Tuesday, October 13, 2020

ARC Review: The Emperor's Wolves by Michelle Sagara

The Emperor's Wolves

Michelle Sagara
Series: The Wolves of Elantra (Book 1)
Publication: MIRA; Original Edition (October 13, 2020)

Description: At the Emperor’s command

Multiple races carefully navigate the City of Elantra under the Dragon Emperor’s wing. His Imperial Wolves are executioners, the smallest group to serve in the Halls of Law. The populace calls them assassins.

Every wolf candidate must consent to a full examination by the Tha’alani, one of the most feared and distrusted races in Elantra for their ability to read minds. Most candidates don’t finish their job interviews.

Severn Handred, the newest potential recruit, is determined to face and pass this final test—even if by doing so he’s exposing secrets he has never shared.

When an interrogation uncovers the connections to a two-decade-old series of murders of the Tha’alani, the Wolves are commanded to hunt. Severn’s first job will be joining the chase. From the High Halls to the Tha’alani quarter, from the Oracles to the Emperor, secrets are uncovered, tensions are raised and justice just might be done…if Severn can survive.

My Thoughts: This new series beginning in the world of Elantra makes Severn Handred the main character. It also takes place about seven years before the first book in the Chronicles of Elantra. Besides giving more information about Severn, it also shows us mysteries yet to be discovered about him. 

Severn has come from the Fiefs in order to keep track of Elianne without her knowing that he is looking after her. She would be extremely unhappy if she knew of his surveillance. While watching her, he is discovered by Elluvian who is the only Barrani Wolf who thinks he would make a fine candidate for the Wolves.

There are three branches of civilian law enforcement in Elantra: the Swords deal mainly with crowd control and riots, the Hawks are the investigators, and the Wolves are the ones who carry out the Emperor's justice as his executioners.

Severn is paired with Elluvian in an investigation into the deaths of some Tha'alani who are mind readers and generally feared by the other populations in Elantra. Seeing a Barrani connection leads Elluvian and Severn into the very political Barrani court which is where some of Severn's secrets are revealed. Why does a street rat from the Fiefs have such a comprehensive knowledge of the Barrani language? Why is he familiar with some of the tests for magic? 

Severn also comes to know quite a lot about the Tha'alani during this investigation and comes to know Ybelline who will become the Tha'alani Caste Lord. She also becomes involved in the investigation that Severn is conducting because the current deaths are echoes of deaths that came about twenty years before. 

I enjoyed learning more about the Tha'alani's group memory and how some members could keep things out of it or even erase memories. This ability has a lot to do with the plot of this story. 

This is not easy fantasy. There are lots of varied races both human and immortal who each have their own complicated politics and reasons for the things they do. Severn has to try to uncover long buried secrets that someone is demonstrably willing to kill to keep.

Fans of the Chronicles of Elantra won't want to miss the excellent start to a related series. 

Favorite Quote:
In the Emperor's Empire, power was not to be the sole measure of worth. There was right, there was wrong, and laws laid out which action belonged in which category. They seemed arbitrary to Elluvian, an echo of the systems around which the Dragons and the Barrani built their societies. Right and wrong simply meant: angers the Emperor or does not anger the Emperor--the person in power. 

The Emperor, however, denied that this was the intent.

I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love getting comments. Let me know what you think.

This blog is now officially declared an Award Free zone! I do appreciate your kindness in thinking of me and I am humbled by your generosity.

Your comments are award enough for me. Comment away!