Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza
Series: Empress of a Thousand Skies #1
Published by Razorbill
Pub Date: February 7, 2017
Format: hardcover | Source: library
Genres: young adult, science fiction
CROWN PRINCESS RHIANNON TA’AN WANTS VENGEANCE.
The only surviving heir to an ancient Kalusian dynasty, RHEE has spent her life training to destroy the people who killed her family. Now, on the eve of her coronation, the time has finally come for Rhee to claim her throne – and her revenge.
ALYOSHA is a Wraetan who has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. Despite his popularity, Aly struggles with anti-Wraetan prejudices and the pressure of being perfect in the public eye.
Their paths collide with one brutal act of violence: Rhee is attacked, barely escaping with her life. Aly is blamed for her presumed murder.
The princess and her accused killer are forced to go into hiding – even as a war between planets is waged in Rhee’s name. But soon, Rhee and Aly discover that the assassination attempt is just one part of a sinister plot. Bound together by an evil that only they can stop, the two fugitives must join forces to save the galaxy.
In this exhilarating debut for fans of Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles and Pierce Brown’s Red Rising trilogy, RHODA BELLEZA crafts a powerful saga of vengeance, warfare, and the true meaning of legacy.
This was awesome!!! It took a little while to get going but once it did, Empress of a Thousand Skies was full of twists, turns, betrayal, and interesting galactic politics. The world building is pretty astounding; it’s a lot to take in vocabulary wise but I could picture everything and it was all very diverse and interesting, from customs and religion to species and technology. I can definitely see the Lunar Chronicles parallels for a few reasons; it also reminded me of Stitching Snow a little, and a bit of Star Wars. It didn’t hurt that I was definitely picturing John Boyega as Aly!
I did find the synopsis a bit misleading but not exactly detrimental to the story and had some trouble keeping character names straight at first. There also isn’t much romance but that’s not a bad thing in this case. The story moves at breakneck speed and is very much about life or death survival. I’m glad the author didn’t shoehorn in a relationship; the small amounts there are feel appropriate to the situation. That being said, I’m sad the sequel is so far away since this is a new release- I need to know what happens next!