The Bone Shard Emperor

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This is the second in a series, and I would not recommend picking this up without having read the first. I might say this for many sequels, but I mean it when I do.
The book picks up at the exact point that it left off. We have several predominant characters, and this installment adds more to the cast. There are two kinds of people who may go further into this review. One who has read and liked/disliked the first and wants to know if it is more of the same or someone who has seen floating information about this series (who hasn’t) and if the hype remains true for yet another person to help make up their mind. I will try to answer both of these doubts.
This book felt simpler to read, and I took a lot less time to read than the first. I mean simpler in the narrative sense (or I am just used to the author’s style) because the people and their relationships have been taken up a notch. Everything is at stake almost all the time. No one stays the way they begin, and even with some secrets coming into the open the last time around, it turns out further secrets are to be more explosive!
We left an Empire with a new leader at its helm. This book has that leader struggling to find her place in the hierarchy. She has to come to terms with who and what she is (the latter has a heavier meaning than a casual glance of the word would convey). As her right-hand man, we have another struggling to place his loyalties. There are small factions with more significant power that alter the course of events at several stages of the book. The magic of this world and the overall worldbuilding continue to be a strong central point.
I am not listing the individuals or what I thought of them. Nor am I going to delve into the details of the interpersonal relationships that stood out for me. All of that would be spoilers and take something away from someone who wants to read the book. The book’s major drawback was that I felt like less happened after all those pages and even the major revelations than in the first. Politics and negotiations took up a chunk of the tale (not in a bad way), but I was not as satisfied by the reading experience as I hoped to be, given how I was ploughing through the book. It has made me interested in the next book because it has to be said that this leaves many in a tight spot, albeit with a small reprieve.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers, but the review is entirely based on my own reading experience.

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