Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

30269126Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: February 7th, 2017
Publisher: Razorbill
Point of View: 3rd Person & Alternative
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Space Opera, Action

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Rhee, also known as Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta’an, is the sole surviving heir to a powerful dynasty. She’ll stop at nothing to avenge her family and claim her throne.

Aly has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. But when he’s falsely accused of killing Rhee, he’s forced to prove his innocence to save his reputation – and his life.

With planets on the brink of war, Rhee and Aly are thrown together to confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy.

A saga of vengeance, warfare, and the true meaning of legacy.


This was one of my first space operas. What an entertaining genre. Strangely enough, melodrama is more fun in outer space, go figure.

There isn’t anything original about the plot: it’s about a princess whose parents were murdered, ready to seek vengeance on the murderer. I’m feeling underwhelmed by the amount of books that try to sell that overused cliché. Because that’s what it is.

Fortunately, we have another main character aside from Rhiannon. A reality star. That was unexpected. When Rhiannon is presumed dead, Aly is the first suspect.

It’s quite melodramatic. I guess I liked that about EMPRESS OF A THOUSAND SKIES because it was fun to witness the reactions of the characters when they discovered shocking data. If you don’t skim over passages, you’ll be able to predict almost every big thing that happens. Good or bad?

Not that bad, since the little things are not so predictable, and there’s a good couple of surprising events. And even though I was very capable of foreseeing revelations, I still got unexpected chills. Rhoda Belleza can built intensity like a chef.

About the world-building, we don’t have a map, so for me it was tremendously difficult to place the different planets in relations to one another. A glossary would also have been welcome. This is the first book in a series, so we know the author will expand the world, but so far, there is almost nothing worth remembering about it. It’s so blank. I liked the idea of personal robots, but that’s not really new in science fiction. It’s sort of expected even.

The characters are relatable ones. They acted very humanly. I can’t say I’m in love with them, but they didn’t annoy me, which is a compliment. They try, at the best of their capabilities, to right wrongs, even if they act recklessly in the process. I’m looking at you Rhiannon. I’m not sure I’d want her to be my empress. In fact, I’d be scared if she were. Not of her, but for her. Because she’s not that strong. But strength can be gained.

Not a bad start to a new space opera series.


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