Tânia's Reviews > The Weeping Empress

The Weeping Empress by Sadie S. Forsythe
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Jun 05, 2012

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bookshelves: books-i-own
Read from June 05 to 21, 2012

Sadie Forsythe is a good writer, and it’s noticeable from the first page when we are confronted with an unusual story about an ordinary woman who lives a happy life alongside her husband and daughter, but who suddenly finds herself transported to an alternate reality in which happiness is an equivalent to struggle, particularly Chiyo’s struggle with her inner beast. Despite being interested in the course of the story, it took me a while to get used to because I’m not really into the Japanese world, in spite of being fond of games and movies addressing the concept of the samurai. What could have been a book taking the risk of becoming easily boring, it was enhanced by the multiple action scenes and the journeys in the company of three unlikely warriors, Chiyo, Muhjah and Senka.

What captured my interest in this book was the synopsis, particularly this one question: “It questions the true meaning of evil and asks also what monster is not an innocent?”. I was instantly curious to know how an author can balance good and evil in order to create this magnificent dance between the three main characters. And I have to say the author does so with such intelligence, almost subtly, I would say if we don’t take into account the few subtleties of these warriors. I was both surprised and shocked at how easily I accepted Chiyo, Muhjah and Senka by their heroic qualities as opposed to their darkness. The blood shedding became as natural to me as it was for them to kill their adversaries. The downside is I couldn’t connect with any of the characters, perhaps because there’s lack of background story. I would’ve liked to learn more about the enigmatic Senka. Sometimes his silence was annoying, but also a part of being an enigma. I feel like there was a lot left to say about the lives of these unlikely companions, and the book would have beneficiated from an in-depth exploration of their stories.

All in all, this book is different, but interesting, with a kick-ass heroine, a peculiar plot with a lot of action scenes and great characters. I think it could have been improved with more character development and descriptions of this strange world. However, that final touch in the end was nice, with a mysterious epilogue that leaves the reader in suspense.

Will there be a sequel?

Favorite Quote
“You know, when I was very little, I was afraid of the dark – afraid of what monsters might be lurking out there just past where the eye could see.” She gestured into the darkness. “Even as an adult I’ve always been uneasy in the dark, but here I’m sitting with two practical strangers in the dead of night under an unknown sky, and I’m not afraid of the dark. There’s too much else to fear, and it’s all so much more frightening than the mere unseen.”

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