Two Thousand Years
If you loved the A Court of Thorns and Roses series, you are not going to be able to put this book down.
Before we even get into the book, I wanted to say a few things about the cover. There is so much going on here but not in a distracting or “too-busy” way. We’re able to see both the skyline of the Empire and Boston as well as the clock which ties in to the 2000 year old prophecy. I think it meshes several of the story elements in a very elegant and beautiful fashion. Had I not received the E-Arc, the cover alone would have granted this book “pick up and check the blurb” worthy stance in my opinion.
Alex is just your average twenty two year old barista in Boston until she arrives back at home from a night on the town to find her place ransacked. Worse yet? It seems the intruders are still there. Soon she finds herself caught in a fierce battle between two complete strangers. And they’re calling her Empress Alexstrayna? Confused and a little pissed off Alex demands answers but before she can get any, the one stranger with dangerously beautiful blue eyes who won the battle holds her close and her world falls into darkness.
When she awakes, she finds herself in a mysterious realm. There are two suns, but no electricity (or coffee, GASP) and they’re still calling her that strange name. Soon Alex finds out that this realm is ruled by the prophecy of a magical tome (the annals). There is always twin brothers born to the previous Empress in this land at the exact same time that the eldest child’s future wife (the next empress) is born on earth. The Crown Prince will start to dream of her, build a key to our realm, and retrieve her.
Two thousand years ago (get it?) the Prophecy of Fire and Light spoke of a Queen Empress that would lead this land into a time of peace and tranquility. The history of the realm instead reveals that a forbidden love for the Empress lead to a war that decimated the area and caused a great split in its population.
Now it seems the same thing is happening to Alex as she finds herself smack dab in the middle of a sibling rivalry of epic proportions.
Alex is a “take no crap, but do no harm” kind of girl. She doesn’t just go along with things because they would be easier for her. She has to know the "why", the "how", and the "what would happen if I didn’t". She’s the kind of girl I’d want on my side in a fight. Her stubbornness and insubordination make this book an exciting read. This isn’t your mother’s princess story.
The love interest, Treyan, is just flawed enough to be real and just swoon-worthy enough to understand why Alex would want to stick around for a bit. When things are at their worst, he doesn’t give up on Alex. He is always there giving her the space she needs and it’s absolutely beautiful to see a male love interest who understands and respects boundaries.
The antagonist, Reylor, is brutal in his pursuit of his goal. I hope that we find out more about his motivation later in the book series because there had better be a darn good reason for his actions or else his character has no attempt at redemption. But in a way that’s what we want from villains. Someone whose actions compel us to hate them. I also have a bit of a grudge against Reylor for a particular character death that I will not give away in this review (because, spoilers), even though he doesn’t claim responsibility for it.
It leaves off on a huge cliff hanger and I’m dying to read the next book now, but overall this book has been one of my favorites in a long time. Suddenly, I find myself wishing “I” was Empireborn instead of Alex.