The Emperor’s Edge by Lindsay Buroker

This book is hands down one of the best young adult books I have encountered in recent years in terms of pure, unadulterated entertainment. It is well written, witty, and filled with a cast of memorable characters, a delightful change from the card board cut outs one usually finds in young adult novels. The fast paced action keeps readers engaged from beginning to end.

Amaranthe Lokdon is one of the only female enforcers in the Empire, and she finds herself working harder to overcome the prejudice against her gender. However, when the young Emperor takes an interest in Amaranthe, Commander Hollowcrest hopes to discard Amaranthe by sending her to kill the notorious assassin Sicarius. Having discovered a plot to assassinate the Emperor along the way, Amaranthe and Sicarius team up to defeat Hollowcrest and the mysterious group called Forge who plans to remove the Emperor from the throne. Along the way, Amaranthe, Sicarius, and their team of vagabonds uncover a plot more sinister than they could have imagined.

I stumbled upon this series by accident about a week and a half ago, and, amid a full load of classes my senior year of college, eight hours of work a week, and all the extra curriculars I am a part of, I have managed to read three of the books in this series so far. It took me a few days to realize that the series is entirely self-published as e-books, which is incredible considering the density and generally disappointing quality of most e-books on the market. There are a few points where you can see where a bit of editing might have come in handy, but these books are more well written than most young adult books I’ve read that have gone through a publisher.

Part of the appeal, other than the fast paced action, is the absolute likeability of the characters. You can’t help but love them the more you get to know them. Buroker puts so much detail into each character, creating each with a distinct personality and quirks with laugh out loud results. It is the characters more than anything that keep me reading, and, of course, the suspense of “will they won’t they” that is thrown in too–though the budding romance is by far not the only thing to be reading this series for. I find myself gasping at tense moments and laughing hysterically at others.

Either way, HIGHLY recommend. The first one is FREE on Amazon, so go ahead and download it now, then buy her other books to support this awesome author: