Review: Empress of a Thousand Skies (Empress of a Thousand Skies, #1) by Rhoda Belleza

In Empress of a Thousand Skies, Rhee is the last surviving member of an ancient dynasty, and destined to rule the Kalusian empire. But on the eve of her coronation  and the day she can finally avenge the murder of her family she finds herself being saved from another attempt to take her life, and turns from crown princess to fugitive.

Alyosha, called Aly, is a former Wreatan refugee turned DroneVision star, and all of a sudden blamed for the death of the crown princess. As they flee they both find out that there is more to this assassination attempt than murdering a princes, and while their solar system  prepares for war, only they can stop the conflict and salvage peace.


This book was part of the February FairyLoot box, and I was really excited about it. I love reading diverse SciFi and this book does that really well.

The settings and different planets are well crafted and original, and Belleza manages to pack a lot of history and back story into few words, which means the events leading up to the story are explained without weighing down the text through endless information dumps.

I had read several books that started pretty slow before Empress of a Thousand Skies and I was so glad about the pace of the plot. It starts right in the action and continues to be fast paced and quick all the way until the end. But at the same time it doesn’t make you feel like you just ran a marathon by the end of it; there is just enough slower parts to be relaxing without slowing down the narrative too much (if that makes any sense?)

There’s a lot of issues discussed in Empress of a  Thousand Skies, discrimination of Wraetan refugees, discrimination of the survivors of the last war, prejudice, but I was absolutely fascinated by the moral and ethic implications of the technology. Almost everyone in Empress of a Thousand Skies has something called a cube, a little technologic implant that saves all memories and serves as a permanent link to the internet. It was really fascinating to see the attitude of some of the characters towards the differences between cube-stored memories and organic memories. At the same time the possible misuses of the technology and the ways governments can use it to spy on their citizens is not as abstract as it sounds in the first moment. In the times of Edward Snowden and governments spying on their citizens everywhere for various reasons these are topics that are absolutely relevant. Belleza only scratches the surface of these issues, but she goes deep enough to raise some really important question and make you think.

If you like SciFi and kickass heroines I can only recommend Empress of a Thousand Skies, it’s a quick and fun read that makes you anxiously wait for the sequel.

Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 Stars)

Additional Information


Publication Date: 7 February 2017
Publisher:  Razorbill
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 314
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction
ISBN: 9781101999103



The only surviving heir to an ancient Kalusian dynasty, RHEE has 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.

In this exhilarating debut for fans of Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles and Pierce Brown’s Red Rising trilogy, RHODA BELLEZA crafts a powerful saga of vengeance, warfare, and the true meaning of legacy.



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