Jump out of your genre! Try a different type of book
Genre of the Week - Steampunk
The Emperor's Edge
by Lindsay Buroker
The Emperor's Edge - Book Review
The Emperor’s Edge follows intrepid and audacious Amaranthe Lockdon, the only female enforcer in the Empire’s Capital. As a proud follower and implementer of the law she is put in a difficult – if not amusing – situation, when she uncovers a plot against the Emperor that results in her becoming a fugitive. Now stuck on the wrong side of the law, and with the help of some bizarre and colourful companions, she must resort to criminal means and fabulous schemes to save the Emperor’s life.
Well, I’ve gotta say, I loved it! Lindsay Buroker wove a world that, despite being fantastically different from my own, was easy to visualise and enjoy. The steampunk concepts were not overwhelming, but instead flawlessly slotted into a world that was a subtle and logical mix of fantasy and sci-fi. Mostly, the biggest appeal for me were the in-depth, detailed, and realistic characters. I love love love a character driven story.
Amaranthe is a very likable protagonist – in my opinion. Her thought process is relatable, as are her quirks and habits, making her an endearing main character. Her OCD streak struck a chord with me. I am also familiar with that twitchy-finger-feeling when I’m in a room that’s a bit too messy (although my husband may disagree with my definition of messy).
The other characters, her companions/co-conspirators, each have a distinctive voice and personality. There is a tangible and real feel to them. The character interactions are a source of entertainment and a good break from tension. Amaranthe’s principled and honourable ethics in opposition to the somewhat morally ambiguous attitudes of her criminally inclined allies makes for some entertaining exchanges.
Of course, since I’m talking about characters, I’ve got to mention world-famous, deadly assassin Sicarius. The seemingly cold-blooded, aloof and unsociable murderer was maybe my favourite character. Despite his obvious flaws, Sicarius was a surprisingly sympathetic character, and his growth and development during the story was a source of curiosity for me.
Although there are perhaps hints and small elements of romance between Amaranthe and Sicarius, it is not a romantic-heavy story. Instead this book is more of an action/adventure genre with a focus on the strategies, schemes, and exploits of the characters.
Overall, The Emperor’s Edge is an enjoyable, light read – mostly skimming over excessively dark themes. Some plot points come together too easily and some schemes seem a bit fanciful and improbable, but that sort of adds to the whimsical and imaginative temperament of the story. The fast pacing, well written scenes, and entertaining characters made for a story I’m not likely to forget and most likely to revisit again.
The Emperor's Edge is the first of nine in the series. I've already made a start on the second book, and, no doubt, will binge-read through the rest of them in the next few days.
Go check out Lindsay Buroker's Books! You won't be disappointed
The other day I was getting ready to go out for a meeting. It had been a while since I’d gone out – what with everything going on in the world. So, it was a bit of a big to-do for me. I had to pick an outfit, do my hair, perfect my makeup; all the usual. You know, feeling good and looking good!
Anyway, I’d got the whole ensemble together, and all I was left with was to decide on my nail colour. Pretty simple choice for me, really. I tend to match the colour with my outfit, and that’s it. But, as it often does, my mind started wandering and I ended up on a whole thought-expedition about nail colour and how that may portray personalities. After all, there has always been stereotypes surrounding what colour nails a woman choses to wear.
For my books, I spend a lot of time developing my characters and thinking about how their personalities will manifest. So, physical appearance is something that can be used to suggest a character’s nature and personality. Looking at a person, we take in all the details, giving us little hints as to exactly who that person is. So, going back to nails, can the colour a woman chooses to wear indicate some characteristics or traits?
I did a bit of research and found a bunch of articles, blog posts, and commentaries about what your nail colour choice means about you. I’ve always tended to go with what makes me happy. I’m quite fond of vibrant and bold colours, and I’ll probably stay that way. But, this research into nail colour choice has given me something to think about when describing characters in my books.
I’ve put together some commonly agreed upon notions about nail colour that I found while researching.
Red It seems to be the general consensus that women who have red nails are confident. It is a bold and passionate colour, and those who wear it aren’t afraid to step into the spotlight. Red is a colour that can convey love, anger, and fervour. So, it’s definitely the choice of a self-assured and poised lady.
Pink Pink is seen as a traditionally feminine colour. When seen on the nails it can convey an image of anything from girly to classy, or chic to cute. What I got from the various opinions found online is that it is actually quite a versatile colour, perhaps a more ambiguous representation of a person’s character.
Black The colour black has often been associated with the goth stereotype, but this is an outdated idea. From what I could see, the general opinion is that black is a classic colour that can represent strength, elegance, and authority.
White White has connotations of perfection and purity. As a colour seen on the nails it can represent a modern and stylish persona. It has a fresh and clean feel to it, which could indicate a person whose quite pedantic and particular. As an indicator of a person’s character it’s a somewhat interesting colour and could be interpreted in various ways.
There were so many different opinions and so many different colours to cover, that I couldn’t fit them all into this post. It was an informative exercise for me to do this research, and it’s a bit of a shame I couldn’t go into more detail, but I doubt anyone wants a methodical essay about the sociocultural constructs of nail colour. What I can say, though, is that it’s fascinating to consider the tiny details – such as nail colour – when it comes to the conscious or subconscious choices we make when deciding how to express ourselves.