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The Emperor's Arrow

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  1,840 ratings  ·  177 reviews
Grand Prize Winner of Harlequin's 2015 So You Think You Can Write contest

Debut author Lauren D.M. Smith delivers an epic fantasy romance in this soaring tale of a kickass warrior and the emperor she's honor-bound to defend

The bride candidates have been summoned. Their numbers are many, yet only one is an Amazzi warrior. Only one would give her life to protect him.

Evony o
ebook, 181 pages
Published July 18th 2016 by Carina Press
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Lauren Smith It's actually a stock photo which anyone can license. There's a couple of different books that I'm aware of that use the original (blonde) version. Th…moreIt's actually a stock photo which anyone can license. There's a couple of different books that I'm aware of that use the original (blonde) version. These include Consumed by Jason Brant, Song of the Fairy Queen by Valerie Douglas, and as you mentioned, Slave, Warrior, Queen by Morgan Rice. I hadn't actually known the original version was blonde until I found someone comparing books that use the same picture.
A lot of books use stock art as covers, and some of them are pretty amazing. I hadn't realized how many until I started looking at stock photos myself for inspiration. There's some really great stuff on those sites. I hope that answers your question!(less)

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Cece ❀Rants, Raves &Reviews❀
The Emperor's Arrow ~ a unique twist featuring Amazonians where we get a strongass heroine, a crafty emperor sprinkled with intrigue, betrayal, and....a Bachelor-style contest for the Emperor to find a wife !!!


So Evony enters the contest, but she's doesn't fit in with the rest of the contests. being an amazon

She’s too outspoken, too wild, too big, and not very lady-like! *oh wow. the horror. the absolute horror.*

“The way everyone reacted to her was beginning to make her feel like som
Jun 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, fantasy
If you liked the writing style of Poison Study, I’m sure you’ll like this book too! Attention: only the style is similar, not the sotry!

The heroine, Evony, is a bride candidate for emperor Galen. And you realize, as soon as the book starts, that she’s not your usual Empress material! She’s first and foremost an Amazzi warrior! She’s very. Very skiller with her bow…

But, that’s not all! She doesn’t want to become an Empress; she’s just looking for a … STUD!!! And she starts the list of potential f
Angela James
Apr 06, 2016 marked it as edited
I love a first kiss scene and while I was editing, I thought this between the emperor and Evony is wonderful!

“You are aware Amazzi don’t typically have much trade in intrigue? I’m not certain how much use I will be, but I will certainly do all I can.”

“I can ask nothing less,” he said, with a tiny quirk of his lips that seemed to be the closest thing to a smile to cross his face. Evony often wondered why nothing seemed to please this man. “I will of course reward your efforts. Do you wish to be
Jul 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
When I saw that this debut author was the winner of the 2015 So You Think You Can Write contest sponsored by Harlequin, I was excited to try it. I also love to try fantasy romance and this one seemed to fit the bill. I initially loved the world and the heroine - but by the end of the book, I had many frustrations.

Evony is our heroine and she is an Amazzi warrior. She comes from a land full of warriors and she is very skilled at combat and an amazing archer. Wanting to provide children to her peo
May 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
The Emperor’s Arrow is a masterfully blending of The Bachelor meets Xena Warrior Princess .

Evony is a strong female warrior with mad archery skills. She finds herself thrust into a contest to become the bride of the Emperor. Evony has absolutely no interest in becoming the Emperor’s chosen bride but it is almost immediately apparent that she is going to make her mark on the competition just by being herself.

Evony requests the right to keep her fighting skills up and begins to train with the men,
Lady Entropy
Aug 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
If I had to describe this book to someone, it'd be The Selection if the protagonist was Katniss while channelling Wonder Woman, and all set in a fantasy version of Ancient Rome.

This sounds awesome, right? Especially when I actually liked The Selection. And, at first, this book is the best. It was on the fast track for a four star. The protagonist was sensible and non-nonsense, could fight and fend for herself, there was a conspiracy, and a distinctive lack of misunderstandings. Sure, there was
Jess the Romanceaholic
I can understand why this book won the contest -- it was hard to believe that this is a debut author.

With a cool twist on the Amazonian legends, a strong heroine, a crafty emperor, intrigue, betrayal, and....a Bachelor-style contest to find the Emperor a wife?

That last part is not nearly as ridiculous as it sounds, and combined with great pacing, interesting characters, and just the right amount of steam and action, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

While the HEA wasn't exactly what I'm used to, and the c
L.R.W. Lee
Jan 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 Stars!

