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The Emperor's Edge by Lindsay Buroker
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The Emperor's Edge (edition 2012)

by Lindsay Buroker

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2952238,041 (3.82)7
Member:Limelite
Title:The Emperor's Edge
Authors:Lindsay Buroker
Info:CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2012), Paperback, 322 pages
Collections:e-Books, Read but unowned
Rating:****
Tags:Fiction, contemporary fiction, adventure, steampunk

Work details

The Emperor's Edge by Lindsay Buroker

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Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
This kept showing up in Amazon suggestions when I looked at Steampunk offerings. And frankly, I don't see it. It suffers from what i see as Guy Gavriel Kay use of Fantasy. Of making it all too easy.

Nowhere do I get Steampunk from Buroker's efforts but I do get a gritty urban fantasy effort placed upon a society advanced enough to a Victorian level of Technology. My thoughts as to how easy it is for the heroes is that they get into a text book like stage of crisis that you read in writer's how to journals, and then some how, quite easily in hindsight, they get out of it. Especially as the Achilles like hero of course can kill hundreds without ever getting anything above a scratch.

And that person backstops our leading heroine whose own intelligence and wisdom has jumped a few decades and makes her the smartest person in the room without an education to back up such natural intelligence.

Alright, this could have been better except I had to suspend my disbelief too much. As for Buroker making this a series at the last moments of the tale, it reads more like the beginning of a Superhero Comic Book tale. No more for me, and there are far better for me to read as I go forth so never again. ( )
  DWWilkin | Jun 2, 2014 |
A fun, fast paced story with sympathetic heroine. Enough of an open end to make me curious about other adventures of Amaranthe, and her ragtag alliance. So I will read them as soon as I can lay my hands on them. ( )
  Maaike15274 | May 2, 2014 |
At the start, this one felt a lot like Tamora Pierce's Bekka Cooper series ([b:Terrier|13829|Terrier (Beka Cooper, #1)|Tamora Pierce|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1320532506s/13829.jpg|3056999]). But that similarity soon fades as Amaranthe wanders down an alley that Bekka never took. On the surface, this new direction has it's own excitement and promise, but The Emperor's Edge is something of a conundrum for me. I enjoyed the writing - the use of language, the dialogue, etc. - but there were some gaps. I never got a really clear view of what the world was like. In fact, the cover tells me more about the world than the book itself does. And as a hero, Amaranthe has just the tiniest hint of Mary-Sue to her. Things work out just a tad too easily for her.

On the whole, I found a number of the plot choices to be rather strained and unlikely - enough so that I kept popping out of the world to grumble about the story planning. So while I read it all the way through, these repeated interruptions of immersion got enough in my way that I won't likely read the next book. But on the other hand, I may be overly critical, so if you like your adventures to be big and bold, you may want to disregard my rating and give it a try. It was fun. Just not quite fun enough to overcome some of the problems I had with it. ( )
  Jefficus | Apr 25, 2014 |
The Emperor's Edge by Lindsay Buroker

I had this one in my kindle and of course one reason was that it is free. I decided that since I'd delved into steam-punk that I'd take a look see and decide if I should read it. The first thing I noticed was the humor- I'm going out on a limb here because humor is so subjective and at the risk of offending Lindsay Buroker I'm going to say I saw some definite humor in the text and subtext. I kept notes if anyone is interested in what I found so humorous. I kept getting this feeling that Lindsay may have spent a few hours somewhere in the past watching a lot of Rocky and Bullwinkle. This was not a bad thing-at least not for me.

So partway into the story I realized I hadn't done my usual thing, which is to look at the one and two star reviews. As usual many of those go on a bit about how they can't for the life of them fathom why there are so many 4 and 5 star reviews and how they felt cheated and wanted to warn people off. I love a challenge and so I jumped back into the fray and now I'm going to explain why I feel free to give this a 5 star rating.

It must be that like humor some forms of entertainment are also subjective.

Corporal Amaranthe Lokdon is and Enforcer for the Turgonian Empire, she's the only female enforcer so she has a lot to live up to and lot to of resistance to handle. She also has a slacker partner, Corporal Wholt, who has pretty much left her out in the cold having to explain his absence to her superiors. This is particularly distressing to her since her partner is up for a promotion that she clearly thinks she deserves.

When they reach the scene of the crime and she begins to hone her detective skills she is confronted with more disillusionment from her fellow officers when they decide she'd best be suited for cleanup detail. Admittedly though, Amaranthe is her own worst enemy in this respect because she seems to suffer an OCD compulsion to clean and straighten things. This is one of the most humorous aspects of her character and it makes one wonder is this OCD or just social training that keeps kicking in. She even finds she has to stifle the urge to clean in order to ensure she doesn't contaminate the scene of the crime by overt cleanliness.

While foiling a robbery Amaranthe meets the Emperor Sespian Savarsin who may have happened in just to observe her at work, however it is he seems to become enamored with her without her knowledge. It is in part this seeming chance meeting that begins the downward path of Amaranthe from Enforcer to fugitive. But not before she is given the assignment of her career, she's to assassinate the deadly assassin Sicarius and this could be the means to the promotion she's been looking for. The assignment comes from the Emperor's own Commander of the Armies Hollowcrest and during that interview Amaranthe once again falls into the sphere of the Emperor and has a few interesting revelations that will eventually help her better understand why her luck seems to travel south so quickly.

