Sunday, March 25, 2012

Writer's View: Emperor's Edge by Lindsay Buroker

From Goodreads: Imperial law enforcer Amaranthe Lokdon is good at her job: she can deter thieves and pacify thugs, if not with a blade, then by toppling an eight-foot pile of coffee canisters onto their heads. But when ravaged bodies show up on the waterfront, an arson covers up human sacrifices, and a powerful business coalition plots to kill the emperor, she feels a tad overwhelmed.

Worse, Sicarius, the empire's most notorious assassin is in town. He's tied in with the chaos somehow, but Amaranthe would be a fool to cross his path. Unfortunately, her superiors order her to hunt him down. Either they have an unprecedented belief in her skills... or someone wants her dead.

The Writer’s View:

I’ve been a fan of Lindsay Buroker for a while. If you haven’t checked out her Yukon steampunk series, Flash Gold, I definitely recommend it. She gives away the first book in the series for free, which you can get on Smashwords.

But I’m not here to talk about the Flash Gold books, as much as I love them. I just had the pleasure of finishing The Emperor’s Edge, the first book in Lindsay’s Emperor’s Edge series. In all honestly, I’ve put off starting this series only because the books are so long. (According to my Nook, 700+ pages.) I have such limited reading time that I generally shy away from long books. (Brandon Sanderson and Robert Jordan are usually the only exceptions I make to this rule.) But I am so-so-so glad I finally broke my own rule and downloaded this book. It is awesome! I loved it so much that I downloaded the second book in the series, Dark Currents, about five minutes after I finished it.


Economy

The thing that struck me most about this novel was the economy Lindsay accomplished. For a 700+ page book, I can honestly say that there are no wasted words, no meandering fluff scenes. Every sentence counts. Every scene counts. The action and tension are non-stop.

In fact, it’s the shortest long book I’ve ever read, if that makes any sense. The chapters roll smoothly from one climactic event to the next. Nothing ever feels forced. Nothing ever feels like filler. I think this is a pretty hard thing to do in a long novel.

Character Group Dynamic

Another thing I really liked about this book was the group dynamic of the main characters. There are five of them, and each has a very distinctive voice and distinctive personality. This is another thing I think is difficult to accomplish in a novel. I’ve read other books with large casts of characters, and there are often characters who fade into the background, or several characters who have voices that sound identical to one another. This never happens in The Emperor’s Edge. Lindsay does such an excellent job of throwing five distinct personalities together, complete with conflicts, romance, and camaraderie. All of them are completely loveable in their own unique way.

For those of you who have not yet read any of Lindsay’s books, I recommend getting one right away. She is a master storyteller.

6 comments:

  1. I love Lindsay's books as well. I have read all of them except for Encrypted and it's sitting on my Kindle waiting. She also has a free audio book version of the Emperor's Edge on iTunes and I believe is planning to do the rest of the series as well.

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  2. I've been meaning to read this series for a long time now, but it's hard to find the time. I love Flash Gold, of course, so I need to get to reading this one soon.

    Most books I read have trouble making more than one or two characters stand out and be distinctive. I love the books that manage to make every character seem like an individual, whether they get much attention, or not. My favorite books usually manage this well.

    Great review!

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  3. @ Cathy - I agree, nothing more than a loveable band to make for a great read! Hope you get to read this soon!

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  4. @ IndieBookBlogger - Thanks for stopping by my blog! I was lucky enough to read some early drafts of Encrypted in a writer's workshop, though I haven't read it from start to finish -- YET!

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  5. I'm in the middle of reading Flash Gold at the moment and am enjoying it so far. I love the way Lindsay writes. It's been a while since I enjoyed a third person perspective. Am curious now about Emperor's Edge. I love books with a huge cast of characters as those are the ones I tend to write and I find it really difficult to make them distinct. Gotta check it out.

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  6. @ Lan - so glad you are enjoying the first Flash Gold book! I just downloaded Peacemaker, the third one in the series, last night. And the Emperoro's Edge books are definitely awesome!

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