The Emperor’s Arrow
By: Lauren D.M. Smith
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: July 18, 2016
Genre: Fantasy Romance
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.
Evony is a warrior among her people. She’s duped into attending a competition to become empress, something she has no desire to be. She plans to just ride out the competition, get eliminated, and then carry on with her mission of finding a “stud” to help further her line. However, she has no idea what she’s walked into. The competition is really a ruse in order for the emperor to figure out which family is behind the rebellion. So, he set up this competition where every family would send a daughter in the hopes of becoming his wife. If he can’t figure out which family is behind the assassination attacks, maybe having their daughters in his care will curb their attacks.
The Emperor’s Arrow was an interesting story. It was kind of a mix between The Selection and the warrior women from Dorne (Game of Thrones). Well, at least that’s what Evony’s people reminded me of. They are these bad-ass warrior women who are absolutely lethal and brutal. Their skills proceed them and sadly they are looked on as “barbarians” by the nobles but in reality they are the first family. So, you take a warrior woman and you throw her in with a bunch of young noble girls vying for the emperor’s attention, and you have an amazing story.
Since Evony is a warrior through and through, there are a lot of fight scenes. Whether it’s her training or her attacking/defending against rebels, there’s a lot of action. I liked that the romance didn’t take away from the fierceness that was Evony. I also really liked that Galen (the Emperor) was not afraid to allow Evony to take charge. Sure he has reservations about her putting herself in danger but it wasn’t like he was posturing all over the place either. In fact, due to Evony’s impeccable skills, he actually takes the backseat when it comes to fighting. And that was something that I really enjoyed. He didn’t throw himself in danger in order to “be a man.”
The Emperor’s Arrow is a great book for anyone looking for a fantasy novel that has a smidgen of romance mixed in with some fight scenes. I really enjoyed this story and I look forward to what this author has in store for us next.
“With the way the competition was going, she half-expected to be sent on a hunt for a Pegasus or something equally ridiculous.”