prof turned drunkard, were destined to provide comic relief whenever the sour Sicarius and the surly former gang member, Aksytr, were making the narration uncomfortably stiff. Amaranthe was there to attract trouble and then save the day, the emperor and the rest of her band from venal courtiers, sadistic magicians, brutal enforcers but mainly from themselves. Sometimes, I admit, she was being sweet, but more often she was obnoxiously noble – to such a point that I had to roll my eyes and remind myself of some of those deliciously dark antiheroes who pick their teeth with honourable men and women. It is such a kind of heroine which unleashes my worst instincts. Her goodness of heart is supposed to turn even the most hard-hearted criminal into her ally, she outwits the most powerful and corrupt politicians in the empire, while outthinking the most devious foreign spies and wizards. Reading about it you better never ask yourself ‘how come’ because the moment you do so you are doomed and the whole reading enjoyment is evaporating like champagne bubbles.

Now there is the romance between Amaranthe and Sicarius. Perhaps not a bad idea per se; still I couldn’t forgive the fact that it has been moving slower than a drugged sloth in a sheepskin catsuit on a greased branch; I know the purpose of that pacing – I don’t doubt that the romance will be artificially dragged on and on until the very last installment (the series features seven books, no mean feat) where most probably those two will finally kiss and proclaim that they love each other. Still I resent it. It’s like buttering a slice of bread with just a fraction of a normal portion you need to do it right - frustrating to say the least of it.

The action is nonstop – it is one of these novels which can make you almost physically tired. Amaranthe gets in so many scrapes and scuffles, is captured, escapes, is recaptured, escapes again... I forget how many times. Her captors are pretty inept and some of her escapes are pretty implausible so you should keep a very tight control on the logical part of your mind while reading about them. Now those names…Maldynado? Seriously? Why not marinade when we are already there? Sicarius? Sure, otherwise we wouldn’t guess he is a perfect, cold-blooded killing machine. Emperor Sespian? Why stop short of thespian? The capital of the empire is called…Stumps *rolleye* because no other name would be more imperial. The main baddie’s name is Hollowcrest, making you wonder why the young Emperor trusted him at all…oh wait, he was so naïve and trusting, poor thing, he most probably couldn’t help himself even if all his excuses ring a bit hollow.

Final verdict:

Definitely something for younger/less blasé readers than me. It might be just because of my dark fantasy fixation but I think the only way to enjoy this novel is to read it as a comedy, ignoring the missteps as far as the plot goes and laughing at the characters mercilessly. I don't know if it is enough to make me pick the second book.
Profile Image for Laura.
1,074 reviews27 followers
November 29, 2019
This book came highly recommended by many people who loved it, so I decided to give it a try.

And truly, I do understand why so many readers love it. It is light and witty, as well as entertaining an funny. For me however, that was not enough.

While I adore fast-paced adventures with snarky retorts and sharp-witted dialogue, I want more. I want depth and substance and characters that leap of the page, not because they make me chuckle, but because they feel real. I don't like special snowflakes or the invincible Mary Sue. I root for the badass ladies who break down, cry and falter, like any one of us would. I cheer for the flawed guys who walk that thrilling line in between good and evil. The good guys who've lost their way, as well as the villains who make me wait with fingers crossed to see which way the dreaded ax will fall.
I love imperfection you could say. Because that is what makes a story feel real.

That being said, The Emperor's Edge was a bit too unrealistic for me. Both character and plot-wise that is. It did have a lot of funny banter and laugh out loud moments but they became a little overwhelming after a while.

If you don't mind a humorous adventure to simply enjoy for the sake of a fun ride, without taking it seriously and without looking for a deeper meaning, this will be a 5 star book for you.
If however, you are looking for more substance, just like me, I suggest you try something else instead.

Find this review and more on my book review and cover art blog, The Magic Book Corner
Profile Image for Erin O'Roark.
156 reviews29 followers
July 25, 2016
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 characters are all loveable, the humor actually laughable, and the steampunk era (which I admit I wasn't sure about at first) was surprisingly complimentary to the story. Much to my excitement, I have 8 more books in the series. I'll be back for Dark Currents!
January 31, 2016
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 different reasons.

3......The plot, was... fantastic to say the least. No, i'm not influenced by a reading-hangover or anything rather.

4.....The emperor, whoosiwhatsie, even though he was a bit dumb (no judging, i can't distinguish a puppy from a rat), he was a charming lad (man?)

4.5..... I liked (make that loved) the book. There's no more reasons.

There it was, ladies and gentlemen, mennies and gentlewomen. My review. I'm a lazy *ss, so yeah. Hum.
Profile Image for Jacob Proffitt.
2,997 reviews1,639 followers
May 29, 2013
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 romantic in future stories even more so.

Anyway, I really liked the book and will be looking up sequels with anticipation.
Profile Image for Tricia Mingerink.
Author 11 books355 followers
July 31, 2018
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 bedroom scenes shown. It's about as borderline as I'd read (and even then, I was uncomfortable at times), and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who get uncomfortable quickly with those kinds of things.
Profile Image for Mihir.
647 reviews302 followers
September 25, 2011

Liviu Suciu previously reviewed Lindsay Buroker’s novel Encrypted on FBC, which is how I became interested in the author’s work. So when I heard about The Emperor’s Edge, a fantasy-steampunk hybrid, I immediately bought a copy on Amazon.

