One seat on the intergalactic Sakien Empire’s supreme ruling body, the Council of Seven, remains unfilled, that of the Empress Apparent. The seat isn’t won by votes or marriage. It’s won in a tournament of ritualized combat in the ancient tradition. Now that tournament, the Empress Game, has been called and the females of the empire will stop at nothing to secure political domination for their homeworlds. Kayla Reinumon, a supreme fighter, is called by a mysterious stranger to battle it out in the arena.
The battle for political power isn’t contained by the tournament’s ring, however. The empire’s elite gather to forge, strengthen or betray alliances in a dance that will determine the fate of the empire for a generation. With the empire wracked by a rising nanovirus plague and stretched thin by an ill-advised planet-wide occupation of Ordoch in enemy territory, everything rests on the woman who rises to the top.
The Games themselves were a bit much, but the explanation for them was so good! Oh those silly nobles. To marry the crown prince the king back then decided to create these games. He was fascinated by another culture that had excellent fighters and he was all, hey, that is a good way to pick a spouse. Like I said, those silly nobles. So that is why the games still stand and princesses and other leaders gather to fight for the right to marry the prince. It was a step backwards to brutality, but the king is king.
But when you have a lot of settlers in space there will also be those dark corners where brutality and slavers rule and there is where this story starts. In a gladiator pit where our heroine Kayla fights for money. She is on the run, we do not know from where, she has a brother. And we learn her history and why she has to hide. A sad and again, brutal history.
Which brings us to the real story. Fight in the Empress Games, get some more money and get the heck out of this corner of space.
But doing that brings her close to a hated enemy (hate that guy!), even closer to the organization that made her suffer (those people need to be taken down). She finds friends in the most unlikely places. Ok so it's obvious who, that is not a spoiler, the guy who finds her and tells her to fight. I liked him. He was decent. ...I reeeeally liked him.
A good story that kept me on my toes. You never knew who is behind the corner. I liked the characters, the setting, and the wars to come. Conflicts are rising.
But this is the first in a series. So it ends..kind of good for now. But stuff is happening and I look forward to reading more.
I totally need to read more sci.fi
She looks pretty kick-ass, and she does cover herself in paint at one time
Paperback, 352 pages
Expected publication: July 10th 2015 by Titan Books
The Empress Game Trilogy #1