Monday, March 28, 2016

An Empire of Traitors by Serban V.C. Enache ~ Review

Title: An Empire of Traitors (Of Hate and Laughter #1)
Author: Serban V.C. Enache
Genre: Adult, Fantasy
Length: 323 Pages
Publisher: Independent
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Source: Review Request
Rating: 3 Stars
Reviewed by: Jasmyn

Flesh will bleed. Bones will break. Swords will turn.

An Empire Of Traitors follows several principal storylines simultaneously. It's been eight years since the end of the civil war between the Inquisition and emperor Zygar Ferus, worshiper of blood gods. Eight years into the aftermath, a new emperor sits the Sun Throne, and the Inquisition is no more.

In the five realms of the Empire things are stirring. Driven by ambition or wounded pride, many nobles like the dog-headed serpent of Stoneweed seek to change their fortunes, even with the price of treachery. And from exile, from the heathen nations of the Lowlands, another Sunborn scion of house Mero gathers strength behind his claim. No family, great or small, shall remain indifferent to fate's whim. It takes an emperor to rule an empire, but it takes numbers and honored oaths to keep both crown and throne.

In the Westlands, Drakanes, a sister of the temple finds herself in the role of witness and proctor, of passing judgement on a man accused of murder, who claims to have been possessed. The trial's proceedings enlighten her as to the truth of it all, and the good sister is willing to, out of pure stubbornness, risk death for justice. Emperor Hagyai Rovines Mero fears for the continuation of his line, and sends Sycarus on an errand to the Desertlands to bring back an Aharo maiden for his son and heir. It is said that the Aharo savage women always give birth to healthy babes. Hagyai Rovines desires a betrothal between the prince heir and a savage girl - trying to emulate a long dead custom of the Sunborn emperors. Such a move is most unpopular, and the whispers of another civil war are once again in the air.

The imperial chancellor warns Birus Mandon, lord of Rivermark and warden of the Streamlands, of a plot against the emperor, a plot made by his exiled brother, Amarius Soronius. Mandon tries to gather knowledge on the schemes of potential oathbreakers, but his trade is not that of a spy. When he hires the Mounted Arrows Company of Narak al Zull, Birus learns more than mere outlandish tactics; he finds a new source of strength in the sellsword's foreign warrior god.

Kalafar Sodomis, lord of Weiyenor and warden of the Northlands, has seen his brother get married, and he himself is tried by notions of passion toward a certain lady of a southern house. But as the conflict breaks out, Kalafar needs to act as a proper lord, as a man, not a boy. He summons his vassals for a council at Devil Mound, to decide if the north will go to war or no; and there to also perform a certain ritual to honor the dead of Fengard and Wyrm.

Find out how it all unfolds by reading An Empire Of Traitors, the first book in the series Of Hate And Laughter.

This is the beginning of a very epic tale. There are dozens of characters and storyblines that are woven together - somewhat. I think as we go along things will become quite a nice tapestry of the world. This isn't just epic in the character count, but in the size of the world and realms. We go from nomadic desert kingdoms to frigid northlands and the places in between. There are hints of magic anc magical creatures, although I have yet to see one outside of dreams.

There is a lot of setting up the various story lines and beginnings. Almost too many. Outside of the usurper timeline, many of them didn't seem to go anywhere yet. This was a little disappointing because I really like to see forward progress and development of all the little pieces.

I'm sure these will be continued into the next book and I hope to see a lot of great things. I just wish more of those great and exciting things had happened in book one.

*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*

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