Author: Lauren D.M Smith
Genre: Romance, Fantasy
Blurb: Debut author Lauren D.M. Smith delivers an epic fantasy romance in this soaring tale of a kickass warrior and the emperor she’s honor-bound to defend
The bride candidates have been summoned. Their numbers are many, yet only one is an Amazzi warrior. Only one would give her life to protect him.
Evony of Aureline, warrior of her people, has no intention of becoming a hideous old man’s bride. Though her people have sworn their loyalty to the legendary emperor Galen, Evony knows little of courts and intrigue. It’s simply not her world.
Yet it’s on the palace training grounds where Evony’s archery skills gain her the respect of soldiers and legates alike. The emperor himself takes notice of the beautiful, ruthless warrior. In turn, the young, steely eyed Galen is nothing at all what Evony expected.
This man could very well conquer her heart. But does he feel the same?
As the rivalry among the remaining bride candidates intensifies and the plot for the throne unfolds, Evony must make a grave choice: fulfill her destiny and protect her people or follow her heart and pursue true love.
Either way, the honor of the Amazzi people and the future of the empire now rests with Evony of Aureline. For she is the Emperor’s Arrow.
Thoughts: I was drawn to this book immediately – between the blurb and the cover, I was convinced to give it shot. Even more so when I discovered that the book was the Grand Prize Winner of Harlequin’s 2015 ‘So You Think You Can Write’ Contest, although I have to admit to having a few misgivings as well. However, after reading it, it is very easy to see why it won grand prize in the contest. Within just a few chapters you can tell that this is not just a hastily put together story – the author took time with the plot, time with character development and world building, and did a superb job setting the pace of the novel. I thoroughly enjoyed The Emperor’s Arrow and the wonderful adventure the author took us on with her creativity. I honestly hope that we have not seen the last of her – or this fascinating world! I could definitely see a whole series developed just around the Amazzi warriors!
The book is a nice blend of fantasy and romance – if you’re looking for something a little different, something that really stands out – then you couldn’t find a better novel. Particularly from a debut author.