The second book in the Heroes of the Empire saga picks up from the frustrating, but delightful, cliffhanger the author left us with in the first book. So if you haven’t read that one, read my review of “The Cavalier” here, and read the first book first!

About the Book



Mordon dedicated his life to his father; his only dream was to prove himself worthy of Verin’s general. But with the ruthless Tariqin attack comes a brutal awakening. Captured by enemy forces and dragged into a war camp full of the people he was trained to kill, his hopes of proving himself worthy are dashed to pieces. When the enemy offers him a chance for a grand future, he’s faced with a test that stretches him beyond his limits.

Coralie’s burden has never been heavier. After the Dark Lord Prolus’s recent assault and her uncle’s declining health, it is up to her to keep her kingdom together. The inevitable return of the Tariqin army lurks at their doorstep and her time is running short. Coralie turns to the newest residents of Verintown for assistance. Branded traitors and hated by many in the castle, they may very well be her downfall. Using their pledge for change in her favor, she tasks them with a mission most would consider a death sentence.

Two determined warriors separated by a river of blood. Mordon must risk everything to become the man he yearns to be, and Coralie must fight to become the queen she was born to be.

My Thoughts

So this author doesn’t want to make it at all possible for you to not read the next book in her series. She left us with another epic cliffhanger. The first book was epic, and this one was even better. She hit her stride with writing and storytelling. If you’re a fan of romantasy (which I didn’t know I was) you’re going to love this. So far, at least, it’s not super spicy though – so if that’s what you’re looking for, keep looking. But sweet, slow-burn romance, this is your story.

You will pick a favorite couple, I have no doubt. But though I started not liking at least one of the main characters they all grew on me eventually. This story does a great job of showing how complicated human life is. Also, how complicated it is to figure out which side is the right side. Who is the monster, and who is the hero? As the old saying goes, “The victor writes the history books.” Watching it unfold like this hones in on that point, which I’m sure is no accident. Fantasy stories are rife with political and social commentary, and she has done a great job of that while not hitting us over the head with it. Xenophobia, racism, sexism, social class struggles and so much more are battled in the lives of the characters.

I couldn’t put this one down, and it left me with a book hangover. The kind where you can’t shake the world you were in, and now the real world and other book worlds just feel wrong for a bit. Israh Azizi deserves a special spot on your bookshelf alongside your favorite fantasy authors. I am grateful to the author and Love Books Tours for including me in this tour, and I can’t wait for the next book! Hopefully, she writes faster than that famous fantasy guy.

Question of the Day?

Do you enjoy romance, fighting, or both in your fantasy stories? OR If you don’t like fantasy, what is your favorite genre?

Who’s It For?

First off, if you read the first book, I don’t see how you could not read this one. That cliffhanger made it impossible for me to not pick up this one. But in general, if you enjoy “Game of Thrones” or similar fantasy or “romantasy” stories, you’ll like this book.

Content Warning: Violence, Suicide Attempt, Murder, Pregnancy Loss, Domestic Abuse, Betrayal, Infidelity, Hate speech, Adult Language, Adult Situations, Kidnapping.
This is not meant to serve as a complete list of all subjects that an individual may find as offensive or triggering.

About the Author

Israh Azizi resides in the land of ten thousand lakes with her family and five cats. Since she was a little girl she has been a lover of words and fanciful tales. It was her dream to one day share a story of her own with the world. With sheer determination, lots of love, and a decent amount of caffeine, she managed to make that dream come true. Besides reading and writing, she has a dizzying number of hobbies, some of which include bossing around her younger siblings, experimenting with new baking recipes, and playing board games with her family and close friends. When life’s plot twists don’t cross her path and her fingers aren’t dancing across the keyboard building a fantastical adventure, she can usually be found in a quiet corner with a good book and a steaming cup of coffee.


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