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ARC Review: Bone Shard Emperor (The Drowning Empire #2) by Andrea Stewart

Book Cover

Publishing date: November 23, 2021


Andrea Stewart returns with The Bone Shard Emperor, the second installment of this unmissable, action-packed, magic-laced fantasy epic.

The Emperor is Dead. Long live the Emperor.  
Lin Sukai finally sits on the throne she won at so much cost, but her struggles are only just beginning. Her people don’t trust her. Her political alliances are weak. And in the north-east of the Empire, a rebel army of constructs is gathering, its leader determined to take the throne by force.  
Yet an even greater threat is on the horizon, for the Alanga – the powerful magicians of legend – have returned to the Empire. They claim they come in peace, and Lin will need their help in order to defeat the rebels and restore peace.  
But can she trust them?  

My Review:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This one was slow to start, which was a surprise after how much I adored Bone Shard Daughter, but then it found its groove and sucked me in and I loved it.

We found out some things that really expanded the world and lore of the first book, while still leaving plenty of questions to be answered in the third. I loved learning more about the mysterious Alanga and I definitely still have a LOT of questions about the Ossana and witstone and the sinking islands.

I also loved that we got a much stronger sense of Jovis and Lin’s personalities and loyalties. They both care so deeply that when they can get on the same page, they’re perfect together.

I had to go back and reread Phalue’s chapters in Bone Shard Daughter when I encountered the first one here because I will admit to have completely forgotten about her (though I vaguely remembered Ranami). Again, in this book we get a much stronger sense of her personality and loyalties.

I also really loved that Mephi and Thrana had such a big role in this book because I love them and they are a joy to read about. They’ve matured, as well, and it was so good to see their bonds with Jovis and Lin strengthening.

I think in the end this book was really about finding yourself and your boundaries and your loyalties and what you will do to protect those you care about. This was a theme with each of the characters, even Nisong, and it was really interesting to explore from opposing sides of a conflict.

There were some big revelations near the end that made me really excited about the third book, so I can’t wait for that.

I also just need to reiterate how intrigued I am by the unique magic system in these books! The bone shard magic is just so cool, and its relationship to Alanga magic makes it even cooler. I can’t wait to learn more.

Overall a fantastic read and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Thanks to NetGalley and Orbit for providing an e-arc for review.

Favorite Quotes:

Iloh was an ass. It didn’t take me long to come to that conclusion. Some faces were worn a certain way from one too many smug expressions, their assedness carved into the lines around mouth and eyes. The lines on Iloh’s face were a map leading to only one destination: the capital of asses.

I wanted to sink into the floor, into the floor below that, and then into the cold, wet earth. I was Lin, I was the Emperor and I was an idiot.