Grand Prize Winner of Harlequin’s 2015 So You Think You Can Write contestDebut 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 of Aureline, warrior of her people, has no intention of becoming a hideous old man’s bride. Though her people have sworn their loyalty to the legendary emperor Galen, Evony knows little of courts and intrigue. It’s simply not her world.
Yet it’s on the palace training grounds where Evony’s archery skills gain her the respect of soldiers and legates alike. The emperor himself takes notice of the beautiful, ruthless warrior. In turn, the young, steely eyed Galen is nothing at all what Evony expected. This man could very well conquer her heart. But does he feel the same?As the rivalry among the remaining bride candidates intensifies and the plot for the throne unfolds, Evony must make a grave choice: fulfill her destiny and protect her people or follow her heart and pursue true love.Either way, the honor of the Amazzi people and the future of the empire now rests with Evony of Aureline. For she is the Emperor’s Arrow.
I received an ARC of this book from the Publisher, via Netgalley, this does not affect my opinion of this book or the content of my review.
This had actually been on my shelf for quite an embarrassingly long time, from the time of my deepest slump, and I just couldn’t get past the first few pages so I reshelved it. But after reading Enveloping Shadows, I thought I would give it another try, and I am glad I did.
If I didn’t know better, I would have thought this was the author’s second book rather than her first book. It is every bit as well written and vivid as her second, maybe even more so, and Evony and Galen were much more clearly and sympathetically wrought. Futhermore (or maybe more to the point) I actually really liked both of these characters and the story they told.
Evony is a stranger in a strange land, she makes mistakes but she can acknowledge them, she is comfortable asking for help when needed, and she is willing to offer help when needed as well. Even better she is comfortable when others have different cultures and mores than she does.
Galen is initially hard and cold, but we soon learn he has good reason for being so, and as the story progresses and he and Evony grow closer he unfurls like a flower to the sun. I am being a little tongue in cheek here describing him as one would often describe the female in a pairing, but in essence it is true-he has healing to do and under Evony’s strong supportive shoulders he does.
As for the story itself, there’s mystery and intrigue and plotting. It is good and entertaining and well worth the read, I recommend it if you are in the mood for fantasy and a slight twist on the Amazon mythology.