I am going to try a different format to my reviews. I saw some else do this and I liked it for its simplicity. I could go to any section of the review to find out what I wanted about the book – thus saving me time. I am always looking for ways to save time. [Imitation is the sincerest for of flattery – right?] So here goes.
Genre: YA fiction fantasy
Synopsis: (from Goodreads) Chiyo Alglaeca was happy in her life. That is, until it was all taken away. Forced into notoriety, stalked by a mysterious cult, hunted by the emperor, and facing betrayal at every turn she clings to the only safety she can find: two enigmatic men and the sharp bringer of death, Salvation. The Weeping Empress explores the devastating effects of loss, the hunt for redemption, and the price of destiny. It questions the true meaning of evil and asks what monster is not also an innocent?
Things I liked: I like how the author made up a whole new religion. I assume it’s a new religion. I’ve never heard of it and as odd as this religion is, I think I would have. I also like that the religion has no rules – as unlikely as that might be, and that the head of this religion is a woman. That the main character, Chiyo, is a strong woman. I like the epilogue too, but I won’t say why because that will give something away for people who want to read the book.
Things I didn’t like: Chiyo falls into this past time and easily develops a blood lust. Later on in the story the author explains more about this, but I think it would have worked better – been more believable if she would have put that explanation earlier in the story. It just seems out of place for a modern day wife, mother, and presumed employed female of the 20th century to fall back in time and not bat an eye at opening people up with a sword. I can understand her first battle – it was a matter of survival, but it should have really taken Chiyo a while to “enjoy” all the killing she does or at least have a reasonable explanation for it, but that doesn’t come until later. I also would like to have seen why the bad guy – the Emperor – was such a bad guy. You just have to take it on faith that he is but it’s hard to root for Chiyo and her killing cohorts -Senka and Muhlah – when you know nothing about why he is bad. I also don’t get the logic of Kali, the Goddess that is the head of this religion, and why she is asking he followers to do what they do related to Chiyo – which is why Chiyo ends up as she does. Maybe I’m dense, but I don’t get it. And lastly, the use of foreign words is make reading it difficult because most of the time Forsythe does not give you any context to figure out what the words means or a translation within the story. She does it on occasion so I’m not sure why she didn’t do it throughout.
As you can see, I have more things that I don’t like about it than I do, but overall, it wasn’t a bad story, it just needs some polishing.
Thank you Sadie for a free e-copy of this book.