This is a good story with enough action and adventure, mixed with a sweet romance, to have me satisfied as I close the book. That said, I thought the premise of this being similar to The Selection fell short. There wasn't much by way of relationships between the anyone other than the Emperor and the main protagonist. There was only mild cat-fighting one would expect, but the relationship between the two main characters seemed more one-sided and while I cared deeply about the girl, I ne
Jul 16, 2016 rated it it was ok

From reading the description of this book and looking at the cover I had a good idea of what this book would be. I thought it would be about a warrior woman protecting an emperor. I thought it would be full of action scenes and maybe some big battles.

I was wrong. I didn't get any of those things. Instead this book turned out to be a fantasy version of The Bachelor.

There were three things about this book that really grated on me.

1) I found it pretty boring. By 60% I still felt like nothing had
Marta Cox
May 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley, my-reviews
For a debut novel this is pretty impressive. I loved the idea of this almost Amazonian like heroine and her attitude was simply devinely funny. Evony is a proud warrior and has no dreams of being an Empress but still tries her best to make her people proud. The simple fact of the matter though is her competition are not really the sharpest tools in the box and Evony quickly stands out . Yet political intruige ( which Evony has no experience of) and traitors at large mean pretty soon her skills a ...more
Monique V
May 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016, fantasy, adult
3.5 stars
It's a really quick book. It feels more like a short story. I had lots of problems with this book
1) The secondary characters where not memmorable.
2) There was no chemestry between the couple plus insta-love
3) lack of world building.

Anyway, it was still very enjoyable and fun. There where some really great moments and we'll written sex scenes too so I think this author could write way better stuff in the future!
Lucie V.
Oct 31, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
🆗 World-building
🆗 Action
🆗❌ Characters
❌ Convenient and incoherent plot
❌ Predictable / Cliché

DNF at 54%

This book is not bad, but it's not good either. It is a case of bland and cliché characters, with an ordinary back-story and a very predictable story (with some parts that did not make much sense sometimes).

Evony is a badass warrior send to the emperor's castle with 25 other girls from every noble family of the land to enter a contest to find the next empress.

The first thing that bothered me is t
Lillian ☁ Cloud 9 Books ☁
** 2 Stars- It's okay **

Great story, atrocious execution.

I loved how it was about a bachelorette contest, but the writing was just poor and frustrating.

The sexual tension clashed with the writing style.

It was also disappointing to discover that Evony wasn't like Xena or some other strong female character. Would I recommend this book to anyone? No.

description description description description

Jun 02, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc
This book is like The Selection with fewer dresses and more archers, or Poison Study with many more factions to keep straight. I like what Smith is going for but it falls short for me.

The good:

- Competence porn, I love thee. Evony is very good at what she does - shooting things with arrows. She is kick ass, knows it, and doesn't let anyone boss her around. You go, girl.

- Some of the language usage is neat - I like "brightness" as a title for the young ladies. It just feels right in the world.

How to describe this book? It's like if Wonder Woman entered the Selection series by Keira Cass. It honestly feels a bit like Wonder Woman fanfiction but that is not meant as a negative.

Evony won a contest amongst her warrior clan and was chosen to go to the mainland to be entered in a contest for the emperor to select his next empresses. She did not realize that was her "prize" and wants to compete with honor, but also is not actually interested in leaving her island clan. She does have a side
After a slow start, this was okay. It had that same feeling of 'The Selection' though less lame since Evony pretty much didn't want to be there other than to shoot arrows and get knocked up.

It read really YA, but then somewhat explicit sexy-times. So.

I would have liked heaps more backstory re: the Empire and Evony's clan, but I believe this is a standalone. Still, it was a fine read for a Sunday night where wine was involved.

Bow girl warrior Evony leaves her idyllic lady-friendly forest island home and journeys to the imperial palace on the mainland. Ha ha, suck it, her sisters have said. She’s won a shooting competition, and as a ‘prize’ she’s been selected to take part in Emperor Galen’s bride finding contest.

Galen has conquered the entire world for personal reasons. He needs to settle down at some stage, and getting a princess or noble girl from each of the big families in charge of each of the big provinces give
♥ WishfulMiss ♥
Actual Rating: 2.5 Stars

The rating was a solid 3 star for the fantasy but the romance just didn’t flow for me. The romance was a tentative 2 stars.This was a 50/50 read for me. Good and bad. I thought this would have worked better as a fantasy with focus on the world/people and shady politics rather than the romance. The pacing was off and with the ending so open ended, it just didn’t work for me. The plot was okay and the mystery a bit of a snooze. TBH it read like a fanfic YA.

