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We Ride the Storm

(The Reborn Empire #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  1,195 ratings  ·  308 reviews
In the midst of a burgeoning war, a warrior, an assassin, and a princess chase their own ambitions no matter the cost in Devin Madson's propulsive epic fantasy.

War built the Kisian Empire. War will tear it down.

Seventeen years after rebels stormed the streets, factions divide Kisia. Only the firm hand of the god-emperor holds the empire together. But when a shocking betray
Paperback, 444 pages
Published June 7th 2018 by Cloudburst Books
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Sebastian Honestly, when I started reading this I wasn't aware of the prequel series. Having said that, I felt this book stands well on it's own feet. I never f…moreHonestly, when I started reading this I wasn't aware of the prequel series. Having said that, I felt this book stands well on it's own feet. I never felt lost or confused.(less)

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Average rating 3.95  · 
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 ·  1,195 ratings  ·  308 reviews

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Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Grimdark and Asian-inspired fantasy fans
A new gale of hope for self-published fantasy blows with all its might as Devin Madson summons a new triumphant tornado in We Ride the Storm.

Open up your thesaurus and look up the word “underrated.” Devin Madson’s name truly belongs there. I bloody loved this book, even more than all of Madson’s previous works which were great themselves. You can check my review history and you’ll see that for self-published/indie books that I've read and reviewed so far, I’ve given a full 5 stars rating (withou
Mark Lawrence
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book came joint 2nd out of 300 entries to the 4th Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off contest from a field of 300 entries!

It's a pretty long book so it has taken me a while to read, but I really enjoyed it! I think for me the defining feature that raises it above almost all the SPFBO entries I've read and above most books in general is the quality of the prose. For those that care about such things - and many readers do not - it's a really well written bo
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
This book just didn’t do it for me. Sucks, I was hoping to buy the trilogy in paperback 🤷🏻‍♀️🤨

Buddy read with my wonderful, MacHalo’s

John Gwynne
Jun 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, I loved this. Set in an Asian-inspired world with echoes of ancient China and the Mongol Empire this is a tale that hits all the right spots. Imaginative world building that feels historically authentic with a sprinkling of the fantastical, captivating, believable characters, and a pace that builds perfectly to a heart-pounding finale. There's a lot to love here. Highly recommended. ...more
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
EDIT: This is a finalist for SPFBO4 and this is now the official review from The Weatherwax Report for the scoreboard!

The first line in the book is describing the difficulties of severing a head with a knife and how it’s more difficult than many people think. It sets up the readers to anticipate a darker book with a lot of violence – which is absolutely what you should expect from the rest of it. If you’re not a fan of grimdark, this book will likely not be to your taste.

So, it’s one of the mai
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Actual Rating: 4.25 stars

“Even the smallest cog is important in the workings of a clock.”

We Ride the Storm has a very befitting title because it was really a storm going through this adventure of a novel. I have been interested in the book since the days it was self published and I am glad it got the recognition it deserves and got traditionally published by my favorite publisher with awesome new edits and an ass-kicking cover.

Madson can c
Nick Borrelli
Apr 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
WE RIDE THE STORM is a book that has had quite an interesting journey over the past couple of years. Originally released in 2018 as a self-published novel, it just recently got a brand new look for its cover (absolutely stunning by the way) after author Devin Madson was deservedly picked up by well-known publisher Orbit Books.

This book first found its way on my radar last year when it advanced all the way to the finals of Mark Lawrence's Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off. For a number of different
Hiu Gregg
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Edit: I have finished the now-traditionally-published version and will have an updated review coming shortly! But honestly my feelings are pretty much the same, though some rough bits have been smoothed out. I really, really love this book.


Original, Self-Published review:

Every so often you come across a book that you just want to rave about. The kind of book that causes you to forget all the unwritten rules of social propriety and “personal space” as you violently attempt to shove it i
Julia Sarene
Just finished this one and really loved it!

I enjoyed all the POVs, and how different they were. 3 different cultures, two at war and the third mingled up in the middle. Male and female main characters along with emperors, priests and assassins. All this variety has kept me hooked all the way through and kept it interesting!

The strongest suit for this book definitely were the characters and cultures. I loved spending time with them, and learning more and more over the course of the story! I was
Anna Stephens
Sep 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Epic fantasy of the highest quality

Intricate, compelling and vividly imagined, this is the first in a new trilogy that I am hugely excited about. Visceral battles, complex politics and fascinating worldbuilding bring Devin's words to life. The ending is both satisfying and leaves the reader craving more - mysteries are revealed around our three protagonists, but further mysteries are introduced that will carry the narrative wth excitement and aplomb into the next book.

