The Emperor's Arrow

Lauren D.M. Smith
The Emperor's Arrow
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Carina Press
Release Date
July 2016
Fantasy Romance

Grand Prize Winner of Harlequin's 2015 So You Think You Can Write contest

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.

Book Review by Delta (reviewer)
Jul 24, 2016   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
141 people found the following review helpful
What do you get when you cross Game of Thrones with The Bachelor? THE EMPEROR'S ARROW, natch!

Winning an archery competition against her sisters should have been exciting for Evony of Aureline, but when the "prize" is being sent to the mainland as a potential bride for Emperor Galen Fuscienne, she's disgusted. The old man is known for being a horrible person, but her dread turns to a strange intrigue as the bride competition gets underway and not only is the emperor not hideous, but he's also a decent man. Generations of her people have made sacred vows to protect the Fuscienne bloodline, and when he reveals that there's a plot against him, Evony is determined to help stop it. She has no desire to be an empress, but she takes her vows seriously nonetheless. Between pacts and friendships and deceit and treachery, nothing is as it seems on the mainland, but if anyone can keep the emperor safe, it's Evony.

THE EMPEROR'S ARROW is the debut novel by Ms. Smith, and is the Grand Prize winner of Harlequin's So You Think You Can Write contest. I'd describe it as a mash-up of Game of Thrones and The Bachelor, with backstabbing royal courts, backstabbing bitches, power plays and some hot love scenes. This is not my typical genre, so it did take me awhile to get into the story, but once I did, I found it to be a unique and enjoyable read.

The setting felt to be like Ancient Greek or Roman times, with the formality of nobility and rank. I enjoyed the uniqueness of the Amazzi people. For tribes made up of primarily women, they're warriors with a sense of honor that runs deep for the protection of the Fusciennes. I liked the thought of this group of wild women flipping gender roles on their ass.

Bottom Line: Though this book wasn't really my cuppa, it's still a unique and enjoyable read that I wouldn't mind reading more about.
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