Amaranthe finds herself on the Enforcer's most wanted list and from there she embarks on life of crime with an unlikely array of allies. What's entirely entertaining about her cohorts is that each has their own social standing and quirks that make them only mildly suited for her plan and create an interesting and complex interaction. The Emperors life is in danger and the only people who know are a band of criminals under Amaranthe's direction and a conspiracy of criminals who want to see the Emperor assassinated, the Empire destroyed or at least a puppet empire set up.

Amaranthe's intel has unveiled the existence of some criminals who seem to have an agenda that is economically motivated so her plot is to threaten to disrupt the economy so that she can draw these criminals out into the open to reveal them in time to save the Emperor.

This is really a well crafted story that only errs in that humor is subjective and to some people may run flat or even go above and beyond them and distract from the story. Even so, cutting through all that the astute reader should have no problem seeing the development of the plot and enjoy the development of the characters. This is part of a series of books but has a satisfactory ending that makes it complete within itself.

Now I could be facetious and say this book was so good that I can't understand why it has any bad reviews, but really each to his own. It's often a matter of perception and whether someone dismisses the book for perceived problems and scans through the rest or simply doesn't finish it. I've always said if someone says something won't work or isn't any good they should never be put in charge of any phase of it because they will be out to make sure it doesn't succeed.

That much said: I'll offer my usual warning that this book does contain some errors, not nearly as many as I've seen in others but they are there. Sometimes its words missing spaces between them other times words are missing. Does it look like the author was spelunking into the thesaurus to find words, maybe, but maybe she was just following those ridiculous online 'writers' groups that insist that you should never use the same word twice within a certain distance to each other. Or possibly, since I never found any word that didn't mean what it said within the context, just possibly she chose to use those words with a purpose. Lindsay Buroker does seem to have a slight different style to her writing that shows up enough to stand out sometimes, but it is a good and refreshing style that is refreshing because it's different from the usual cookie cutter writing coming out of some of these online 'writer' forums. Could she use some more editing, couldn't we all, but I didn't find anything that distracted me from enjoying the story or following the well written plot-line. Would I read more?

Yes.

This is a good story for SFF fans, Mostly fantasy and not for the people who need a lot of solid science. It does qualify for steam-punk as there are enough elements of steam driven technology evident although it is not the main driving force of the story and I'm not so sure about Victorian dress. It has elements of magic, but it is not the only steam-punk I've read that uses elements of magic. It's a good Young Adult Adventure story and even has an element of mystery with well defined characters to drive the story.

Thanks Lindsay for a good entertaining read.


J.L. Dobias ( )
  JLDobias | Nov 10, 2013 |
I really struggled with the rating for this book. I have my own little criteria for how many stars I give to books, but I wanted to add 1 to this book - because it was free. But, in the end, I had to be true to my system. I was able to put down this book - the action frequently lulled - but I sure wanted to return to spend time with this little band of characters.

The heroine, Amaranthe, is quite unlike your typical heroine. She is not snarky. She does not kick butt. She is just honorable. And true. And decent. And, by just being who she is, she pulls in people to work around her and with her. And, oh, the characters with which she surrounds herself. Quite the merry little band she has gathered. The author also makes a little twist on the popular "thief" artifice because Amaranthe is forced to perform her deeds not while working for the enforcers, but by working more in the underground.

I know many have classified this as steampunk. The author herself dumps it into many classifications and calls it a mash up. To me, this book was just fantasy. It had elements of other genres, but, in the end, it is simply fantasy.

I really enjoyed the banter. It certainly was not constant, but happened very subtly in appropriate instances. Many times, I went back and re-read because I felt, "Did I read that right?" A couple times, I even laughed out loud. I suspect, as the characters are even more fully fleshed out in later volumes, it will happen more frequently.

I really, REALLY enjoyed this book. I am now fighting with myself over whether or not to start on the next one in the series. The battle wages not because I do not know whether or not I want to READ the next, but because I fear that I will get to the end of Book 5 and have a cliff hangar or other such nonsense that is so prevalent in fantasy today. I do really want to spend more time with this motley crew. ( )
  SnowNSew | Oct 2, 2013 |
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Corporal Amaranthe Lokdon paced.
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Imperial law enforcer Amaranthe Lokdon is good at her job: she can deter thieves and pacify thugs, if not with a blade, then by toppling an eight-foot pile of coffee canisters onto their heads. But when ravaged bodies show up on the waterfront, an arson covers up human sacrifices, and a powerful business coalition plots to kill the emperor, she feels a tad overwhelmed.

Worse, Sicarius, the empire's most notorious assassin, is in town. He's tied in with the chaos somehow, but Amaranthe would be a fool to cross his path. Unfortunately, her superiors order her to hunt him down. Either they have an unprecedented belief in her skills... or someone wants her dead.

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