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Hope and Red (Empire of Storms, #1)
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Hope and Red

(Empire of Storms #1)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  2,626 ratings  ·  414 reviews
In a fracturing empire spread across savage seas, two young people from different cultures find common purpose. A nameless girl is the lone survivor when her village is massacred by biomancers, mystical servants of the emperor. Named after her lost village, Bleak Hope is secretly trained by a master Vinchen warrior as an instrument of vengeance. A boy becomes an orphan on ...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published June 30th 2016 by Orbit (first published June 28th 2016)
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Average rating 3.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,626 ratings  ·  414 reviews

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Start your review of Hope and Red (Empire of Storms, #1)
I finished this on the train. I almost missed my stop because I was on the last two pages and wouldn't -couldn't!- stop reading.
Reluctantly, I had to run and I tripped over someone's feet getting yelled over, but it was totally worth it. Oh, was it worth it.
Give me Bane and Shadow. NOW!

Petros Triantafyllou
Oct 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
As much as it pains me to say this, being such a huge fan of The Wheel of Osheim (Mark Lawrence) and Red Tide (Marc Turner), I have to admit that Hope and Red is the greatest read of 2016, and one of the best books I have read in my life.

The story, told from two different points of view, takes place in a dark and gritty Empire where the strong are ruthless and vicious and the weak don't survive. The story is about two children orphaned at the age of eight, and follows their path through adulthoo
Helen 2.0
Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
DNF - too cliché and the word "piss" was used literally 100 times. I counted.

There are two main characters:
HOPE: her small remote village is decimated by an imperial force specializing in biological warfare. She vows revenge and joins the elite all-male "Vinchen" warrior order. She emerges as the only female Vinchen warrior of all time, and of course the best in the order. This is less a feminist statement and more a turn into Mary Sue country. Hope goes out into the world and procedes to do stu
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
Try to imagine the most fabulous combination of the following movies: Gangs of New York, Kill Bill and Pirates of the Caribbean. Did your mind explode yet? If yes, well, join the club. If not, just give it another second or two. Hope and Red is, according to its author, the first book in his swashbuckling kung fu gangster pirate romance trilogy. Yes, you read that right and no, I didn’t mistype. At this point, I believe none of you need any further convincing, but bear with me for just a moment ...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Meet Hope. At the tender age of eight, she became the lone survivor of a massacre on her small southern fishing village after watching everyone she has ever known and loved die horribly in an experiment by the emperor’s biomancers. Rescued by a merchant ship, she was then taken in by the ancient order of Vinchen warriors and taught their ways by Hurlo, their grand master who went against his order’s rules and trained the
Apr 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed this. It starts out as a fairly familiar story of 2 orphans raised in very different circumstances and destined to meet eventually. I enjoyed the salty language of the coastal regions and some of the vocabulary used: Lacies, imps, angel slice, wags. It's these kind of details that bring a world to life.
Relationships between the characters are well developed and the story is character-led which is always my preference. But what makes this world and story stand out are the biomancer
Marc Aplin
May 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The short version: Hope And Red is the most fun book I’ve read in 2016 and one of the first I will recommend to people, from now on, who ask for a book similar to that of Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastards series or Brent Weeks’s Night Angel trilogy.

Are you missing the world of Brent Weeks’s Night Angel Trilogy? Were you distraught upon hearing that Scott Lynch wouldn’t be releasing his forth Gentleman Bastards novel this year? Well, worry not because I have just the book for you, my friends!

An 8
Jul 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm SO GLAD I have finally found a book I really liked this month! This is a new release and I have to say I am so happy I picked this up, becuase it has ended the spree of not-so-great books I've recently been reading.

This book is by an author I'd not yet read, although it's not a debut. I believe Skovron has written some YA books before, but this was his first foray into adult Fantasy, and I think it worked out (although you can certainly see that there are some YA troupes here)! This is kind
Apr 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-read-on-shelf
I had so much fun with this book - simple yet rich of details and feelings. Hope and Red are awesome characters to fall in love with.
The setting is interesting, I love the extensive use of necromancers (biomancers) which felt extremely refreshing (possibly because I have not been reading of necromancers in quite some time).
There is a ton of mystery still around the world itself and how the characters are going to develop and work with each other.

