Dec 27, 2021

ARC Review--Echoes and Empires by Morgan Rhodes

A snarky seventeen-year-old must team up with an enigmatic criminal to cure herself of dangerous forbidden magic in the first book of a new fantasy duology from Morgan Rhodes, the New York Times bestselling author of the Falling Kingdoms series.

Josslyn Drake knows only three things about magic: it’s rare, illegal, and always deadly. So when she’s caught up in a robbery gone wrong at the Queen’s Gala and infected by a dangerous piece of magic—one that allows her to step into the memories of an infamously evil warlock—she finds herself living her worst nightmare. Joss needs the magic removed before it corrupts her soul and kills her. But in Ironport, the cost of doing magic is death, and seeking help might mean scheduling her own execution. There’s nobody she can trust.

Nobody, that is, except wanted criminal Jericho Nox, who offers her a deal: his help extracting the magic in exchange for the magic itself. And though she’s not thrilled to be working with a thief, especially one as infuriating (and infuriatingly handsome) as Jericho, Joss is desperate enough to accept.

But Jericho is nothing like Joss expects. The closer she grows with Jericho and the more she sees of the world outside her pampered life in the city, the more Joss begins to question the beliefs she’s always taken for granted—beliefs about right and wrong, about power and magic, and even about herself.

In an empire built on lies, the truth may be her greatest weapon.


I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review. 


Morgan Rhodes returns to the world of fantasy with a fresh new modern fantasy duology that starts with Echoes and Empires! I know, I broke my rule with not starting a duology until both books are out, but it's MORGAN RHODES! All bets are off when it comes to her books! Just as I anticipated, this was an exciting and enthralling story that held me captivated from the beginning and the characters were just amazing, not to mention the thick and twisted conspiracy mystery that was afoot! This is a book you will want to devour in one sitting!

Josslyn is the daughter of the late prime minister, he was was assassinated last year and now she lives with her best friend who is the daughter of the new prime minister. She lives in a world where magic is banned, and Josslyn herself hates magic as well for everything she knows about it. Which, as you can imagine, things are about to change her outlook on everything she knew.

This is a book that blends fantasy with the modern world. It's borderline dystopian that has a past like atmosphere happening in modern times. Queens and lords, and prime ministers, but with magic and paparazzi! 

When Josslyn accidentally interrupts a robbery in the queen's palace, things go horribly wrong and magic, the deeply forbidden upon pain of death magic, gets inside her, she's flummoxed. She is more or less kidnapped by the thief who was trying to steal the magic infused item, Jericho and they are set off on a quest to get the magic out of her. They want the same thing but for different reasons. Joss wants to go back to her normal life and Jericho needs to complete the job his boss sent him on. 

What Joss soon realizes is that the magic inside of her is memory magic. Memories of the most wanted man in the kingdom, Lord Banyon. But Joss is about to learn a whole new side of magic in her journey with Jericho and it's about to open up a whole new world of problems for her.

This book was sooooo exciting! I admit to being a bit thrown with the modern twist at first, I was thinking it'd be a fantasy with princesses and princes sort of thing, but the moderness had a nice twist. You could more relate to the characters and their journey since it was pretty much real life occurrences amid a world with magic! Granted there's a lot more to it than that, but I don't want to dive into too many details to avoid spoilers. 

This book was just full of surprises too! Since it's a duology, there's still a lot we don't know. Still so many pieces of the puzzle that are not fitting in just yet but I know by 2023 the conclusion will be epic! Rhodes' had me guessing at every little mystery that came our way at every turn! I did figure out a few of the puzzle pieces but that bigger picture still isn't too clear yet but I am excited for the journey that we will take to get there!

Naturally, Joss and Jericho begin to develop a relationship of sorts. It started out as something of a reluctant truce to a dance between almost comrades  to maybe something more. But since it's the first book, we're clearly not ready for them to be the IT couple just yet! I loved the dance though! They both have that snarky attitude, and I love that Joss doesn't back down from Jericho's taunts. Jericho definitely has that bad boy/thief image going for him, but every now and then, you see his slip into someone more caring. I loved those slips!

As the story moves along, what became a quest to rid Joss of the magic inside her reveals quite the coverup of something sinister! Something that is sure to shake up the very world as Joss and everyone in it knows it! This sequel is going to be epic beyond proportions! Needless to say, Echoes and Empires was a pageturner, the very definition of pageturner! If I didn't need sleep and had to work, I would have finished this a lot sooner than I did! It was a book I hated to put down for those unwanted necessities! Lol.

Having now finished the book, I can say that the cliffhanger we end on was not terrible. It really felt like a pause in the action. I had to check to be sure that there weren't any more pages because it really felt like just a simple pause in the moment! So kudos to Morgan for not leaving us hanging in suspense, unlike another title we all know and love *COUGHCrystalStormCOUGH*  

Echoes and Empires is the start of a modern fantasy duology that is bound to be hit with fantasy readers across the board! It's fast paced and enticing plot will have readers held riveted through each and every shocking twist and turn until the epic conclusion! This story is far from over and now I must wait... 



Overall Rating 5/5 stars


Echoes and Empires releases January 4, 2022






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