From the moment that I laid eyes on the cover of this book I was giddy at the idea of it. Yes, that's right giddy! Really. I've been hungry for more fantasy stories featuring people of color so when I saw this book and read the synopsis I was excited and anxious in my hopes that it would deliver. I mean it has the ingredients for a great book. There are the elves and their emperor, and a princess from a land of dragons. I was fortunate enough to receive a review copy of The Emperor's Treaty from the author and I am so happy to say that I was not disappointed. In fact, I read this book a few nights ago instead of sleeping. Forget sleep. Who needs sleep when you're caught up in a great fantasy?
The Good: This book was a refreshing break from the standard fare of many of today's IR romances. In the land of billionaires, wealthy executives, Navy Seals, and modern day vampires, there aren't enough writers that spread their wings and attempt something different. There aren't too many romance/fantasy books out there that include people of color. For that reason alone I applaud Ms. Pierce for her efforts. But that isn't the only thing that made me happy about this book. From the cover to the content I was taken in by this story of two warring lands and the uneasy truce/alliance between them. Right from the beginning you get a good sense of who the characters are and you're drawn into the tale immediately. Shann, the dragon princess, was likable but had yet to find her own inner strength. Her character showed growth from the beginning to the end and when she needed strength she found it and did what she needed to do. Although I didn't always agree with Arynn the emperor, I liked him as well. In my opinion the author did a good job of helping the reader understood enough about him to get a sense of the pressure that he was under to be a strong ruler of his people. His desire was for peace, yet he was living under the shadow left by his bloodthirsty but respected father.
Overall, the story contains mystery, deception and distrust as well as lust turned to growing affection and love.he story contains mystery, deception and distrust as well as lust turned to growing affection and love. Another character that is worthy of mention and definitely on the "Good" side of things is Eilam. Eilam is an elven admiral who plays an important enough part in this tale that I anxiously await his story in the second book of the series.
The Bad: Not much. In what is becoming a far too common complaint of mine, this book is just too short. I wasn't ready for it to end and I felt that when the ending came it did so too quickly. There was so much more story that could have and should have been told, and what was told at the end felt rushed. Things were forgiven too quickly and everything ended just too fast in my opinion and that was disappointing.
The Wrap-Up: I completely enjoyed The Emperor's Treaty. It was different from the usual and it grabbed my interest from the first page and never let go. This is the first book that I've read by Chacelyn Pierce and I'm looking forward to reading more. I only hope that with her next installment we'll get a longer story. She's a solid writer who has the skill to produce a full novel. The shorter length of this story, however, really is a disservice.
I give The Emperor's Treaty 4 out of 5 stars.
Rating: 4 stars
*A review copy of this book was given to me by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.*
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