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(The Amber Throne #1)

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  319 ratings  ·  74 reviews
Michael Johnston brings you the first in a new epic fantasy series inspired by ancient Egyptian history and King Lear.

The ruling family of the Soleri Empire has been in power longer than even the calendars that stretch back 2,826 years. Those records tell a history of conquest and domination by a people descended from gods, older than anything in the known world. No living
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published June 13th 2017 by Tor Books
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Melissa Dally
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Average rating 3.61  · 
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 ·  319 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, fantasy
3.66 stars. Final review, first published on Fantasy Literature:

Soleri is the first book in a new epic fantasy series: think Game of Thrones-lite, with an ancient Egypt-like setting. The multifaceted plot abounds in conspiracies, betrayals, cruelties, and flawed characters. There’s commendable loyalty, but it’s mostly overshadowed by the treachery, cruelty and double-crossing. Overseeing it all is the government of the mysterious Soleri, a powerful race said to be descended from gods.

The Soleri
Jun 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, adult, blurbs
Prepare to be ensnared in a web of ruthless politics and unbridled ambition, where even the authority of the emperor may be based on an ancient deception. Johnston builds an immersive world with elements of Egyptian and Roman history, myth, and religion. This story seethes with twists and turns, betrayals and secrets, and will keep you guessing until the very last page.
Unparalleled, fascinating, and intriguing. Soleri by Michael Johnston is a story imbued with creativity, mythology, and ancient history.

Soleri is told from the point of view of five main, unique, and interconnected individuals, who each have their own goals, motivations, and agendas. No one can be entirely trusted or relied upon, and for some characters, they will have to learn this sad truth the hard way. Each character’s point of view used in the novel is heavily developed, and is seamlessly a
Jul 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I am a big fan of anything Ancient Egyptian and of King Lear, so when I heard this book described as inspired by both of those things, I knew I had to give it a try. The environment and the architecture were definitely reminiscent of Ancient Egypt, as were the names and some of the religious observances, but the author definitely gave his world its own traditions and quirks.

I didn’t really see the King Lear comparison—unlike Shakespearean tragedy, there were survivors! I guess the Harkan king, A
Michael Johnston
Apr 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I'm the author so I'm a bit biased, but I am here to listen to your thoughts. Soleri is an important book for me and I want to know what the community thinks about my work. It's my debut epic fantasy novel. And I spent countless years researching and rewriting it. So, if you choose to review Soleri I hope you also choose to read the entire novel before you write a review and I hope you put that same amount of care into your review.

If you're interested in learning more about why I wrote Soleri, g
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I received an advanced reader copy of Soleri by Michael Johnston and was truly amazed by the depth and scope of this story. I loved the characters and descriptions of this world, especially the interactions of the different groups and what you learn of the secrets and plots surrounding these families. Even months later, I still think of this story and cannot wait for everyone to read it this summer - I will definitely be reading it again!
Michele(mluker) Luker
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding Fantasy with old traditions, this world created and ruled by the Gods Soleri, will captivate your soul and seduce you on an adventure you will never forget.

This story revolves around the Hark Wadi family, Royals of Harkana. Five members of the family are scattered in different directions, each with a specific agenda, a few not by choice.

This is by far, one of the most amazing reads I have absorbed. This creative world and strong characters will make you crave more. There is so much g
Joe Crowe
The author notes in the introductory copy that this book is inspired by "King Lear."

No pressure.

Author Michael Johnston has constructed a science-fiction "Dune"-style epic, shooting for the moon with a huge cast and a sprawling history, with courtly intrigue and political goings-on.

The character names even seem Dune-inspired, with my daughter's favorite being "Arko Hark-Wadi." Yes, it's my favorite, too.

The glossary at the end is helpful, but I found myself flipping back and forth frequently
Stephanie Ward
Jun 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
'Soleri' is a mesmerizing first book in what promises to be an epic fantasy series - and it definitely one that fans of the genre should pick up. I enjoy reading fantasy, but I haven't read much in the high fantasy category. It always seems a bit intimidating, but I thought I'd give it a shot. I'm so glad I did! This was a fantastic novel full of history, myth, magic, politics, family, and so much more. Every aspect of the story was incredibly well crafted - no exceptions. The setting was amazin ...more
Scott  Hitchcock
I liked this book and the second half was definitely better but it definitely had some issues. Having 61 chapters plus a prologue and epilogue the switch from scene to scene was quick. Within the chapters sometimes it blurred with no line of demarcation between one perspective another. Early in the book with this rapid fire it was hard to get a feel for the characters and in the end I really don't feel an affinity to any of them.

Next I would say this book is 99% historical fiction and 1% fantas
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5*s I Loved this story and all the characters but Kepi and Rend are my top favorite, Can't wait for the next installment.

Caidyn (he/him/his)
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, wish-list
This review and others can be found on BW Book Reviews.

The only reason I heard about this book was because of Emma, over at Thoughts of a Brown Eyed Girl. It's pretty funny because soon after we started talking, she asked if I wanted to read it because, somehow, she knew about my weird interest in Egyptian history, mainly around Cleopatra VII. When I was a kid, I really knew most things about her. I still know a lot more than I should, but sometimes I have to look up little things online to be s
Andria Potter
Jun 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Just as good as I thought this book was going to be. The only disappointing factor was that it's book one of a series, and leaves off on a cliffhanger.


