Empress of a Thousand Skies


It took me FOR-EV-ER to read this book. I did the thing I tell people not to do: I kept going when I felt like there was nothing there. I think I did this because I bought this book instead of getting it from the library, and I felt like if I didn’t read it I would have wasted my money. Either way, this book was dry and emotionless.

On my Facebook page I mentioned that reading this book was like watching a skeleton dance. WHERE IS THE BEEF, RHODA BELLEZA? There is so much going on here but you will not care about any of it because there is like 2% character development. Rhiannon is the last surviving member of the royal family of one of these planets that I don’t care about, and she’s been kept safe while another rules as a Crown Regent until she comes of age. Our story begins on the day she is to journey to the coronation. There is a boy that we think she loves but we see him ONCE at the beginning and ONCE at the end and the story tries to tug at our heartstrings by having her pine for him and I was all like “WHY DO I CARE I HAVE NO BACKSTORY”

And this lack of backstory/character development/emotional investment just runs rampant through this book. There has been this huge devastating war that has socio-political ramifications that exist in society, creating racial and interplanetary tensions and you’ll read it and be like “oh, sure, okay that makes sense.” Rhiannon’s entire family has died and you just won’t care enough to be invested in her revenge plot, which ends up being misguided anyway and TWIST it’s another guy that we only see referenced a couple times so we’re meant to believe she feels highly betrayed but as the reader you’re like “Who is this guy and why do I care?”

This book is full of stuff that is a bare bones foundation for something that could have been great, but never even puts on a skin suit. Belleza asks way too much of her readers: patience, imagination, patience, maybe the second book will be better?, also patience. There is too much going on and you’re just kind of watching and if you don’t just shrug and walk away to something more interesting, you’ll be as disappointed as I was.

I’m serious guys. This book has so much potential, but I think most will either walk away or regret slogging through to the end. Even now after finishing it I still want more. I want it to be more. Maybe if I go outside, turn around three times, and spit then come back in and read it again it’ll be good. No such luck, and spitting is gross.

I’m gonna go read Queen of Shadows to cheer myself up, and since I brought home 4 more books from the library yesterday I have more than enough choices to bring me joy. Read on, angry angels. 🙂