October 09, 2013

Review: The Weeping Empress - Sadie S. Forsythe

Chiyo wakes up, suddenly, on the grass, watching the blue sky. A man in a uniform yanks her up and doesn't seem very friendly, yelling at her, making her walk. She looks around and see more people in uniforms, none of them look really nice and one of them actually kills an old woman, just because. Chiyo is definitely not on their side, she decides, and tries to run. When she can't, she picks up a sword and joins the only two men who seem to be truly doing something - fighting, killing - and starts doing the same, the best she can. Fighting for her life.
That's how we're introduced to our main characters, Chiyo, Muhjah and Senka.  

The Weeping Empress by Sadie S. Forsythe is a mix of fantasy, sci-fi, historical fiction, action and drama. It's the story of how Chiyo is taken from her peaceful life only to appear in an oriental kind of world, medieval in time, with two very letal swordsmen and a raging beast in her chest.

I think it's necessary to say that I really liked the book. It's strange, because I didn't receive this for review, but I downloaded from Smashwords for free, after they emailed me advertising it. It's weird because it's been ages since I last got a book just to read it, because I liked the idea, and not because someone offered for review. Not that I don't like the ones I review, I obviously do, but I usually don't have time to go around and get OTHER books that I didn't agree in reviewing. This one, however, was worth it.

Muhjah is a large man with a smile on his face, Senka is slim, pale and mysterious, never speaking more than a few words a day or, sometimes, going silent for weeks. Chiyo has left a life behind, husband and a daughter, who she loved very much, a life as a wife and mother to a newborn. She gets mixed in that mess and knows she has to fight to stay alive but, more than that, when she fights, when she concentrates and kills, the pain is buried deep inside, the pain from leaving her family, from losing them.

Things start getting more complicated when an underground-ish sect starts spreading rumours about her and how she's "the chosen" of the Goddess. She starts being seen by the people as the savior they've been waiting for, even if the only things she does is to kill.

I'm not going to say much more, needless to say more would be spoiler, but it's a really interesting book and Chiyo is a very interesting character, deep and confused. It's interesting to see how she grows, in a way and how she places her loyalties (or lack of them). Senka is a very interesting character too, we see him, understand his history and see him change. However, Muhjah is a simple one, which bothers me a bit, it's like the whole character development stood with Senka and Chiyo and there was nothing left for Muhjah.

There are some books that, when I finish, the first thing I do is to google "name of the book sequel" and for this one, I had a delightful surprise and now, I just really really want to know when!

10. Will there be a sequel? If so, can you give me any hints as to what it will be about/ if any of the characters will be returning?!
There will be a sequel. It will address three things: why Chiyo, how Chiyo got to Dashkalil, and what happened to Chiyo and the Sacerdotisa after the end of The Weeping Empress [sorry no spoilers]. Senka and Muhjah will be in it of course, plus Michael and Hannah will play a much larger role.

You can buy The Weeping Empress at Amazon or Smashwords.