I loved this book, it was engaging from the very start and you just had to love the main character. Yes she believed in the law and in justice, she also wanted to become something more than what she was, she wanted to climb up the ranks yet as probably one of the only female Enforcers (a title which I can guess is something similar to being part of the police in this world) it is unlikely that she will ever get a higher rank, since in this world women are not see as fighter’s, they are seen a buisness women – very shrewed buisness women at that! But they are not seen as those who can physically fight.
Amaranthe is our heroine as she is pretty cool, I have no real problems with her, she has a nice rounded character and she is a thinker, she tries to talk to people first before she fights. You can see there is some kind of spark between her and the deadly asassian Sicarius when they keep coming into each other’s company. It’s not overly noticeable and could just be seen as a mutual agreement to work with each other for a time. However Amaranthe has a good backstory that doesn’t have her acting ‘woe is me’. She’s strong in her own way, although Sicarius does have to help save her it never comes across that she is completely out of her depth… If that makes any sense and there are moments when she say’s something that prevents any bloodshed.
Sicarius is the anti-hero of the book, he remains a complete mystery you know very little about him and yet, to the reader, that makes him rather appealing the lack of a background story just makes us wonder what his story is and why he does what he does. Most notably why he began to kill the Enforcers a few years ago. Part of his mystery comes to light at the end of the book, however it’s just a glimpse of it nothing more so it still leaves us guessing.
The Emperor himself is a really nice character too, although he does appear to be a bit of an idiot we learn why and then he really comes into his own. Although he is more of a background character than anything else it was still rather good to see how he was interacting with those in his court.
The other side characters who basically make up the team that Amaranthe created are also interesting… to an extent, Books and Maldynado are given plenty of character depth to them, although Maldynado still retains his own air of mystery it’s not anywhere near the depth of Sucarius.
Akstyr however is a character that I think needs a bit more love, his character is rather bland and in the book he acts mainly like a sulky teenage boy than anything else, while he does have his valuable moments scattered around the book, on the whole he is more of a character that you kinda wish there was more too, he just lacked anything to make him truly pop and at times I found myself forgetting about him, particularly at the end of the book where Amaranthe managed to recruit another member of the team, who was part of the enemies team and also couldn’t speak!
Apart from Akstyr the plot who brilliant and a very good read, I would wonder about reading the rest of the series though because from the blurbs I’ve read it all sounds like the same plot, apart from of course more character development per book.
If you aren’t a steampunk fan, I wouldn’t let that put you off this book, although it does have certain elements of the steampunk genre it’s by no means the centre of the book which mainly focuses on the plot and the interactions of all the characters. Everything in this book is well done, well written – apart from minor mistakes here and there but nothing obvious.
Definitely get it on Kindle if you can, right now it is free and it’s well worth looking into!