Last Updated on December 27, 2022 by ThoughtsStained
So, okay. I’m not really sure how to properly write this review, because…I think this book broke me?
Look, I fucking love Wrath of Empire. Like, it might be my favorite McClellan books to date (and, after binging five straight books by him, that’s saying something). It had everything that I’ve come to expect from this world and this series, the foundations, if you will.
An ARC copy was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Publisher: Orbit Books | Release Date: May 2018 | Pages: 639
Age Range: Adult | Genre: Fantasy | Format: Hardcover | Source: ARC
The country is in turmoil. With the capital city occupied, half a million refugees are on the march, looking for safety on the frontier, accompanied by Lady Flint’s soldiers. But escaping war is never easy, and soon the battle may find them, whether they are prepared or not.
Back in the capital, Michel Bravis smuggles even more refugees out of the city. But internal forces are working against him. With enemies on all sides, Michel may be forced to find help with the very occupiers he’s trying to undermine.
Meanwhile, Ben Styke is building his own army. He and his mad lancers are gathering every able body they can find and searching for an ancient artifact that may have the power to turn the tides of war in their favor. But what they find may not be what they’re looking for.
On the Page
Content warnings are written up by me, unless specified. Subject to being an incomplete list, though guided by referencing this list and trying to highlight as many as I can identify.
- It had characters I wanted to root for, yet kept me on my toes, because they are complex and they like to test my loyalties. It had worldbuilding that is so in-depth and intricate, you go through your every day real life and think about an event that happened in the book and mistake it as a memory of something that happened in real life; it’s just that bloody vivid. It has a plot that twists like no one’s business.
- It also has characters who I get so attached to, I literally stay up until 2am after getting off of work at midnight to finish the book, and cry for the first time in recent memory. No, I’m too busy crying–literal tears–after reading the words, “Don’t try and rob me of that promise.” Hell, even writing about it now, I’m getting chills, because of course he would say that. Of course she would do that.
I set the book down, finished, and experience a whirlwind of emotions. Absolutely desperate to find out what happens next. But also sad because I’ve sent the last three months reading nothing but McClellan. And now I have to wait until next June before I get to find out how this story ends. (Plus, my other favorite couple has just been reintroduced!!)
I’m emotionally wrecked by such a powerful and captivating story, built up by four books and completely dominated by this fifth installment.
Please, don’t make the mistake I did and not read McClellan, instead staring at his books on the shelves and wondering if they are any good, because they certainly look good. Trust me on this. These books are fantastic, being top notch fantasy that I personally can’t get enough off. I can’t thank Orbit enough for offering to send me that ARC of Wrath of Empire way back in May and finally kick starting this binge. Sorry it took me so long to read it.
But next summer, you can bet I won’t be making that mistake again.