Published: June 23, 2020
Publisher: Orbit Books
Series: The Reborn Empire #1
Pages: 528 (Paperback)
My Rating: 4.0/5.0
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
In the midst of a burgeoning war, a warrior, an assassin, and a princess chase their own ambitions no matter the cost in Devin Madson’s visceral, emotionally charged debut.
War built the Kisian Empire. War will tear it down.
Seventeen years after rebels stormed the streets, factions divide Kisia. Only the firm hand of the god-emperor holds the empire together. But when a shocking betrayal destroys a tense alliance with neighboring Chiltae, all that has been won comes crashing down.
In Kisia, Princess Miko Ts’ai is a prisoner in her own castle. She dreams of claiming her empire, but the path to power could rip it, and her family, asunder.
In Chiltae, assassin Cassandra Marius is plagued by the voices of the dead. Desperate, she accepts a contract that promises to reward her with a cure if she helps an empire fall.
And on the border between nations, Captain Rah e’Torin and his warriors are exiles forced to fight in a foreign war or die.
As an empire dies, three warriors will rise. They will have to ride the storm or drown in its blood.
We Ride the Storm is another book that’s made its way quite successfully from self-published to traditionally published. I didn’t entirely love this book from the beginning, but the POVs really started to grow on me and by the end it was gripping.
The assassin character, Cassandra, was fascinating from the first page. She’s a talented assassin who also happens to be a high-end prostitute. She can get close to the wealthy and few others look too closely. She also has a voice in her head (not her own voice). Princess Miko was also fairly likable and made a stunning turn into one of the most cunning characters. She was clearly clever from the start, but by the end I was thoroughly impressed! Captain Rah e’Torin was a bit less likable from the start. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but it took me a good half of the book before I really became invested in his POV.
The story is basically that of two kingdoms on the brink of war and what leads the war to finally begin. Throw in a nomadic horse warrior nation and you’ve got yourself quite the action packed tale. I feel the horse warrior tribe component is increasingly popular of late in fantasy – I can think of at least one (and maybe two) other books that feature this. I like it, just hoping I don’t get burned out on it due to overuse!
Overall, this was an enjoyable read with interesting characters and some excellent political plotting from all three players. The next book in this series, We Lie With Death, will be released January 2021.