The Emperor’s Edge is set in the capital city of the Turgonian Empire, which is ruled by science and refutes magic as an unworthy practice. It is also facing tension across its borders from the country of Nuria where magic is given free rein. Into this backdrop, reader are immediately introduced to Amaranthe Lokdon, a lowly corporal stuck on patrol duty with her lazy partner Wholt. Readers are also introduced to Emperor Sespian Savarsin, who is trying to get back on his feet, while Commander Hollowcrest helps him rule the empire. During a routine patrol, Amaranthe and Wholt discover a suspicious fire that spirals out of control. Soon after, events occur which pull Amaranthe from her normal duties as an imperial enforcer to hunting down Sicarius, the most dangerous assassin in the world. And thus the plot to this fantastical story begins...

Instead of going for an all-original idea, Lindsay Buroker has taken an oft-used concept and presented it with her own additions. So even though The Emperor’s Edge is described as a “high fantasy novel in the era of steam”, the book comes across as a campy fantasy adventure hybrid . In fact, what I liked most about the novel was its campy feel, which includes characters and situations often cropping up to delude the protagonists of their well thought-out but slightly improper plans. This kept me chuckling constantly as the humor quotient is kept at a remarkably steady level. Granted, the story sometimes takes silly turns, but the plot twists and Lindsay Buroker’s writing make these moments entertaining rather than overtly stupid.

Another important factor for me was the great characterization. Even though there are only two POVs in The Emperor’s Edge, there are several supporting characters involved in the main plot and the author makes sure each one is unique, if not a bit stereotypical, but I think that was more for comedic effect. Amaranthe though is the most well-rounded character in the book, as readers are shown a close look at her down-to-earth, hard working personality; her thoughts; and using her tenacity and gift of persuasion to overcome the challenges in her life. Not only that, but Amaranthe is the emotional core of the book. Be it her interactions with Sicarius, Books, Maldynado, etc.; her calm nature; or her deductive ability; Amaranthe comes across as a heroic persona.

Sicarius is another intriguing character, but not many details are revealed about him. Hopefully the author will rectify this in the sequel. World-building is also very impressive with the world of The Emperor’s Edge brought to life through vivid descriptions. Lastly, there’s no quasi-European feel to this novel. So instead of the usual medieval routine, Lindsay Buroker offers readers a more tropical setting highlighted by racial diversity.

Not everything about The Emperor’s Edge is rosy however. The plot for instance, is very linear, not to mention predictable, while secondary characters possess clear-cut agendas and are pretty much black and white.

CONCLUSION: After reading just one book it becomes noticeable that the author has written a nice fantasy thriller combo story which manages to combine the swift page turning quality of thrillers with the magical nature of fantasy alongwith a nice dollop of humor laced through out the plot to completely surprise the readers. I’ve become a Lindsay Buroker fan and can’t wait to read the rest of her series. For anyone who loves David Eddings, Terry Brooks and Rachel Aaron, The Emperor��s Edge is a book I heartily recommend to you...

Profile Image for Dyanna.
853 reviews71 followers
February 23, 2019
The Emperor's Edger - Trailer

Brilliant, funny and mysterious!
This is how I would describe this book.

The Emperor's Edge it is the first book in an epic fantasy series.

Despite the poorly description on the building world and the magic, I gave this book 5 stars because of the characters. Even if the book lacks in building and description it compensate with how good the characters are so believable and funny.

The book starts with Amaranthe Lokdon, the only woman that works as an imperial law enforcer, loves her job but when the commander gives her a mission to seduce and murder the fearless assassin Sicarius, Amaranthe finds out that she was the one meant to die in the confrontation with the assassin. Digging further she finds out that the commander is poisoning the emperor and that he plans to kill him on his birthday. Meanwhile a bounty is on her head stating that she is a traitor. Wanting to save the emperor but also to clear her name, Amaranthe gathers a group of outcasts.

This book was awesome, the author does not loose herself in details but gets straight to the point (I mean plot). The outcasts are different personalities that fight , disagree and are extremely funny together. The heroine is not overpowered but has the right balance between strong and fragile . Also she is very creative and curious, Sicarius is very mysterious that by the end of the book it makes you want to know his history and how he became an assassin and the other guys are pure gold in the way that make you laugh so hard.

This group of outcasts remember me of another awesome duology named Six of Crows that I really recommend.

P.S: I cannot wait to read the second book!
Profile Image for christea ☁️.
169 reviews195 followers
May 16, 2022
4 stars.

still one of my absolute favorites, this series is just so much fun, full of adventure, excitement, and action. this was the book/series that got me into reading, and more specifically, fantasy; and even after all the amazing fantasy stories i've read thereafter, the emperor's edge still holds up.

this follows amaranthe lokdon, a city enforcer who finds herself caught up in conspiracies against the emperor and becomes wrongfully accused of treason. so now she's currently on the run from the law and trying to gather evidence to prove her innocence, while also trying to save the empire. along the way, she recruits some others to join her cause, forming a ragtag group of misfits who also have their own goals.

this has one of the most entertaining team dynamics of any story i've read, with so many laugh-out-loud moments, and one of the absolute chef's kiss best slowburn romances i've ever read. amaranthe, the main character and leader of the group, is simply delightful. one of the things i love the most about her is how determined and capable she is, but also charming, endearing, and sometimes silly, but in a great way. her schemes may get herself and the group into all sorts of trouble, but she is just as able to think her own way out of them, without needing to be rescued.

and sicarius. he may seem like the typical cold-blooded assassin, and oh he is, but he's one of the best assassin-type characters i've ever come across. he's not that edgy and broody type you might usually think of; he's pragmatic, focused, and damn good at what he does—too good even, one might say, because going around killing people is probably not the best way to get your name exonerated...

it is my life mission to get as many people to try out this series as possible. i just cannot recommend this series enough to anyone who is looking for a fun time in a fantasy steampunk setting!!! 100% guaranteed or your money back (but hey guess what, THE E-BOOK FOR THIS FIRST INSTALLMENT IS ALWAYS FREE ON AMAZON).
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