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Publisher's Summary

Since she was a child, the divine Empress O Shizuka has believed she was an untouchable god. When her uncle, ruler of the Hokkaran Empire, sends her on a suicide mission as a leader of the Imperial Army, the horrors of war cause her to question everything she knows.  

Thousands of miles away, the exiled and cursed warrior Barsalyya Shefali undergoes trials the most superstitious would not believe in order to return to Hokkaran court and claim her rightful place next to O Shizuka.   

As the distance between disgraced empress and blighted warrior narrows, a familiar demonic force grows closer to the heart of the empire. Will the two fallen warriors be able to protect their home?

©2018 K. Arsenault Rivera (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

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  • Nicole Ley
  • 24-01-2019


k. Arsenault Rivera is an amazing writer. I've always want to read a fantasy novel with two lead queer women in love but this series, the first book and this one, exceeds whatever expectations I thought I'd have. I can read and re-read these books and still just sucked into the story and I discover something new every time I do. The narrator also does a good job with the voices. She inflicts her voice, doesn't just read monotone like a lot of others. It truly is a performance, a work of art. Don't pass up these books.

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  • Tnya
  • 18-11-2019

Epic fantasy x anticolonial queer poc love story

the writing is poetic and so full of rich culture and world building. there are so many legends to get lost in. so many complex characters and histories. I'd say character development and journeying with characters along legendary feats were definitely the big takeaway I had here. also hell yeah anti-colonialism. I loved seeing sheffali as a confident independent character in this leg of the story too. this book definitely solidified the characters more with explorations into their individual storylines that carried me all around the richly detailed world the author creates. I wish we heard more of what happened over sheffali's 8 years away though. great narration!

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