cover image The Bone Shard Emperor

The Bone Shard Emperor

Andrea Stewart. Orbit, $28 (416p) ISBN 978-0-316-54150-3

Stewart’s heart-pounding second Drowning Empire epic fantasy expertly picks up the pace from The Bone Shard Daughter, immediately putting the new leader of the Phoenix Empire to the test with multiple enemies gunning for her and the clock ticking for her to prove herself. Lin Sukai must show her subjects—and, most importantly, the governors of each of her empire’s islands—that she’s a better emperor than her megalomaniacal late father and gain support in battling myriad foes, among them the Shardless Few, a rebel group working to dethrone her; an army of the undead; and the Alanga, a godlike enemy from centuries ago now rumored to have returned. Meanwhile, islands are suddenly, inexplicably sinking, citizens fear that their island will be next, and Lin hides dangerous secrets of her own. Hiring the smuggler turned folk legend Jovis as her Captain of the Guard is Lin’s first step to currying favor, but neither anticipate how much they’ll come to need each other. Stewart keeps the energy up across the many engrossing plotlines, with immersive battles aplenty to keep readers on the edges of their seats. This page-turning installment is sure to please series fans. Agent: Juliet Mushens, Mushens Entertainment. (Nov.)