Empress of a Thousand Skies – Review & Blog Tour

Hi Everyone! I am super excited to host EMPRESS OF A THOUSAND SKIES’ Blog Tour today! Thank you so much PENGUIN YOUNG READERS for inviting me to take part in Rhoda belleza’s debut blog tour!

Synopsis from Penguin Young Readers:

A sweeping sci-fi fantasy adventure that follows two fugitives — a princess-in-exile and her accused killer — across the galaxy as they fight to reclaim her family dynasty and save the universe from a deadly threat.

Crown Princess Rhiannon, known as Rhee, has deadly accuracy with a blade and a thirst for vengeance. After her family perished in a suspicious spacecraft accident when she was just a child, Rhee grew up in exile while a corrupt government ruled in her stead. Now, Rhee has finally come of age to claim her title as Empress… and to avenge her family.

But on the eve of her coronation, Rhee is brutally attacked by a government assassin and only narrowly escapes with her life. Without knowing who she can trust, Rhee goes into hiding, relying only on her sharp instincts and her trusty blade to survive.

Across the galaxy, pilot Alyosha has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the popular star of a reality holo-vision show. But when Aly is framed for the attack on Rhee, he goes from celebrity to fugitive in an instant. On the run from the formidable UniForce army, Aly knows that his only hope is to find the princess and clear his name.

Thrown together by an act of violence, Rhee and Aly eventually discover the attack is just one part of a larger plan with devastating, far-reaching consequences for the entire galaxy.

About: Empress of a Thousand Skies is a young adult fantasy written by Rhoda Belleza. It was published on 10/31/17 by Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin Random House, paperback, 352 pages. The genres are young adult, science fiction, and fantasy. This book is intended for readers ages 12 and up, grades 7 and up. According to Penguin’s website, “Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin Random House, is committed to taking risks and exploring new ways to tell stories. Razorbill is home to a broad-ranging young adult hardcover fiction, middle-grade titles, and nonfiction.” Penguin Random House is the world’s largest trade book publisher and its mission is “to foster a universal passion for reading by partnering with authors to help create stories and communicate ideas that inform, entertain, and inspire, and to connect them with readers everywhere.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.

My Experience: I started reading Empress of a Thousand Skies on 1/28/18 and finished it on 2/2/18. This book is a great read! I love the futuristic feel in the story with the cube for instant connection and memory playback to everyone and everything. I love following those adventures with Vin and Aly, including their reality TV show. Their banter is fun. I like the high tech with machine police called robodroid that can detect lies during an interview on the go. Traveling in outer space and galaxy is a plus! I love the epilogue and I’m excited to read book 2!

This book is told in the third person point of view following Rhiannon (Rhee) Ta’an, crown princess and the only surviving heir to the Ta’an dynasty in Kalu, a populated planet in the galaxy. Another point of view is Alyosha (Aly) Myraz, a Kalu UniForce soldier and star of a reality TV show called The Revolutionary Boys originally from Wraeta, another planet but was destroyed during the Great War against Kalu. Rhee has been preparing herself the past 9 years to avenge her family’s death, but an attempt to assassinate her the day before she was to take back the throne only speed her revenge faster. Only when she ready herself to kill the enemy, she is left with a new discovery that the person she thought was the enemy may not be the enemy after all. She is now faced with a mystery of who truly wanted her family dead and who was it that wanted to steal the throne. Aly, a foreigner living in Kalu struggles everyday to fit in. Everything he’s known and familiar with suddenly goes against him. He is caught in the middle, blamed for the princess’ assassination, now is a fugitive against the law of Kalu. The hunt is on for him and he has to stay alive to prove his innocence before it’s too late.

This book is well written and organized. I like the start with escape and revenge to keep me hooked. I like the concept of “enemy against the state” with Aly running for his life and the law searching for him. I like his adventures with his droid Pavel, reminds me of a cute droid from the Lunar Chronicles. Despite Rhee having trained to combat for 9 years, she only use those skills once to fend off her assassination, and yet with help. She couldn’t use her combat skills to teach those zeppelin’s securities a lesson. Aly seems to have trust issues but he is ready to follow Kara anywhere without knowing the real her, “rich kid or ambassador visitor”. Rhee is too quick to blame just about anyone for her family’s death with just a gut feeling. The ending is excellent even though I was able to guess it. With few setbacks, the story is still an interesting read and I do recommend everyone to read it!

Pro: fast paced, page turner, outer space, futuristic, fugitive, some humor

Con: Rhee has combat training but she doesn’t uses it and she takes words at face value without proofs, blame one person and if it’s wrong, then blame the next

I rate it 4 stars!

Buy it here for free shipping: Book Depository or Penguin Books

About the Author:

Rhoda Belleza was raised in Los Angeles, where she grew up writing X-Files fanfiction and stuffing her face with avocados. She’s a children’s editor at a publishing house and writes from a sunny Brooklyn apartment stuffed with far too many bikes and far too many shoes. When she’s not writing, Rhoda obsesses over nail art tutorials, watches kung fu movies, and sews together crooked things that pass for clothes. Empress of a Thousand Skies is her debut novel.

More Information about Razorbill

Website: http://www.penguin.com/publishers/razorbill | Twitter: https://twitter.com/razorbillbooks | Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/razorbillbooks | Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/razorbill.books/

***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Penguin Young Readers for the opportunity to read, review, and host a blog tour! Please be assured that my opinions are honest.


12 thoughts on “Empress of a Thousand Skies – Review & Blog Tour

  1. Shouni says:

    I’ve been hearing about this one everywhere! I’m glad you liked it Jasmine! The premise sounds similar to Lunar Chronicles and I love those books. I also love the “enemy against the state” trope. Though I think I’d also be annoyed at Rhee not using her combat training when she’s been training for so long.

    Liked by 1 person

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