We Ride the Storm

The Reborn Empire 01: We Ride the Storm

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

In the midst of a burgeoning war, a warrior, an assassin, and a princess chase their own ambitions no matter the cost in Devin Madson’s visceral, emotionally charged debut.

War built the Kisian Empire. War will tear it down.

Seventeen years after rebels stormed the streets, factions divide Kisia. Only the firm hand of the god-emperor holds the empire together. But when a shocking betrayal destroys a tense alliance with neighboring Chiltae, all that has been won comes crashing down.

In Kisia, Princess Miko Ts’ai is a prisoner in her own castle. She dreams of claiming her empire, but the path to power could rip it, and her family, asunder.

In Chiltae, assassin Cassandra Marius is plagued by the voices of the dead. Desperate, she accepts a contract that promises to reward her with a cure if she helps an empire fall.

And on the border between nations, Captain Rah e’Torin and his warriors are exiles forced to fight in a foreign war or die.

As an empire dies, three warriors will rise. They will have to ride the storm or drown in its blood.

Goodreads, Synopsis

Review

We Ride the Storm is an Asian inspired fantasy novel and the first book in Madson’s The Reborn Empire series.

The chapters move between three main characters: Princess Miko, Captain Rah e’Torin and an assassin named Cassandra Marius. I’ve read a couple of books recently which had a similar format and it impacted the reading experience in a negative way. Madson shows how to write several main characters like this in the right way. Each of the three characters is developed wonderfully well. As the chapters progress the depth of each character builds, but not just their depth, but the world around them and the sub-characters important to each story arc.

Princess Miko goes in a direction I wouldn’t have expected at the start, but once truths are exposed and lines are drawn, you must pick a side. Captain Rah e’Torin lives by a code which is challenged. And Cassandra Marius is such an interesting character As I progressed through this book, I increasingly got the sense that this would be a great epic series. The scope of the world Madson has built is wonderfully and the way she tales the tale is vivid and beautiful. The cultures are very interesting—you can see the inspiration from real-world cultures but Madson has added a sprinkle of uniqueness to them.

Each chapter was wonderfully paced, and I didn’t feel a word was wasted. There was no filler, each chapter, and the book overall, is very well structured.

I’d love to make this review more detailed, but time pressures are preventing that at the moment, so I’ll leave you with this:

We Ride the Storm is certainly a page turner which leaves you wanting more. Buy it!

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