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Title: An Empire Asunder
Series: Scourwind Legacy #2
Author: Evan Currie
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Format: Digital Edition
The Scourwind Twins have saved the Empire from being taken over but it is civil war. Lydia is doing her best to rule and Brennan is growing into his new role as cadreman and warrior.
Corian, exhibiting signs of madness, begins Operation Godstrike, all the while vaguely hinting about some unknown threat that apparently nobody but him is aware of or prepared to do something about.
It is strike and counter-strike as the Imperial forces clash against the Alliance forces. Throw in Mira Delsol, former cadrewoman turned Pirate and you have some serious action.
For whatever reason, Currie is hitting all the right buttons with this series for me. I enjoyed my time reading this above and beyond the normal. That is not to say I think this is going to be a SF classic or that it will wow you. In fact, I suspect most people looking on would give it 3-3.5 stars.
For me though, it has this: a coming of age story without angst and whines. No crap about “romance” and “feelings” taking precedence over your duty and responsibility. You are a Scourwind and you run the Empire, you don't whine like a baby. A young lady becoming an Empress. Sure, she might write in her journal, but we the readers aren't subjected to that or every bloody thought in her head. The story gets told. A young man becoming an elite warrior in the shadow of his dead older brother. He's not some tortured, broken individual who just needs the love of the “right woman” to “fix” him. Neither of these Scourwinds are BROKEN and Currie doesn't fall into the trap of making the story about “fixing” them. Grrrrrr, you don't “fix” people. That pisses me off and I hate that in a story. And there is NONE of that, not even a hint, in these books and I really like that.
The other thing I really liked was the continuing glimpse of the world. With the new ship, Delsol is able to go atmospheric and realizes that humanity is in a box. It is obvious that Corian knows a lot more about the whole situation but in his arrogance thinks he's the only one capable of facing the situation, whatever it may be. We the readers aren't privy to it.
Currie's writing is improving with each book and while his earlier books were pretty rough around the edges, I am glad I started reading him. I was really enjoying his Odyssey One series and I have the next book of that on tap, but I really hope he sticks with this series for a bit and finishes things up before becoming too distracted with other series, old or new.
Finally, I like the covers. They are a huge step up from the first couple of books that had very obvious amateur covers desperately trying NOT to look like amateur covers. These books have the kind of covers that I want in hardcover on my shelves just because I like how they look. Sadly, that is not an option and I'm not going to change my “no paperback” rule for Currie. He hasn't reached that status, yet. Chris McGrath is the artist and here's a small list of some other covers he's done:
Star Wars: Kenobi
Alloy of Law
Daughter of the Sword (I broke my “no paperback” rule for Steve Bein. Love his books that much)
I didn't do a Cover Love in my February Roundup, but for March's Roundup, this one is definitely going to be a contender.