Also, I love the fact that the audiobook is rea
Scott  Hitchcock
Apr 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steampunk, 5-stars
A steampunk setting on the wrong side of the tracks combining social elements of both England and the Far East along with a little D&D thrown in for good measure. I think you could consider this book dark but I'd consider it more gritty. I loved the circle and all it's toughs, the evil biomancers, Hope the blond clandestinely trained ninja and Red the uptown born thief of the circle. In some ways Hope and Red reminded me of Apsalar and Krokus.

I love it and will definitely be continuing the seri
May 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Review from Tenacious Reader:

Hope and Red could be the fun read you are looking for, especially if you love stories about thieves and vengeance, and warrior women. The two main characters are in quite different settings, each with intriguing elements. The story follows these two characters whose lives are both shattered from what they knew when they were young. Their paths after their tragedies are very different, yet similar in some ways. Here is the thi
Dec 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars, loved it. It was funny, great premise and storyline and really enjoyed the characters
Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink

Seriously, how are more people not talking about this book?

For those of you who crave a fast-paced adult fantasy with a healthy dash of humor, romance, and adventure, look no further. I'll write a full review soon (ah, I'm so behind!) but DEFINITELY add this to your TBR! (I also recommend the audio! The author himself reads it - and oh boy he's a GREAT narrator!)

Trigger warning - a questionable handling of a trans character. (I don't think the author meant harm at all
yeah pretty good, i liked the characters, i liked the storyline, i liked the language and the setting. key word: liked. i didn't love anything, but i definitely liked the story and thought that it accurately depicted the struggles of that annoying area between right and wrong. good, entertaining material!
Bleak Hope is named after her village that was annihilated because of the Empire's biomancers. A legendary Vinchen warrior trains Hope in the Vinchen ways despite it being illegal to do so because she is a female. Rixdenteron is the son of a painter from a rich family and a male whore. He finds himself homeless when his parents die. He's taken in by a dangerous woman and renamed Red. Hope and Red come together to get vengeance on a ganglord and biomancers, but most specifically the biomancer who ...more
Paige  Bookdragon

(Actual rating: 3.6 stars)


When it comes to Hope and Red I don't know what to say in this review. Before I read this book,I expected an awesome duo as protagonists. I expected to be blown away by this new fantasy book the same way that I was dumbfounded by Graceling and other YA fantasy books. I expected no romance between the MCs (okay, a little romance wouldn't hurt but not to the point that it would be the focal point of
Jan 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thoroughly enjoyable fantasy with a woman trained by a master warrior and seeking vengeance for the horrible deaths of her family and a gifted rogue destined for much more than his humble surroundings.

The village of Bleak Hope is destroyed in a horrible experiment by biomancers leaving only an eight year old girl as a survivor. Traumatized by the experience she can't even remember her name so that the sailors who find her call her by the name of her village. By chance she is raised by the Vinche
Jan 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
3.5 stars. A page turner, but ultimately one that left me a bit unsure about what I had just read. There's something about the tone (the cursing, the slang) that doesn't quite match the story. I will more than likely read the next one as I am curious about where the story is going.
This was a real fun, adventurous ride. Yes, Skovron used a fair amount of fantasy tropes and yes, there were definitely some aspects to this story that made it feel like I was reading a YA fantasy at certain times, but all these things never bugged me quite so much that it kept me from thoroughly enjoying this book.
I guess it helped that I was looking for a light read and it certainly pleased me that this story is predominantly character driven - too many times in fantasy stories we are served
May 17, 2019 rated it liked it
I don't think I ever read a book like this before. I don't mean that in a good way nor in a bad way, it's just what it is.
I say that because this was one of the most adult books I read in terms of writing and world building yet the characters feel so YA!! I don't mean that they were immature, actually, sometimes they were even too mature if I can say that, what I mean is that things go easily and too conveniently their own ways without them even trying. For example, this what Hope goes thru in t
May 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars-books
This book is really good and different than what I'm used to.

