Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta'an wants vengeance.
The only surviving heir to an ancient Kalusian dynasty, Rheehas spent her life training to destroy the people who killed her family. Now, on the eve of her coronation, the time has finally come for Rhee to claim her throne - and her revenge.
Alyosha is a Wraetan who has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. Despite his popularity, Aly struggles with anti-Wraetan prejudices and the pressure of being perfect in the public eye.
Their paths collide with one brutal act of violence: Rhee is attacked, barely escaping with her life. Aly is blamed for her presumed murder.
The princess and her accused killer are forced to go into hiding - even as a war between planets is waged in Rhee's name. But soon, Rhee and Aly discover that the assassination attempt is just one part of a sinister plot. Bound together by an evil that only they can stop, the two fugitives must join forces to save the galaxy.
Sometimes I read a book, and half-way through I put it down in favor of something else. And then I forget to pick that original book up for months. That's what happened with EMPRESS OF A THOUSAND SKIES. The thing is, I really didn't dislike this book. It just didn't *grab* me the way I wanted it to, and with all the competition staring at me from my bookshelves, it just kinda got lost in the mix. Even after finishing it, it just didn't stand out enough for me.
I do want to point out some really good things about this book. The writing is really great. I loved the dialogue throughout the whole book. The characters were fun and interested, not stereotypical of YA characters. The world building was seriously impressive. Every description was so vivid, so full, that I never had trouble picture this world that Belleza has built. The settings often reminded me of the Saga comics, which I love. In fact, a lot of this book reminded me of a toned-down, YA version of Saga, which could be a good selling point to potential readers.
What this book lacked for me was an interesting story. I've seen plenty of thrones overthrown, royal families murdered, fugitive princesses. And I actually really like those stories, but I need them to stand out. To be special. And this story never really got to me. It was fine enough, I mean, I finished the book. But it wasn't as gripping as I wanted. Now, I do think part of this could be personal preference. For instance, the isn't much focus at all on romance in this book, which is totally fine and perfect for some readers. I just know that I personally gravitate toward books with swoony love stories. I also love big sweeping climaxes, and I didn't feel that there really was one. The ending felt rushed to me, with no HUGE moments that really stood out.
Because I gave Empress of a Thousand Stars three stars I will definitely give the sequel a try. I'm invested enough in the characters to want to see where things go for them. I hope to see a fuller story next time though.