*This Review is Spoiler Free*
Empress of a Thousand Skies follows Rhiannon Ta’an, the Crown Princess to the Kalusian Dynasty. Rhiannon has spent years training for when she would take over the throne, but she has not just been training for when she becomes Empress. Rhee has also been on a journey to exact revenge on whoever is responsible for the death of her family years before. People are watching carefully for when Rhee takes the throne and many are hesitant and wonder if she is ill-prepared for the duties that await her. Although the performance of the future Empress is in the forefront of the minds of many, the thoughts consuming Rhee’s minds are fueled by revenge, hatred, grief and loss.
I’m going to just say this off the jump…I was not expecting to like this novel as much as I did. Empress of a Thousand Skies is a standout for me within Young Adult Science Fiction. Belleza accomplished creating a captivating story that was well rounded with characters that had depth. I’m easily distracted by discrepancies within a story line, but I did not run into that issue with this novel at all. The author did an amazing job of keeping the story consistent throughout. I love that this story did not depend on “love” to bring a level of entertainment and interest. It is so refreshing to read a YA that did not have a love-triangle or case of insta-love anywhere in the story. The severity and importance of Rhee’s quest of revenge is not cheapened by a love interest that distracts her from her goal.
I give Empress of a Thousand Skies a rating of 7-out of-10 Unicorn Horns. The novel is well written, the characters are multi-dimensional, the world building is superb, and the story is entertaining from beginning to end. I would absolutely recommend this book to fans of YA sci-fi and fantasy novels.