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Beth's Review: An Empire Of Traitors (Of Hate And Laughter #1) by Serban Valentin Constantin Ena

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Publisher: Self-Published

Released: August 25, 2014

Genre: Epic, Dark Fantasy

Length: 323 pages

Format: eBook

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Flesh will bleed. Bones will break. Swords will turn. An Empire Of Traitors follows several principal storylines simultaneously. It's been eight years since the end of the civil war between the Inquisition and emperor Zygar Ferus, worshiper of blood gods. Eight years into the aftermath, a new emperor sits the Sun Throne, and the Inquisition is no more.

In the five realms of the Empire things are stirring. Driven by ambition or wounded pride, many nobles like the dog-headed serpent of Stoneweed seek to change their fortunes, even with the price of treachery. And from exile, from the heathen nations of the Lowlands, another Sunborn scion of house Mero gathers strength behind his claim. No family, great or small, shall remain indifferent to fate's whim. It takes an emperor to rule an empire, but it takes numbers and honored oaths to keep both crown and throne.

In the Westlands, Drakanes, a sister of the temple finds herself in the role of witness and proctor, of passing judgement on a man accused of murder, who claims to have been possessed. The trial's proceedings enlighten her as to the truth of it all, and the good sister is willing to, out of pure stubbornness, risk death for justice. Emperor Hagyai Rovines Mero fears for the continuation of his line, and sends Sycarus on an errand to the Desertlands to bring back an Aharo maiden for his son and heir. It is said that the Aharo savage women always give birth to healthy babes. Hagyai Rovines desires a betrothal between the prince heir and a savage girl - trying to emulate a long dead custom of the Sunborn emperors. Such a move is most unpopular, and the whispers of another civil war are once again in the air.

The imperial chancellor warns Birus Mandon, lord of Rivermark and warden of the Streamlands, of a plot against the emperor, a plot made by his exiled brother, Amarius Soronius. Mandon tries to gather knowledge on the schemes of potential oathbreakers, but his trade is not that of a spy. When he hires the Mounted Arrows Company of Narak al Zull, Birus learns more than mere outlandish tactics; he finds a new source of strength in the sellsword's foreign warrior god.

Kalafar Sodomis, lord of Weiyenor and warden of the Northlands, has seen his brother get married, and he himself is tried by notions of passion toward a certain lady of a southern house. But as the conflict breaks out, Kalafar needs to act as a proper lord, as a man, not a boy. He summons his vassals for a council at Devil Mound, to decide if the north will go to war or no; and there to also perform a certain ritual to honor the dead of Fengard and Wyrm. Find out how it all unfolds by reading An Empire Of Traitors, the first book in the series Of Hate And Laughter.

Three Boundless Stars

I was offered a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I love fantasy and any story with magic, so I accepted this book because I thought it was right up my alley, I was wrong. I didn’t hate it, but I wasn’t head over heels about it either.

The characters were plentiful and well developed, but I found it too many to follow in one book. The writing was great, but the settings were a bit confusing; the characters were all over, weather was hot in one chapter and cold in the next. I feel this book could have been broken down to be at least three separate books. The dialect was hard for me to grasp in the beginning, I found myself constantly using the dictionary feature in my kindle reader in order to understand what was being said. It was like being in China where no one speaks English. I’m not a dumb person, I have 2 college degrees, but this just was not my cup of tea. I was also provided a copy of book 2, so I am hoping for less variety in setting and more understanding of the plot in the second book.

An Empire Of Traitors is filled with excellent writing, well developed characters, and beautiful imagery; I just think it was not for me. If you’re more into the D&D type fantasy, I’m sure you will love it. The book is NOT bad; however, due to me not being able to connect with this writing style, I rate it with 3 Boundless Stars.

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