Debut author Lauren D.M. Smith delivers an epic fantasy romance in this soaring tale of a kickass warrior and the emperor she's honor-bound to defend
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.
This book is approximately 74,000 words
Evony is a proud warrior and has no dreams of being an Empress but still tries her best to make her people proud. The simple fact of the matter though is her competition are not really the sharpest tools in the box and Evony quickly stands out. Yet political intrigue (which Evony has no experience of) and traitors at large mean pretty soon her skills are really put to the test!
Okay, the very obvious romance angle needed a bit of polish for me. Evony felt vibrant but alas Galen perhaps not so much and don't get me started on their intimate scenes because hey, clever hands and odd words just didn't do it for me. Yes, I just felt uncomfortable which was a shame as I'd been well and truly sucked into the story in spite of not being enamoured with Galen. In fact, if it had lacked any real sex and been a YA read I think I might have been happier.
The last third had me reeling as Evony turned into the Energizer bunny! I kid you not! That woman does not quit. The enemies of Galen just felt too stupid to live and the instant about face at the end seemed a little rushed but nevertheless, I did enjoy The Emperor's Arrow and would happily read more from Ms Smith.
I was gifted a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.