cover image Oaths of Legacy

Oaths of Legacy

Emily Skrutskie. Del Rey, $27 (304p) ISBN 978-0-593-12892-3

Skrutskie’s sweeping second Bloodright Trilogy space opera (following Bonds of Brass) blows away the expectations set in the first act and promises an epic finale to the trilogy to come. Almost-18-year-old Gal emp-Umber has been groomed to rule the brutal Umber empire his entire life. Now Umber has all but defeated the hated Archon empire, leaving only small pockets of rebellion. That is, until Ettian—Gal’s classmate, friend, and love—reveals himself as the long-lost Archon heir, uniting the cause behind himself as emperor. As Ettian’s prisoner, Gal’s kept in a gilded cage, surrounded by people who want him dead by virtue of his name—and others who want him alive for the same reason. Fueled by anger over Ettian’s betrayal, he’s desperately scheming to bring down the Archon rebellion and return to his rightful place, but the question becomes whether he’s ruthless enough to ruin the man he still loves—and their fierce friend Wen—to do so. The easy-flowing narrative expertly immerses readers in Gal’s inner conflict as he strategizes his way out of one precarious situation after another. Along the way, Skrutskie’s breathless, brilliantly written action sequences and tear-jerking quieter moments will keep readers enthralled. This is a knockout. Agent: Thao Le, Sandra Dijkstra Literary. (Sept.)