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“The Empress” by S.J. Kincaid Book Review

Book: The Empress

Author: S.J. Kincaid

Series: Book #2 of The Diabolic series

First published October 31, 2017

The Empress

It’s a new day in the Empire. Tyrus has ascended to the throne with Nemesis by his side and now they can find a new way forward—one where they don’t have to hide or scheme or kill. One where creatures like Nemesis will be given worth and recognition, where science and information can be shared with everyone and not just the elite.

But having power isn’t the same thing as keeping it, and change isn’t always welcome. The ruling class, the Grandiloquy, has held control over planets and systems for centuries—and they are plotting to stop this teenage Emperor and Nemesis, who is considered nothing more than a creature and certainly not worthy of being Empress.

Nemesis will protect Tyrus at any cost. He is the love of her life, and they are partners in this new beginning. But she cannot protect him by being the killing machine she once was. She will have to prove the humanity that she’s found inside herself to the whole Empire—or she and Tyrus may lose more than just the throne. But if proving her humanity means that she and Tyrus must do inhuman things, is the fight worth the cost of winning it?

I had high expectations for “The Empress” because I liked the first part “The Diabolic” very much. To my great regret, the book started rather sluggishly. Nothing significant happened in the first 100 pages. They were just spinning in a closed circle. The pages were completely filled by their palace life.

The Contradictory Tyrus

My greatest disappointment was the character of Tyrus. Here he was rather soft and compassionate. Very different from the strong, determined young man in the first book. In “The Diabolic“, Tyrus was always a few steps ahead of his enemies and willing to make sacrifices to get his plan through. Here he was soft-hearted and it definitely cost him dearly. He was outmaneuvered by Senator Pasus and turned into a will-less puppet hanging by strings. The humiliation and downfall the author inflicted on him turned me off him for good.

Nemesis – Freak or not

Nemesis also backed away from his portrayal. The killing machine I loved so much was gone. I think the author managed to bring out the human in her and point us in that direction before the “freak” was recognized as “human”. All the changes in Nemesis’ character seemed to make her a full-fledged player in the palace games. But alas… She did not manage to save Tyrus from Pasus, she did not even manage to save him from herself.

The interesting part came near the end of the book. Just when I had given up and could not wait to finish it. Things were really going completely wrong. My Tyrus, who I wanted back so much, turned into a total psychopath. In a way, the author prepared us for this change in him, but it was not enough. I hoped along with Nemesis that it was all an act and a mask. That’s how well the author was able to describe the emotions that the “freak” was going through. I could relate to every tremor and pain of the broken heart. Those last few pages changed my mind about the book and I have no regrets about it being on my 2020 list.

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Hello, my name is Todora, but now also known as Dochka or Docheto. I have two wonderful dragons at home (boys ages 5 and 7) that I am trying to raise in the love of books. I was quite a chatterbox as a kid when I had required reading in school, and now I am trying to make up for it. I love reading fantasy, sweet endings are not my "thing". I love it when there are struggles, intrigue, and surprises in a book that shake you to your core. If I fell into paranoia that all the characters were traitors, my rating would be 5 stars. In short, I love to read and if one day I find a way to make this my sole occupation and get paid for it :D, I will have stumbled into heaven.

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