Herrscherin der tausend Sonnen by Rhoda Belleza

literarilyjess's review against another edition

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A classic-feeling space opera, I couldn't turn the pages of Empress fast enough. This book is the closest read-alike to Star Wars I've found in YA, chock-full of political commentary and dynamic worldbuilding. I also always appreciate finding YA that doesn't focus on romance, and this certainly qualifies.

Basically, this was really really good. Can I have the next one now?

queens_flame's review against another edition

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I received this novel in Fairyloot’s February box. It was a novel I was highly anticipating and I was thrilled that Fairlyloot chose that novel for February’s subscription. The story has two points of view, Rhee and Alyosha, two characters caught up in a galactic Game of Thrones-esque plot. Rhee is attacked before she can rightfully take the throne and Alyosha is charged with her murder, even though Rhee isn’t exactly dead. So the two have to deal with that.

Now one thing I’d like to say – the synopsis really threw me. I thought Aly and Rhee met each other and were together the book, but they weren’t. Anyways, I’ll have to admit, starting off I was super confused. There were so many conflicts being thrown at me that I couldn’t figure out what was happening. However I pushed through and the more I read the book the more I understood the world. Therefore if you’re struggling with this book, give it some time for your brain to understand the info dump that is the first few chapters of the book.

This book reminded me a lot of Star Wars for some reason, with all the moving around and the planets and the backstabbing. It was very enjoyable though. I found Aly’s POV much more interesting than Rhee’s, only because Aly’s voice was more enjoyable and light and humorous. He goes through a lot in the book, and has to deal with discrimination towards his race and where he comes from. I really liked how the author portrayed his character and the wrongness of all the injustices.

The book had much action and I found myself easily making my way through the novel and enjoying all the ways everyone seemed to be linked to each other. I love it when there are two separate plots going on yet they accidentally cross paths or certain characters cross paths with each other.

My only complaint was the insta-love with Aly’s love interest. I just personally felt we didn’t SEE enough of the interactions between the two, since POVs switched often and a lot of time was skipped. But, the romance was only a small tiny piece of this novel so it didn’t really bother me in the long run, because I really enjoyed this book.

This is a fun, action filled and eye opening space novel that I think many readers will enjoy. It’s pretty short, I read it in a couple of days but if I had the time I could have read it in one sitting. The plot twist at the end really made the book though and I’m REALLY excited for the sequel. This is definitely a series I will continue.

emmirosereads's review against another edition

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DNF for now because I can't get into it for whatever reason. I'm hoping to come back to it eventually.

katd88's review against another edition

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adventurous fast-paced


madlee's review against another edition

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I don't normally read space operas, but I have been interested in them lately. I received this book in a FairyLoot box at the beginning of the year (2017) and never read it until now.

I loved the action and the different locations, but I was often left confused on some important information that decided to pop up later in the story. The timing of the information was wrong and I was underwhelmed by the world building. There is a world with politics and planets, but it all became a jumbled mess and was hard to keep straight throughout the info dumps.

Also, the character motives were quite unclear half the time. Toward the end I kept thinking "Why are they doing this?" and would have to flip back a couple of pages. Apparently I missed a couple of character deaths and minor information.

The pacing of the story was rather fast and didn't flow very well. There were many great ideas but they were disorganized and underdeveloped. I wish Belleza expanded and went into more of the background of the world and characters. This is a rather short book so she had the room to do that. Hopefully she does that in the second book.

I cared very little for the characters and it was hard to believe Rhiannon was trained to kill someone and become Empress because she didn't express any of that. She was just thrown about and didn't have much impact on the story except for her presumed murder. The only character remotely interesting was Kara even though I still don't know how she ended up meeting Aly.

For the dual P.O.V., it was fun seeing everything play out from two different perspectives, but they never came together in the end. Sure there was a glance and some crossing storylines, but they never spoke a word to each other which was disappointing. After the build up I wanted them to meet and kick ass.

And the twist at the end? I called it while I was halfway through the book.

Overall, it was a fun quick read and I do recommend it. Sure it has issues, but I am interested in reading the second book in hopes of the gaps being filled in and straightened out.

mdettmann's review against another edition

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A fun fantasy for fans of The Lunar Chronicles. I did like how it took the "princess taking her rightful throne" story and went deeper. A war with racial implications? The cube? Dual POV with princess and a former war refugee/reality star framed for her murder? I really enjoyed this ride of a story. Solid debut though and I'll be reading more from this author.

luna_rondo's review against another edition

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I wanted to like this, I really did, but the highest I can give this is a 2.5.

juliayoung's review against another edition

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Wow. I received an ARC of this, and (almost) instantly started reading it. I love how Rhoda develops the characters, and even though the plot may not be the originalest (not a word but you know what I mean), the characters and dialogue certainly made up for it. I like how there's little to no romance, and the book focused mostly on the main problem without becoming distracted and fixated on a subplot. Great read, would recommend 12/10 can't wait for book 2

inwonderland49's review against another edition

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This review was originally posted on In Wonderland

My Thoughts

Okay, so let's get this out.. I really enjoyed this story! Were there problems? Sure. But all-in-all, I thought it was a great story. I liked the writing. I liked the characters. I thought that this was a good debut and I can only expect more from Rhoda in the future!

