Empress Crowned in Red

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Empress Crowned in Red
Author(s)
Age Range
14+
Release Date
June 07, 2022
ISBN
978-0062946010
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Perfect for fans of Sabaa Tahir and Roseanne A. Brown, this highly anticipated sequel to Witches Steeped in Gold finds rival witches Jaz and Iraya in an alliance that hangs by a thread, with a brand-new enemy on the horizon.
The Doyenne is dead, and the throne is empty.
Iraya, her revenge taken and magic unfettered, turns her sights on a bigger goal: freeing Aiyca for the Obeah. But first she must shed the guise of the rogue warrior and become the Lost Empress her people need. 

Jazmyne’s mother has been overthrown, but her people aren’t ready to call her doyenne. She’s no stranger to a fight, though, and she’s prepared to go to extreme lengths—and court ruthless danger—to secure her title.

But a new threat is awakening—an enemy with vicious intent and an army of nightmares from beyond the veil. An enemy who has waited a decade to strike, who would claim both Iraya’s birth right and Jazmyne’s bloody crown.

Trust is scarce, and betrayal a breath away. And Iraya and Jazmine must once again turn to each other—after all, better the witch you know than the nightmare you don’t. 

The war has just begun.

Editor review

1 review
Battle For The Island
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
What I liked:
Told in dual perspectives from two characters on opposite sides of an ancient divide, forced to work together, again and again, makes for an unpredictable ending which is a fresh way of approaching the end of the story. It was impossible to root for either character, both strong female characters that could rule this island.
Setting each character with their tasks as they work together against ancient beings, an imposter, and even each other made a for a gripping tale. This second book is a colossal monster compared to the first as the author is wrapping everything up; I would have liked to see it broken down into three books vs. 2. I can see more coming from this series, which is not on the books. The world-building is excellent; in-depth characters and an ancient battle to rule make for an epic tale.
Final Verdict:
Ciannon Smart is a creative storyteller who wraps you up in her tale from the first page to the end. In this duology, it was hard to know exactly who would end up ruling, or would they both or none. The story's complexity as it shifts between the two characters kept me engaged, and neither stood out more than the other. Empress Crowned in Red is the kind of female empowerment story I can get behind if they are petty with each other. It's not for a man; if they stab each other in the back, it's for power, not a man. A balanced matriarchal society where men are not subjugated but women are the clear rulers by design.
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