The Emperor’s Edge (The Emperor’s Edge, #1)
by Lindsay Buroker

I’ve been seeing Lindsay Buroker’s name around fantasy reader discussion pages for ages. She’s quite prolific and lots of people enjoy her alternate world, pseudo Medieval Europe fantasy.

So I thought I’d try the first (free?) in her Emperor’s Edge series after it was recommended to me as containing the kind of broken hero fun banter I loved in T Kingfisher’s Saint of Steel series. It wasn’t quite to my taste–I found myself skimming alot.

I guess my taste runs towards a more vivid central relationship. Amaranthe the ex-Enforcer and Sicarius the assassin are very cool by themselves. I enjoyed every scene where Sicarius swooped in to save Amaranthe after she fears he’s gone for good, or she adeptly reads amusement into his bland expression, but it wasn’t quite enough. The other side characters in Amaranthe’s little band of male heroes working to support the Emperor against treasonous plots, whilst staying out of the way of a magically-made panther-bear killer, also had potential, especially the noble dandy Maldynaldo with his flippant self-centered quips, but it just never crystallized for me.

Amaranthe is pleasingly active, capable, and earnest. But I never got a sense of her emotionally , which is more of a function of the type of literature here (straight up Swords and Sorceror fantasy with lots of action and plotting) rather than a failure of writing. LitRPG, Swords & Sorcery fans, and more action-oriented folks will like this.

It’s not quite what I’m looking for, however.