Today I’m featuring a brand new release from Michelle Sagara in her world of Elantris. THE EMPEROR’S WOLVES is a prequel to the CHRONICLES OF ELANTRA, and gives us the backstory for one of my favorite characters from the series, Severn. I love when authors give us a new take on a beloved character, so I was super excited to read this one. Read on for the synopsis and my spoiler-free review. Thank you so much to Harlequin for having me on this tour!
Set in the bestselling world of The Chronicles of Elantra, THE EMPEROR’S WOLVES is a prequel spin-off based on a fan-favorite character, and broadens the beloved fantasy world with another action-packed tale of intrigue and magic.
As an orphan scrounging in the lawless slums, young Severn Handred didn’t have the luxury of believing in anything beyond his own survival. Now he’s crossed the river and entered the heart of the empire: the city of Elantra. When Severn is spotted tailing some lawmen of the Hawks—a not insignificant feat to go otherwise undetected—the recruiter for the Imperial Wolves thinks he should join their ranks. The Wolves are a small, select group that work within the Halls of Law, reporting directly to the Eternal Emperor. Severn hopes to avoid the law—he certainly had no intention of joining it.
In order to become a wolf—even on probation—Severn must face the investigators most dreaded throughout the Empire: The Tha’alani, readers of minds. No secret is safe from their prying, no knowledge can remain buried. But Severn’s secret, never shared before, is not enough to prevent the Wolves from adopting him as one of their own. All men have secrets, after all. Severn’s first job will be joining a hunt, but between the treacherous politics of the High Court, the almost unnatural interest of one of the Lords, and those who wish long-held secrets to remain buried forever, the trick will be surviving it.
This is a solid 4-star read, and it makes me realize that I need to go and read the whole CHRONICLES OF ELANTRA series right now! If you saw my post yesterday, you know I recently read the very last book in the series, but I have to admit that I have not yet read the rest. But that is going to have to happen now. Especially because I get the feeling I missed a lot by not having read the other series first. So if you are reading this, and you are intrigued but haven’t read anything in the world of Elantra yet, might I recommend going and starting with the first in the CHRONICLES OF ELANTRA series, CAST IN SHADOW?
Even though I am sure I would have gotten more out of it if I had read the whole other series first, I have to say, I still thoroughly enjoyed the plot of this story. Sagara has a very straightforward and precise writing style, which makes it easy to devour the pages and follow what is happening. I tend to prefer a more lyrical style, but this straightforward prose does work for the action-packed plot and to keep us from getting bogged down in weighty world-building descriptions. In general, I thought the world was well built and I was able to totally immerse myself in it. I would say that I felt a few more details about how exactly the magic works would have been helpful, for those of us who have not yet read the other series. That is really my only gripe about this book. I absolutely loved reading how Severn became a Wolf, and I can’t wait to read more in this world! Check it out if you like epic fantasy that isn’t overly flowery and where the plot/action is the most important part.
About the Author
Michelle Sagara is an author, bookseller, and lover of literature based in Toronto. She writes fantasy novels and lives with her husband and her two children, and to her regret has no dogs. Reading is one of her life-long passions, and she is sometimes paid for her opinions about what she’s read by the venerable Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. No matter how many bookshelves she buys, there is Never Enough Shelf space. Ever.