Young adult fantasy with a girl standing up in the face of evil is so common that they all start to run together. The Empirium trilogy is different in that we’re looking at two young women protagonists, with the twist that one of them looks more and more like the doom to be stood in the face of, but ultimately this one won’t really stick with me. It’s not bad, it’s just not enough.
Last year I got more into audiobooks as I would go for these really long walks to take my mind of quarantine and this was a series I started that way. Now that it’s winter, though, I’m outside less (and then there are the right wing white supremacist terrorists that invaded my city this week, still not sure if outside is safe*) so I didn’t make it fully through Kingsbane before it went back to the library. No matter, I’d found the ebooks on sale a few months ago so I had a backup. It was definitely a jump going from the considered pace of an audiobook (even at 1.25x speed) to my own pace and I tore through the end of the book but at least I knew now how all the names were supposed to be pronounced (and how everything I’d been hearing was meant to be spelled!)
This story is split across two timelines – Rielle in the past world full of magic and Eilana in a future devoid of it. Both of them struggle with what their power means for their place in their world but come to it from two different angles. Rielle feels constrained by a world that misunderstands and fears her power and her by extension. Eilana doesn’t understand her own power in the first place and fears the path it puts her own. It’s well done with a neat little “oh shit” moment to take us into the third book (which I will be reading. Eventually)
*Thankfully I’m about two miles from the Capitol so we’re fine and we’re hunkered down with a full pantry. I may brave outside today.