Now for a more updated review, seeing as I've read this twice since getting it.

Michael Johnston brings you the first in a new epic fantasy series inspired by ancient Egyptian history and King Lear.

That's the line that caught my eye when signing up for the giveaway of this book. Primarily: Egyptian history and King Lear. The two don't have hard
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this reimagining of ancient Egyptian myths in a fantasy world setting. Just as much intrigue and complication as George R. R. Martin, but without the rampant death of favored characters. Reminded me in a lot of ways of The Emperor's Blades trilogy at it's very best. Highly recommended if you're into epic fantasy. ...more
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book has months to go before its release, so I don't want to spoil anything even with vagueness.

I'm glad to have read this, glad to have a new author to follow in fantasy, glad to have met Kepi and Ren and the world of the Soleri.

I am (view spoiler)
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Probs more like 3 mostly, but the story's foundation was strong enough to get a 4. Review'll be up on B&N soon. ...more
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
For anyone who likes the fantasy genre, I highly recommend Soleri. A surprising find!

Here is my complete review with San Francisco Book Review...

"For 3000 years, the Soleri sun-god cult has ruled the empire through myth and magic. Demanding a ransom from each of the four kingdoms, the 1st born male must be given to the Soleri to live in tortured darkness until the reigning king dies and the son is released to assume sovereignty. This year is different. The annual eclipse doesn’t transpire and t
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
As soon as I saw Egyptian history had inspired this book I knew I had to read it. I am so glad I did. Michael does not disappoint with this book. It is a great start to a new series that has not only Egyptian but Roman myth and history added to it. There is ruthless politics with so many twists and turns that I couldn't stop reading this book. I am completely hooked on it and I am waiting for the next book impatiently. 4/5 Bloody Fangs
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: epic-fantasy
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaway-wins
To start, I did receive this as an advanced copy

Overall, I enjoyed the book very much, and I will definitely be reading the sequel.

My non-spoilery thoughts: I thought the world was very interesting, it's refreshing to get a non medieval England-esque setting in a fantasy book. The different regions and sub cultures you're introduced to were unique and the ones that were hinted at made me want to know more about them. I thought the writing was good, I didn't find myself getting bored. There was a
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Terrific fantasy that for ONCE is not a typical fantasy setting, many elements of Egyptian and Roman society bring a freshness to this tale that I greatly admire. Interesting world building and characters, it was like a story you had heard before, but every so often things changed and you were like "huh?"

That's a good me. Things in the story do go the predictable route once or twice, but the freshness of the setting and the energy in Mr. Johnston's telling makes up for it.

Definite w
Nancy The book junkie
Rating: 3.75/5

Review to come!
Jul 12, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 out of 5 stars -- see this review and others at The Speculative Shelf.

Soleri follows five characters who must negotiate an ever-changing web of deceit and conflict as they each vie for power in the sprawling Soleri empire. The story and setting were reminiscent of Game of Thrones but with tighter pacing and an Egyptian flair.

This marks author Michael Johnston’s first solo novel and it’s certainly an impressive debut — it’s equal parts epic and intimate, as we’re dealing with a small set of c
Jerold Farver
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Jessica DiFelice (thefanaticreader)
3.5/5 stars

This was a really cool world and premise and I liked all the political intrigue. Ren was kinda boring, but I really liked Kepi's storyline and the mystery of the Soleri.
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an early copy of this novel in return for an honest review. I really really like this one. If you like the world of ancient Egypt (it doesn't say that outright, but you get the feeling pretty easily) then this is one for you. The world building in this novel is phenomenal. You switch between characters that are tied to one another, a family. The son was given over to the priory when he was only a small child, there to live a life far different than his sisters. He had to submit to the ...more
K Saju
Jun 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
The ending made me want more, will wait eagerly for the next one
Dec 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, read-2018
2.5 stars

This is an interesting book, but I wished I cared more for it.

There are five POV characters, all from the same royal family of the Harkana. Basically, the Empire of Soleri subjugated a lot of kingdoms; the empire demands tribute and the sons of the kingdom to keep in the Priory. A generation ago, King Koren Hark-Wadi rebelled in order not to send his son, Arko, to the Priory. He succeeded, but a generation later, Arko sent his son, Ren (at the age of three).

In the Priory, Ren rarely see
Ian Mathers
Oct 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, rt
There's some real meat on these bones; highly recommended for anyone who likes political/social/religious skullduggery and plotting in a well-imagined world that's got a distinct flavour to it (more Egyptian influenced than just another LotR/GoT pastiche). There's a commendably, sometimes bleakly realistic feeling to the way that quotidian lack of communication and trust trip up our many protagonists and antagonists in this sprawling story, and Johnston doesn't pull punches; some of those mistak ...more
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Michael Johnston was born in 1973 in Cleveland, Ohio. As a child and a teen he was an avid reader of science fiction and fantasy. He studied architecture and ancient history at Lehigh University and during a lecture on the history of ancient Egypt, the seed of an idea was born. He earned a master’s degree in architecture from Columbia University, graduating at the top of his class. Michael worked

Other books in the series

The Amber Throne (2 books)
  • Silence of the Soleri (The Amber Throne #2)

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