There were a couple issues, however. There are times where I can see some readers getting bored, but I feel like that there is enough action within the entirety of the story to keep someone entertained. It kept me entertained. The other issue I had was that there is one thing that you expect to happen from reading the summary.. and it just doesn't happen. Now this could be because it is from the Advanced Reader Copy and not everything is finalized in the ARCs. Or it could have just been the wrong way to summarize the book. But the main reason why I rated it 3.5 stars was because this particular plotline just wasn't there.

Other than that, I had a very enjoyable time reading this book and I loved the worldbuilding that Rhoda Belleza had created and I really wouldn't mind seeing more within this world (and thank god there's a second book to this)! If you love great worldbuilding, writing, and a strong Sci-fi presence, then I think you should give this one a try!

About the Author

Rhoda Belleza was raised in Los Angeles, where she grew up writing X-Files fanfiction and stuffing her face with avocados. She's a children's editor at a publishing house and writes from a sunny Brooklyn apartment stuffed with far too many bikes and far too many shoes. When she's not writing, Rhoda obsesses over nail art tutorials, watches kung fu movies, and sews together crooked things that pass for clothes. Empress of a Thousand Skies is her debut novel. Follow her on Twitter @rhodabee.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one (1) of three (3) signed copies of Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza (ARV: $17.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on February 6, 2017 and 12:00 AM on February 20, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about February 22, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Tour Schedule

Week One:

2/6 – Brittany’s Book Rambles – Guest Post

2/6 – Bibliophile Gathering – Review

2/6 – Seeing Double in Neverland – Mood Board

2/7 – Tales of a Ravenous Reader – Excerpt

2/7 – In Wonderland – Review

2/8 – Across the Words – Character Fan Casting

2/8 – Novel Ink – Review

2/8 – Bookling Critics – Review

2/9 – The Young Folks – Interview

2/9 – Here’s to Happy Endings – Review

2/10 – Butter My Books – Book Look

2/10 – Ex Libris – Review

2/10 – My Friends Are Fiction – Guest Post

Week Two:

2/13 – Stories & Sweeties – Empress Cupcakes

2/13 – What Sarah Read – Guest Post

2/13 – MundieMoms – Review

2/14 – YA Wednesdays – Character Fashion

2/14 – Fiction Fare – Review

2/15 – Once Upon a Twilight – Favorite Quotes

2/15 – The Books Buzz – Review

2/15 – Take Me Away to a Great Read – Review

2/16 – The YA Book Traveler – Empress Trailer

2/16 – Bookworm Everlasting – Review

2/17 – The Forest of Words and Pages – Like/Try/Why

2/17 – The Paige Turner – Interview

2/17 – Fangirlish – Review

Let's talk about it!

Did you read Empress of a Thousand Skies? Do you want to? What draws you into wanting to read this? Or what doesn't?

jazzyjan94's review against another edition

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This review appears on my blog:

Even though Empress of a Thousand Skies was an interesting read, it was also kind of a let down. I’ve been trying to find something to fill The Illuminae Files void until Obsidio comes out in March, and I was kind of hoping that this would be the book to help make the wait easier. However, it ended up being pretty slow, I still liked it, but it was slow and confusing.

There were so many things that are not explained in the world-building of the setting of the novel which are mentioned later on the book. I don’t mind if world-building is continuously happening throughout the novel, but there were times things were mentioned and I had no idea what they were.

When it comes to the plot, even though it sounds like it would be interesting, it just isn’t executed in the way I was expecting. I liked the plot, but it was slow and never really gripped me. And the “major” plot points/twists that happen didn’t really capture my interest.

Characters…while I liked them, they also didn’t really develop much over the course of the novel. A lot of what happens to Rhee and Alyosha seemed kind of predictable and the ending didn’t leave me wishing that the sequel was out already. The dual story lines threw me off because I was expecting them to intercept eventually but they never did.

I did like the map and with the way it ended I am interested in checking out the sequel when it comes out later this year, but I am not going to rush out and get it…I’ll read it when I read it.

Due to lack of character development and a slow plot I am giving Empress of a Thousand Skies 3/5 Stars.