My rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
How I Got It: eBook Purchase
Publication Date: January 2018
Publisher: Jordan Rivet
Point of View: 3rd Person Heroine
Genre: YA Fantasy
This July I am all about the Empire of Talents series by Jordan Rivet! I discovered this author back in May when I read The Spy in the Silver Palace and was totally captivated by the adventure. Now the trilogy is complete, so I've got the fun of reading books 2 and 3 back-to-back and sharing my thoughts with all of you!
Jordan Rivet has also graciously agreed to an interview at the end of the month. Plus I'll be hosting an giveaway with an opportunity to win THE ENTIRE SERIES. (Learn how you can enter here.)
Meanwhile, here are my thoughts on book 2 in this exciting series . . .
Honestly, I think I liked this one even more than the first. My favorite character in The Spy in the Silver Palace turned out to be Jessamyn the (apparently) spoiled and petty princess whom our heroine, Mica, serves as body-double. In book 1, we slowly peel back the layers of the princess's true purpose and personality to discover a fascinating and complex individual. One who suffers a HUGE blow right at the end of the book, changing her life and the life of her loyal servant (our heroine) forever.
Book 2 picks up in the wake of that traumatic event. Now Mica is obliged to pose as Jessamyn 24/7. Thankfully, Mica possess the power of mimicry--she can assume the face and shape of anyone at any time. Moreover, she is highly trained at assuming personality traits and mannerisms. Over the last many months, she has studied exclusively to "become" Jessa at need. Now she draws on every one of her skills to perform this difficult and dangerous task.
And . . . things get more complicated when the Emperor decides it's time for Jessa to pick a husband. A husband Mica has to woo in the princess's place. Oh, and the Emperor's top pick for Jessa's hand? None other than the sweet young fellow Mica herself has been falling for. Hard.
So yeah. That's going to get complicated.
This angsty-drama was a ton of fun to read, but ultimately was a mere background element to the much more complex storytelling taking place. Empires are mobilizing--the magical Talents are being exploited--war looms, and traitors abound. Mica has to use all of her wits and cunning to survive and to protect those she loves. Even from themselves . . .
I loved this one. Mica is an appealing heroine, but it really is Jessa who steals the show for me. Mica is definitely the better POV from which to experience the story--it wouldn't work if we saw things through Jessa's eyes (kind of like a Sherlock/Watson dynamic). But Jessa was the character who truly fascinated me. I've seen some reviewers state that they really hate her, especially her little . . . tricks at the end. But honestly, I had nothing but sympathy for her and the difficult situation she was put in, forcing her to make terrible choices for the greater good. (In fact, I was much more frustrated with Mica for . . . reasons I don't want to say for fear of giving away spoilers!!!)
I'm excited to dive into the third and final book in this adventure. From what I've gathered, Jessa gets some POV of her own, which will be fun! And Mica's journey is finally taking her into the heart of the enemy empire--right into the thick of the action, where she's longed to be since day 1. So that will be exciting.
If you're looking for an action-adventure fantasy that's driven by a dynamic female cast and features a complex and interesting female friendship at its core, the Empire of Talents is definitely for you! (And there's a nice little romance with the sweet young fellow too.)
I'll be back soon with my thoughts on book 3 . . . .