Devin makes the bold choic
Nils | nilsreviewsit
‘We are the swords that hunt so your hands may stay clean. We are the swords that kill so your soul may be light. We are the swords that die so you may live.’

If you follow the buzz around books on Twitter then you may have been hearing quite a bit about We Ride the Storm by Devin Madson. Originally self-published and becoming a finalist in the SPFBO 4 competition back in 2018, Madson has been on quite the journey with this book. Now, I’d had my eye on this novel for quite a while, but never actu
Through war empires rise and fall. War is ready to tear down the Kisian Empire. Some like Princess Miko, a daughter of a traitor, will fight to preserve the empire. Some like exiled Rah e'Torin will fight because he has no choice. One woman, Cassandra, fights to make the voice in her mind go away. Blood will be spilled as a storm wipes away an empire.

We Ride the Storm reads like a low magic version of A Song of Ice and Fire. There are bastards, traitors, secrets, horse lords, and so many lies. I
Holly (The GrimDragon)
“They tried to kill me four times before I could walk. Seven before I held any memory of the world. Every time thereafter I knew fear, but it was anger that chipped sharp edges into my soul.

I had done nothing but exist. Nothing but own the wrong face and the wrong eyes, the wrong ancestors and the wrong name.”

We Ride the Storm by Devin Madson has quite the story behind it. Originally self-published in 2018, Madson began to gain traction when she entered it in Mark Lawrence’s wickedly popular Sel
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So after my foray in YA and sci-fi books I decided to come back to my typical reads and landed on this book....... holy was like going completely to the other side of the spectrum. I mean it starts off with a guy getting beheaded(not a spoiler). It was like the author wanted to REALLY reassure you that this was indeed a grim dark book in case you didn't get the memo. Even though it starts off pretty gruesome it never really goes full DEEP DARK DEPRESSION and even people who aren't fa ...more
Jon Adams
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Yet another series I must follow. I can't wait for book two! I really want to learn more about this world. ...more
Jan 09, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: spfbo-2018
* This is a finalist in the 2018 #SPFBO so I read it as a judge *

I had heard a lot of hype surrounding this book when I went into it, so naturally I had some high expectations. I think this book has even been suggested as the book which could win the competition this year, and I was very excited to get to it because it's a big old epic with Asian influence, and I thought it would be exactly my kind of read. Maybe I expected a little too much from it, because whilst it was a likeable read and one
Iryna *Book and Sword*
“Be careful what you say, Rah,” he said. “Be careful what you do. Open your eyes. Watch before you speak. Speak before you act. Trust those who have earned your trust. That is our way.”

I don't know if my expectations were too high, or what, but I didn't enjoy this one as much as I enjoyed every single other of Madson's books. The novel is brilliantly written, so this really just came down to my personal taste. Something just didn't click in We Ride the Storm for me. And with this review I will a
Peter McLean
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Splendid read with amazing world-building. Full review to follow.
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Many congratulations to the author for becoming a SPFBO (Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off organised by Mark_Lawrence) finalist.

This book is a wild ride filled with non-stop action, fantastic characters and imaginative world-building.

It took me a few chapters to get into it, simply because there's three protagonists and all three of them are written in the first person. At first, I wasn't sure who I was reading about, but once that became clear I could sit back and enjoy the ride.

The characters ar
The Nerd Book Review
Sep 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Im calling this a 4+.
Link to the author interview

The Nerd Book Review

As I have written far too often lately I will leave a much more in depth review at some point in the not too distant future. I also plan to interview the author in the next week or two.
Quick thoughts. Well written and an exciting story that I really enjoyed. My only real problem with the story and the reason it is a 4* not a 5* for me is the way the POV chapters were structured. I really enjoyed 2 of the 3 peeps and liked the
Sep 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This book is certainly going to be close to being one of my favourite reads of the year. Absorbing read, great characters and an epic plot.
There are three first person protagonists with labelled chapter headings, roughly alternating in sequence as we work through the book.
Princess Miko, in the royal family of the Krasian Empire, a sort of medieval Chinese style state. A nice character development from a pampered girl to someone forced to, and desirous of, making critical life and death decisions
Brenda Waworga
I probably put so high expectation for this book, this one just didn’t impressed me much.. it has everything I used to love on Fantasy book but I just couldn’t feel the excitement through the story but let’s us start with things I love from this books

The writing style is so easy to read, the characters are super interesting.. we have 3 different POVs here:

MIKO,a princess with great ambition to be a leader and constantly live in the shadow of her twin brother Prince Tanaka, Miko POV is probably t
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spfbo4
Full review is here, on my blog!

