“Empire of Chains” started in the classic fantasy style, a young woman, Nadia, whose mother was killed by the evil, immortal, antagonist emperor for opposing him. Her vow to find a way to kill him. Cruel minions and soldiers, the arranged marriage to the nasty and arrogant noble who supports the emperor. Marcus, the young man raised by his uncle after his parents were killed by the emperor’s soldiers as they tried to leave the Empire. Then it becomes apparent that the emperor, Warwick, perhaps has more altruistic reasons for his apparent evil behavior.
The problem is that his cruelty and imposition of a class structure based on support for him doesn’t really make sense if his motives are pure.
My biggest criticism is that the story seemed overly long, then the last two or three chapters feel really rushed. Elements that were given in meticulous detail throughout the rest of this 450-page novel were glossed over toward the end.
The author has created an interesting universe here, and I related well with Nadia and Marcus, but the reasons for their being thrust into their almost-certainly-doomed attempt to kill the all-knowing, immortal Warwick, who not only knows their every move but has carefully coordinated it needed to be made clearer. I’m sure that the author understands these, but it didn’t necessarily make its way to the reader.
All up, it’s a good story and the author has made a strong start in the fantasy genre. 3 out of 5 stars.