le 5 juillet 2013
This book is categorized as steampunk but I don't think that it's really the case; I would more call it fantasy.
Amaranthe is a policewoman in a world where women have no power and where they have just been authorized to join the police but still can't enter the army. Despite her skills, Amaranthe has not been promoted officer and see, once more, a promotion passes her to go to her less talented partner. However, the Emperor happens to assist to her arrest of some thieves and h is deeply impressed. When he hears about her, the chief of the army and former regent summons her and gives her a suicide mission in recompense of which she will be given the promotion she longs for: kill Sicarius, an infamous assassin well-known for killing policemen and soldiers. Amaranthe is not surprised when she fails in her mission. The only thing preventing Sicarius from killing her is seeing the bracelet the Emperor had given her. Shaken, Amaranthe nonetheless takes advantage of this and asks Sicarius' help in unraveling a plot against the Emperor she suspects his former regent to lead and soon, she finds herself a wanted criminal.
I loved this book. Amaranthe is an interesting character. She doesn't have any particular skill in fighting like her companion, but she is a good leader and always manages to invent some schemes or other to help them to get out of the problems they found themselves into. Sicarius is mysterious but is slowly drawn out of his aloofness by Amaranthe, principally when she drove him mad. We also meet a shaman who used to belong to a street gang, a scion of a noble house working as an escort and a professor skilled in forgery. All of them are interesting characters who form a fun group despite the fact that they are not very thrilled about it.
The Emperor is also interesting to read about. He is young and used to follow his former regent's "advices" (not that he gets a lot of choice about it). Yet, when he takes notice of the fact that he is manipulated and lied to, he quickly resolves to take back his powers and get rid of the traitors, despite the fact that they happen to be the majority of the army and the government.
The plot was also credible and there was no lucky coincidence to move the plot forward. I liked to read about all the schemes Amaranthe invented and the way she managed to convince everyone to follow her lead.
I recommend this book to people interested in reading about well drawn characters involve in an investigation in a fantasy setting.
le 4 avril 2014
A friend of mine recommended this series to me and I have to say I'm sooo glad she did. I love this series!
Last night I had one of those just-one-more-chapter-moments (again) and ended up staying up all night to finish book 3 (and just so you know, I didn't get a a lot of sleep while reading through book 1 and 2 either). And this morning I downloaded the next in the series.
The characters are the most fun and interesting group I had the luck to encounter in recent months and whenever I reach the end of one book, I don't want to let them go and end up buying the next one in the series. They are real, smart and funny and human!
This story (this whole series so far) is a fast-paced, character-driven page turner and it's setting is rather refreshing.
Really, if you love a good adventure in an interesting fantasy world with a pinch of steampunk and lots of action - you shouldn't miss this!