Review: Empire of Night by Kelley Armstrong

21480854Empire of Night by Kelley Armstrong

Published by: Doubleday Canada

Publication Date: April 7, 2015

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, High Fantasy

Extent: 432 pages

Rating: 4/5

Source: Purchase


Sisters Moria and Ashyn are the Keeper and Seeker of Edgewood.

Or at least, they were.

Their village is gone. Their friends have betrayed them. And now, they are all but prisoners in court, forced to watch and wait while the Emperor decides whether to help the children of Edgewood, who remain hostages of the treacherous Alvar Kitsune.

But when the emperor finally sends the girls on a mission to rescue the children – accompanied by Prince Tyrus and a small band of men – the journey proves more perilous than any of them could have imagined. With lies and unrest mounting in the empire, Moria and Ashyn will have to draw on every bit of influence and power they possess to unite their people and avert an all-out war.

In this second book in her epic and captivating Age of Legends trilogy, #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong blends romance, danger, and magic to send readers on a heart-racing journey through an unforgettable world.


Empire of Night is what I’ve been waiting for out of this series! It bursts with honour, duty, filial piety, betrayals, and political trickery and plays. It certainly doesn’t suffer from second book syndrome. It is, by far, my favourite out of the series. Kelley’s plot twists are action packed and fast paced.

Once Moria and Ashyn, the Keeper and Seeker, find refuge at the Empire, Emperor Jiro Tatsu tasks them with the duty to find the missing Edgewood children, along with Ronan, an exiled convict who escapes the Forest of the Dead with Ashyn, and the Emperor’s bastard son Tyrus. But this journey proves more dangerous than anyone expects.

In this instalment, you get more multi-layered characters. Tyrus is a worthy companion for Moria, and while he doesn’t push Moria like Gavril does, he has a sixth sense when it comes to her, as if he and she have bonded over years rather than weeks. They share an intense chemistry, but I wonder which relationship will prevail: Moria and Tyrus or Moria and Gavril.

And here is where I gush over Moria’s arc. What more can you throw at a character? Kelley pits her against ruthless guards, dangerous beasties that she’d never think she’d see, and the savage Alvar Kitsune. Moria is the star attraction. I love her growth. But I can’t forget Ashyn. She’s one character who exhibits a strong quietude that flourishes once she sees herself as something more than her sister’s shadow. Because of their Northern heritage, Ashyn and Moria are seen as fetishes, a part of a minority, and simpleminded creatures. Readers can argue that the main characters are still white, but Kelley plays these race scenes and division in ethnicities rather well, and they bring a unique twist to the series.

Japanese heritage and history take centre stage in this instalment. Kelley sticks to the honour and duty that many families revered in that society, especially filial piety. And these morals intertwine in each character and arc. You especially see them in Tyrus and Gavril. Although I enjoyed reading Sea of Shadows, I felt that is too isolated, and even though the reawakened creatures and the kidnapped children carry the book quite well, Empire of Night expands on the world building tenfold. You finally see how the imperial city rules its lands and its people and how the citizens of the Empire are anxious, wary, and concerned of the unexplained occurrences.

Alvar––the former imperial marshal and father of Gavril, a warrior who helps Moria escape the ruins of Edgewood in Sea of Shadows––uses that suppressed fear and morphs it into a beast waiting to attack the imperial family and Empire itself. Some residents still question the exile of Alvar. Gavril doesn’t play a huge role in Empire of Night, but he does play a pivotal one, though. So at least we get some good Gavril parts.

The Age of Legends series gets better after every book. Forest of Ruin will be a great finale to this thrilling series! I hope Ashyn gets her chance to show this cruel world what her strength really is. And that ending killed me.

What did you think of this book or series? What were your thoughts on that ending? Expecting it or not? Tell me in the comments!

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Review: Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong

17236366Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong

Published by: Kelley Armstrong

Publication Date: April 8, 2014

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, High Fantasy

Extent: 416 pages

Rating: 4/5


In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire’s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.

Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.

Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters’ journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they’ve ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court—one that will alter the balance of their world forever.


Strong female leads, legendary creatures long thought as extinct, riveting storyline, and unexpected betrayal––What more can you get out of a book? With Sea of Shadows, you get all the above and more. Kelley hasn’t delved into high fantasy before, so I wasn’t sure what to anticipate with this debut novel.

After Moria and Ashyn’s town is massacred, the Edgewood children are kidnapped, and the Seeking is interrupted, Moria, Ashyn, Gavril, and Ronan plunge into a perilous journey that forces them to fight reawakened creatures and to cross the deadly Wastes so they can save the children.

Edgewood is perched on the border of the Forest of the Dead, where the Empire sends its convicts. The Seeker begins the annual Seeking, a day to relinquish the trapped and enraged spirits. The Keeper stays to protect the town and its people. Many of the Edgewood residents staunchly believe in the legends of old. Moria and Ashyn are often revered by the town. The book’s shining beacon is the twins. But they are nothing alike. Moria is sharp and hard like steel, while Ashyn is quiet as a breeze, but she has a hidden strength not many see. Together? They are an unbelievable force.

“She watched as her sister read it. Watched as her face crumpled, as her shoulders shook. Ashyn caught her and held her, and they fell against each other as the tears came.”

I adore Moria and Ashyn’s relationship. I got to see how siblings truly protect each other. I grew up with half-siblings, but I’ve never felt a sisterly bond with any of them. The twins’ relationship is effortless, relatable, and, at times, gut wrenching. Moria and Ashyn, along with their father, often defy tradition and the Empire as a way to honour their mother, who took her life to protect them. Reading the twins’ bond, I now see how a real blood bond looks like.

Getting into the Age of Legend series took me a while, but with a second, and for this review, a third reread, I truly enjoyed the book. Kelley creates a captivating world that I haven’t seen in other stories. Sea of Shadows is a solid high-fantasy YA novel that’s rich in mythology. It may have a slow start, but at the heart of this story are two sisters whose wish is to serve their Empire and their people. As Kelley brings long-lost legends to this series, the backstory for each just adds more to the world building. I can’t wait to visit this world again.

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Wrap-Up: August 2016

August2016roundup

This month certainly wasn’t the most productive, and I haven’t put a dent in tackling my bookshelf. But I’ve read some captivating books!

The Oddity by Kat Hawthorne

How much can I gush about this small little treat? Kat’s work made me think. A lot. And not many others do. Sure, you get some books that may make you question a few things, but this one made me think. The story is simply stunning and enchanting, and I hope to have this book on my shelf soon!

One thing I can say is that I love me some beautifully designed books. My Ryerson program has taught me how to appreciate the simplicity and the love of book design. Here’s my review.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong 

I’ve read this book about three times, and every time I do, I fall in love with the world building, the characters, and the storyline. What I love about this series is that it still contains similar themes as her other work, but this one has such a dynamic world I haven’t seen before, and I truly appreciate the mythology behind this story! It truly captured me.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Empire of Night by Kelley Armstrong

Moria truly shines in this sequel. While I didn’t like how the twins were separated, I love how they grew as indidivuals. And the mythology in this book is superb! My God, I love it. I cannot wait to read Forest of Ruin.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’ll be posting my reviews for both books soon! And you’ll soon see a big change on my site, so don’t worry. A different name but the same content! One reason why I haven’t been around lately.