So what
Jun 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Review for: The Emperor's Arrow by Lauren D.M. Smith

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 3/5

SUMMARY: Evony, an Amazzi warrior and member of clan Aureline, has been summoned as a bride candidate for the Emperor. Though she has no intention of marrying the Emperor, her loyalty to the Empire and her honor demand that she participate. However, as she get’s to know Emperor Galen, she realizes that he is nothing like what she thought, and she finds herself wanting to get to know him. As the rivalry among the remaining bride
Evony is a warrior of the Amazzi, a matriarchal clan from a small island. She has never visited the mainland before but she has been chosen to represent her clan at a contest to decide the Emperor's new bride. Evony has no interest in becoming Empress but her clan has sworn fealty to the Emperor's family so she will do her duty and compete. She intends to use her time on the mainland to attempt to find a life mate, or at least someone with good genes to impregnate her, before she goes back to th ...more
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
What do you get when you cross Game of Thrones with The Bachelor? THE EMPEROR'S ARROW, natch!

Winning an archery competition against her sisters should have been exciting for Evony of Aureline, but when the "prize" is being sent to the mainland as a potential bride for Emperor Galen Fuscienne, she's disgusted. The old man is known for being a horrible person, but her dread turns to a strange intrigue as the bride competition gets underway and not only is the emperor not hideous, but he's also a
DNF at 66%. I knew this was more of a romance than straight-up fantasy when I decided to read it, but I figured the mostly-positive reviews were a good sign. Unfortunately, our protagonist isn't much more developed than your typical Harlequin novel. (And anyway, there are certainly better-developed female main characters out there in the Harlequin romance world.)

Evony is about as Mary Sue as a female protagonist can be. She's fearless, intelligent, a perfect fighter, kind to everyone, and beaut
Karen  ⚜Mess⚜
Jul 20, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
bor·ing not interesting; tedious.
synonyms: tedious, dull, monotonous, repetitive, unrelieved, unvaried, unimaginative, uneventful; characterless, featureless, colorless, lifeless, insipid, uninteresting, unexciting, uninspiring, unstimulating, uninvolving; unreadable, unwatchable; jejune, flat, bland, dry, stale, tired, banal, lackluster, stodgy, vapid, monochrome, dreary, humdrum, mundane;
mind-numbing, wearisome, tiring, tiresome, irksome, trying, frustrating;
informaldeadly, ho-hum, dullsville
Lyndi W.
Aug 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-star
I liked it much more the first time I read it. On reread, I have a few more issues but nothing that would discourage me from reading more from this author.

Original comment:

A few editing issues. Awesome story, loved the Big Reveal. I hope to see more from this author.
Jan 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars.
A fun story with a kickass heroine.
But I disappointed with the ending, feel incomplete, oh well...
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance, fantasy
This wasn't a terrible book. But neither was it anything great. I finished it a few hours ago but to write this review, I had to look through the book to remember what even happened. That could be because I began skimming from about 70% onwards because it was so predictable, but it was also missing that hook to grab me in. The premise seemed pretty amazing, but it never delivered. The idea that the emperor had gathered these women to root out a conspiracy could've been used as a twist later on, ...more
Jun 01, 2016 rated it liked it
I really wanted to love this book. Honestly, I'd give the first half of the book a solid 4 stars, and the second half just 2. I really like Evony's character. She was strong, intelligent and not your typical ditsy heroine. But, her relationship with Galen was totally flat. No chemistry at all. I"m not sure if it was the lack of chemistry or the writing in general, but I think those had to have been the most awkward sex scenes I've ever read. Overall the book is just ok. With some care, it could ...more
Sep 26, 2016 rated it liked it
While overall this book was a very good firs effort and a decent adventure story, for me if did suffer from the following shortfalls:
1. The world-building was ambiguous - you get the feel of ancient Rome - type era but that is all.
2. Secondary characters, specially other contestants are so poorly defined, they are more like a shadows around the edges.
3. The biggest disappointment for me - Galen. For someone who he is suppose to be , his character is extraordinary bland without any presence or
Jul 26, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-read
*** 3.9 Stars ***

Author graduate from Watpad to HQN Winner for 2015.

The story was well written, its fast paced never a dull moment.

 photo img1469583531511-01_zpsz4zicu1y.jpeg

Dec 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
It was a little too "extra"--- the story line, the dialogue, the characters, the ending. Evony was a perfect warrior princess who cared about the "little people" and who gained the loyalty/respect of every soldier she met. Galen was a one dimensional cardboard cutout of an emperor who "accidentally" conquered the world while avenging his sister's death. (He rarely smiles, doesn't laugh, is kind of harsh.. etc). But it was entertaining enough to finish and I didn't hate it. ...more
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I'm a huge geek, book fiend, and someone who refuses to grow up (Popcorn for dinner is a perfectly legitimate decision. As is sliding down banisters). I have a bad case of wanderlust that has taken me all over the world, I've lived in three countries now and visited many more. This has also led me to have a rather...eclectic series of jobs up until now.

I have finally settled down in a small villag

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