(See all my Book Reviews and Author Interviews) – R S Ford https://www.wordhog.co.uk/ is the author of eight novels. This novel, Engines of Empire was published in January of this year. It is the first in his Age of Uprisingseries.
I received an ARC of this book through https://www.netgalley.com with the expectation of delivering a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’. This is due to scenes of violence and mature language. The nation of Torwyn is run by the various Guilds. Each of those is dominated by a family. The Hawkspurs is one of those principal families. Sullivar is head of the Hawkspurs family and the emperor of Torwyn, his wife Rosomon the matriarch of the family. They have three adult-age children.
The story revolves around Rosomon and her three children. Conail is the eldest and an officer in the military. He leaves the capital for the frontier to establish a reputation for himself. He is committed to a life in the military even though many career officers consider him an interfering noble.
Daughter Tyreta is the middle child and a sorceress. She is learning to channel the power of pyrestone. That substance is the magic behind the industry of Torwyn. She leaves the capital for another part of the frontier. She discovers the truth behind the native population that is being suppressed.
The youngest child, Fulren, is a skilled artificer. The foreign emissary, Assenah Neskhon of Jubara, arrives from Nyrakkis. Fulren is tasked to be her guide around the city. After a few days, assassins attack the two. He is left wounded and framed for the attack. To prevent a war with Nyrakkis, he is sent there for punishment.
Once the children have all left the capital, Emperor Sullivar is killed in a coup. Rosomon must find a way to flee the city to safety. Each of the children faces their own dangerous adventures. They all must find a way to survive if the Empire is to be saved.
I enjoyed the 16.5 hours I spent reading this 625-page fantasy. The story is full of perilous adventures. It is also filled with plots, political wrangling, and conspiracies. If you like epic tales of fantasy, you will enjoy this novel. I give it a rating of 4.8 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.
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