A Trip To A Fantastical Historical Land | Empire of Dust Review

Friday, July 29, 2016

Paper Bindings | A Trip To A Fantastical Historical Land | Empire of Dust Review |  TITLE: Empire of Dust (Blood of Gods and Royals #2) AUTHOR: Eleanor Herman RELEASE DATE: June 28th 2016 PUBLISHER: Harlequin Teen ★★★
TITLE: Empire of Dust (Blood of Gods and Royals #2)
AUTHOR: Eleanor Herman
RELEASE DATE: June 28th 2016
PUBLISHER: Harlequin Teen
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“In Macedon, war rises like smoke, forbidden romance blooms and ancient magic tempered with rage threatens to turn an empire to dust

After winning his first battle, Prince Alexander fights to become the ruler his kingdom demands—but the line between leader and tyrant blurs with each new threat.

Meanwhile, Hephaestion, cast aside by Alexander for killing the wrong man, must conceal the devastating secret of a divine prophecy from Katerina even as the two of them are thrust together on a dangerous mission to Egypt.

The warrior, Jacob, determined to forget his first love, vows to eradicate the ancient Blood Magics and believes that royal prisoner Cynane holds the key to Macedon's undoing.

And in chains, the Persian princess Zofia still longs to find the Spirit Eaters, but first must grapple with the secrets of her handsome—and deadly—captor.”

RELATED: Legacy of Kings (Blood of Gods and Royals #1)

I found Empire of Dust by Eleanor Herman to be:

  • Better than book one
  • Full of aggravatingly annoying and yet loveable characters
  • Just as shocking as book one
  • To have a “rapid” ending

Overall, despite a few issues I had with Legacy of Kings, I rather enjoyed the book.

So I was super excited to start Empire of Dust.

There is no question that Empire of Dust was much more entertaining, and full of more twists and adventures than Legacy of Kings. All of which allowed Empire of Dust not only avoid the dreaded ‘Dull Second Book’ trap, but it also turned Empire of Dust a much stronger book than Legacy of Kings was.

The world building in book two was just as powerful as it was in the first one.

With the attention to details, word usage, and names -even with the “moderning” it up by giving everyone easy to remember and spell nicknames- everything really pulled the reader into this historical, and yet, fantastical world.

The level of detail in Empire of Dust didn’t slow the pacing of the book down like it did in Legacy of Kings. Even when we went to places that weren’t introduced in book one, I didn’t get bored reading the scenery and internal thinking bits.

One of the things I loved the most about Legacy of Kings was that while I hated a few, I didn’t really “like” any of the characters. 

Which sounds counter intuitive, but is actually a wonderful thing.

The whole Blood of Gods and Royals series was full of complex, lovable, and yet irritating characters. They did some wonderful things, and then turned around and had their stupid moments. They fought for ridiculous reasons, and let their emotions rule them. They did some bad things, and yet had moments where you imagined they were still redeemable.

They were complicated. They were real. And it made reading about them fun because I did not really know what they were going to do or say next.

Several things happened in Empire of Dust that left me feeling a bit surprised.

Characters, who were progressing beautifully, had slip ups. Story lines turned corners I wasn’t even aware were there for them to take. There were developments to relationships that I should have anticipated but wasn’t really looking for. Some hard choices were made that changed more than one character.

But it was the ending of Empire of Dust that left me feeling both shock and disappointment.

No spoilers here, so I won’t tell you what happened, but it kind of felt like we were moving along nicely and then BAM! the book realized it had to end. So it did.

In Legacy of Kings, we had this big, obvious climatic scene, and then things wrapped up. It almost felt like the climax of Empire of Dust was several mini (and mostly talking) scenes with various characters, one right after the other, and then the book tossed out one big reveal (that mainly happened off screen) in the last few pages.

I feel like I was watching a soap opera when something shocking was revealed to the audience right before the credits, and the announcer says tune in next time. Only I know next time is forever away, and I don’t know how this surprise twist happened (because it was the space of a few paragraphs) and I’m being given one last hook to try and convince me to pick up the next book.

It is kind of disjointing, and I feel a bit cheated.


Overall, I did enjoy reading Empire of Dust. Despite how I felt at the end of the book, I am curious about how that whole turn is going to play out. Because it really is a game changer. Empire of Dust did what all second books should do, it added excitement and depth to an already interesting story line.


"Heph understands all too well the lengths one is willing to go to prove oneself." (page 19)

"...truth and trust are more important to kings than anything else." (page 47)

"Do not wish for what you are not- you will always be disappointed." (page 277)

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