ARC Review: Empire of Dust by Eleanor Herman

23 Jun 2016

Book Title: Empire of Dust
Author: Eleanor Herman
Series: Bloods of Gods and Royals #2
Release Date: June 28th, 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fantasy
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.

New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Herman entwines the real scandals of history with epic fantasy to reimagine the world's most brilliant ruler, Alexander the Great, in the second book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.

Oh my lords THAT ENDING. Excuse me while I still try to process my thoughts for this read. For starters, this proves to be one complex read with multiple POVs going on and different story arcs inter-lapping one another. Eleanor Herman has elevated the story to the next level with the aftermath of the battle from the first book. 

Heph may turn out to be my favorite character from the series now as opposed to Alexander whom I adored in the first one. With the strain in Heph and Alex's friendship, we got to see the struggle that Heph faced and I honestly felt sorry for this poor chap who has been treated as an outcast for almost his whole life. Now added into the mix is Katerina and he starts to realize that he may have feelings for her (oh I TOTALLY shipped these two together!). 

Let's not forget about Jacob. Wow that was some plot twist I didn't see coming with him. He didn't seem all too important in the first book but in this second instalment, let's just say that he's not someone you should take lightly of. Things also get complicated when Princess Cynane who was under his watch escaped and ran back to the evil Queen. And I'll be damned because Cynane is also one heck of a manipulative girl, I'M IMPRESSED. She's just one of the villians in the book that you want to love to hate. 

And that ending. THAT ENDING. I'm trying to calm myself down because I DID NOT SEE THAT COMING!! Oh my god the agony of waiting the next book now will be a torturous one. 

If you're a fan of historical fiction with a blend of magic, this series will probably be your cup of tea. Bonus points if you're a particular fan of Alexander the Great as the series takes place around that timeline. You can expect a few plot twists as you read along and nail-biting moments that will leave you a little anxious for these characters. The book may seemed a little slow in the first half but gains momentum during the second half. 

ARC kindly provided by Harlequin Teen via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Eleanor Herman

Eleanor Herman is the New York Times best-selling author of Sex with Kings and Sex with the Queen, non-fiction works on the love lives of European royals through the centuries;Mistress of the Vatican, the biography of a woman who ran the Catholic Church in the 17th century for her reputed lover, Pope Innocent; and King Peggy, the true story of a Washington, DC secretary who became a king of Ghana. In 2015 her first YA novel came out. Legacy of Kings, Blood of Gods and Royals is the first of four books on the adventures of Alexander the Great at sixteen. It has been optioned by the WB network for a TV series. She has appeared on the National Geographic Channel, The History Channel, and the American Heroes Channel to comment about historical matters.

Eleanor is so immersed in the past she is sometimes surprised to find herself in the present. She lives in McLean, VA with her husband, four rescue cats, and a dog, and sneaks out to the movies periodically, not to see the movie, but actually to eat the hot buttered popcorn.

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