The main differences are in the written. The book is really well written but you will find some idioms that the author created and that will seem strange the first time you read it but then you get used to and it's even fun read these idioms. In this book you will also find a lot of swearing and words as piss and references to sex appears a lot of time. I didn't mind to read it because the story happens in an area where live pirates, t
Colleen Fauchelle
May 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
I loved this book. It was a rough and tumble story with a bunch of loveable rogues. Sure they were trouble they stole, they killed and their language was quite crude at times but I found that to be funny because I have a rude sense of humour so that didn't bother me but it may bother some people.
Hope as a young girl watches her whole village murdered by biomancers - evil magic villains.
So Hope ends up being brought up by some monks most were not happy she was there but their was a couple of very
RATING: yep, that's right. This is a solid 5/5.

"A Vinchen warrior was balanced in all aspects, at one with his surroundings and at peace with himself. When things became faster on the outside, he became quieter on the inside. He remained in the current moment, undistracted by memories of the past or thoughts of the future.
Bleak Hope was none of those things."

Oh thank you, Jon Skovron, for getting me out of my reading slump with a great book.

"Her blade gleamed red in the moonlight. This w
Note to self not a review: (view spoiler)
The review can also be found here!

Earning comparisons to the likes of Brent Weeks’ The Night Angel trilogy and not just because it comes from the same publisher, Hope and Red is a novel that I’ve had my eye on for a while because even though I’m unfamiliar with Jon Skovrun’s novels the plot and summary was enough to draw my attention, and the eye-catching cover sealed the deal when I spotted this book at Waterstones a few weeks ago.

You can see why there have been comparisons made to The Night An
In a fracturing empire spread across savage seas, two young people from different cultures find common purpose.

Hope and Red is the first book in the Empire of Storms series and I enjoyed it quite a bit. The story is nothing new. Two orphaned children grow up in very different ways. One under the tutelage of a warrior type monk, the other on the streets in a rough part of town. Of course their paths eventually cross and when they do that's when the story really took off for me.

This is a gritty
Mar 07, 2016 marked it as tried-but-not-for-me
started promising and then became way too YA'ish for my taste
Charles Bronson
Mar 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Worth the read just for the Common Folk Slang.....
Lynn Williams
Aug 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
4.5 of 5 stars
Hope and Red is one of my July reads that I’m catching up with reviews for – and I will say from the outset that it’s a book that I thoroughly enjoyed. I have to confess that I’m probably a bit of a pushover for the sort of story that brings you a protagonist thrown into a dire situation and then made to survive, watching their development, maybe they’re nurtured, taken under somebody’s wing, trained or just taught the harsh facts of life fro
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-i-august
This was an unexpectedly fun book that I picked up at random and ended up loving. It turned out to be a quick and easy read that kept me captivated throughout.

🦊 My Thoughts

In this book, we follow two main characters:

Hope : Named after her home, Bleak Hope, which was put to ruins. She is the only survivor from her village that was massacred by the emperor’s biomancers. After being secretly trained by a master warrior, she is set on the path of vengeance.
Red : Named after his odd red eyes
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Jon Skovron is the author of several Young Adult fantasy novels, including Misfit, Man Made Boy and This Broken Wondrous World. His first adult fantasy series, The Empire of Storms, began last June with the release of Hope and Red, published by Orbit Books. The Barnes and Noble SF&F blog said "Skovron’s briskly-paced story doesn’t skimp on the world-building—and thank goodness, because it’s quite ...more

Other books in the series

Empire of Storms (3 books)
  • Bane and Shadow (Empire of Storms, #2)
  • Blood and Tempest (Empire of Storms, #3)

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