cover image Vows of Empire

Vows of Empire

Emily Skrutskie. Del Rey, $27 (288p) ISBN 978-0-593-12895-4

The intricate worldbuilding and pitch-perfect characterization of Skrutskie’s Bloodright space opera trilogy carries through to this final chapter (after Oaths of Legacy) for a wholly satisfying conclusion that immerses readers in the madcap adventures of rival emperors who love each other deeply. Ettian emp-Archon and Gal emp-Umber have returned to their respective seats of power—Gal to the court of his vicious mother and Ettian to the quietly shifting allegiances of the rebellion. With scores of people looking to them for leadership, personal desires must be put aside. But as Ettian steps in to lead the rebellion against Gal’s mother, the young men begin to question what they’re fighting for. With multiple betrayals—including by their over-the-top former classmates, the Wraiths—and several lifetimes worth of politics shadowing them, the men must find a way out of conflict and into peace. And, as ever, their mutual friend Wen Iffan, a scarred Corinthian street-rat, proves an integral part to every wild adventure either man dreams up. Readers will easily jump back into the complex political machinations of Skrutskie’s beautifully detailed world. Though the back-and-forth betrayals make the middle drag a bit, Skrutskie handily sticks the landing. Series fans are sure to be pleased. Agent: Thao Le, Sandra Dijkstra Literary (June)