This story follows three primary characters, with each telling their story in the first person.

We start out with Rah e’Torin, who is the commander of a group of nomadic horse riding warriors from a people known as the Levanti. Due to something that Rah did, his group has been exiled from their homeland, and must leave for a year before they can be welcomed back into the herd of his people. As they travel into the land of Chiltae, they get captured by… well Chiltae
A solid fantasy with engaging characters, hints of magic, and violent twists, We Ride the Storm had a frustrating lack of answers, but it’s still a damned fine read.

Devin Madson tells her story through three POV characters, alternating between them in the early going, but then largely leaving one behind in the second half. Part of the reason why I liked this rather than loved it is the fact that it was my favorite character she neglected.

Princess Miko Ts’ai, a young woman trapped between a fathe
Mar 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Seventeen years after rebels stormed the streets, fractions divide Kisia. Only the firm hand of the god-emperor holds the empire together.

But when a shocking betrayal destroys a tense alliance with neighbouring Chiltae, all that has been won comes crashing down.

Now as an empire dies, three warriors will rise. They will ride the storm or drown in its blood.

We Ride The Storm by Devin Madson was an interesting book for me and the first one I’ve read by the author. It pulled me out of a bit of a rea
Jun 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I've never tried to saw off the head. To my surprise, it's a complicated and bloody process*. If you've ever wondered how it's done, it's described in gory detail in the first chapter of We Ride The Storm. From here, things get even more gruesome. It's probably the most violent novel I've read this year.

It's also a surprisingly layered book, but before you fully appreciate it, you'll have to look past spilt blood, sticky viscera or brains oozing through the cracked skulls.

Sounds fun?

Then buckle
Aug 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Alright, so my friends all know I'm not a big fan of the subgenres "epic fantasy" or "grimdark". So.. I wasn't really planning on checking this book out. But the author's really nice, it was on sale for 1 EUR, and like half my book friends were reading it so, you know, why not.

Aaaand I loved it. 4.5 stars!!

Which just goes to show how silly labels can be I guess?

Like, when a book is described as "epic", I'm always nervous we'll get chapters upon chapters of unnecessary info for the sake of "worl
Adrian Collins
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Review originally posted on Grimdark Magazine.

When We Ride the Storm by Devin Madison opened with the line, “It’s harder to sever a head than people think. Perhaps if one were skilled with an axe it could be done in a single blow—so long as the body was not trying to run away at the time” I knew I’d found something truly special.

We Ride the Storm is a book that fans of dark fantasy will love and contains a lot of the themes expected with the genre. he story unravels like a tangle of gore slick e
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Note: This is a personal review, and does not reflect the final rating that this blog may give for the SPFBO contest. will notify readers of their official SPFBO-submitted scores when appropriate.

I was unaware of Devin Madson’s previous work until early reviews of We Ride the Storm started popping up on some trustworthy blogs from reviewers that I respect. There was a lot of hype built around this book’s release that piqued my interest, and I’m happy to report that the hy
Michael Sliter
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 / 5 Stars

We Ride the Storm by Devin Madson has been on my radar since we both competed (not against each other) in the SPFBO. I remember seeing reviews of the first page having to do with cutting off a head being tougher than you'd think, and that of course peaked my interest.

Now, that was not how the version I read started, as Madson was offered a traditional publishing deal (yay for her!) and made some changes. But, rest assured, there is still plenty of decapitation. Too much for some, b
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/r/Fantasy Discus...: July 2018: We Ride the Storm 1 11 Sep 08, 2018 11:42PM  

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Devin Madson is an Aurealis Award-winning fantasy author from Australia. After some sucky teenage years, she gave up reality and is now a dual-wielding rogue who works through every tiny side-quest and always ends up too over-powered for the final boss. Anything but zen, Devin subsists on tea and chocolate and so much fried zucchini she ought to have turned into one by now. Her fantasy novels come ...more

Other books in the series

The Reborn Empire (4 books)
  • We Lie With Death (The Reborn Empire, #2)
  • We Cry for Blood (The Reborn Empire, #3)
  • We Dream of Gods (The Reborn Empire, #4)

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18 likes · 4 comments
“Do not make assumptions about things you know nothing about. An emperor serves his people. The day the people serve the emperor is the day the empire falls. Remember that, Miko, if nothing else. War profits no peasant.” 4 likes
“Be careful what you say, Rah,” he said. “Be careful what you do. Open your eyes. Watch before you speak. Speak before you act. Trust those who have earned your trust. That is our way.” 1 likes
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