Let’s Talk About… Empire of Dust by Eleanor Herman

If you’ve read Legacy of Kings, you already know a bit about Alexander and his fictionalized story in this series. For those who haven’t, Eleanor’s series is about young Alexander the Great and his rise to power. This series is full of evil, magic, war, and love. I think anyone who enjoys history with a little action will like this series, so check it out if you haven’t already! I also recently did a Q&A with Eleanor on this blog where I asked her about the whole four book series, you can head to that post here!

Synopsis from Goodreads

In Macedon, war rises like smoke, forbidden romance blooms and ancient magic tempered with rage threatens to turn an empire to dust.

After winning his first battle, Prince Alexander fights to become the ruler his kingdom demands—but the line between leader and tyrant blurs with each new threat.

Meanwhile, Hephaestion, cast aside by Alexander for killing the wrong man, must conceal the devastating secret of a divine prophecy from Katerina even as the two of them are thrust together on a dangerous mission to Egypt.

The warrior, Jacob, determined to forget his first love, vows to eradicate the ancient Blood Magics and believes that royal prisoner Cynane holds the key to Macedon’s undoing.

And in chains, the Persian princess Zofia still longs to find the Spirit Eaters, but first must grapple with the secrets of her handsome—and deadly—captor.

My rating: 4 starsOne thing I find particularly interesting about Herman’s writing is that she has chosen to write this series in the present tense. This series obviously a story about the past, but I feel more drawn into the events becuase of this present tense, I don’t know if that’s how I’m supposed to feel but if it is, it’s working.

The Heroes: Alex, Heph, Kat, Jacob

The prophetic scroll that Heph finds in Leonidas’ hand plays a big role throughout this book. Heph keeps his discovery a secret the whole time, but I think he’s going to have to tell both Alex and Kat what he knows in the near future. He can’t possibly just let the prophecy happen right? When Heph and Kat go on a dangerous mission to Egypt to find Princess Laila, they get more than they bargained for in knowledge but also have to go back without the princess herself. That curse was interesting and unexpected. I didn’t expect Laila to be immortal and miserable. I like that Laila’s story gave Kat more insight about how she was born with magic, and also that Alex is figuring things out too. They are not the children of the King but of the God Riel, which is not really a good thing for the world to know since Alexander is seen as the heir to the throne by birthright and if anyone finds out that he’s not actually the king’s son… bad bad bad. That’s a secret that both siblings know now and have to keep quiet. I hated that Heph was being treated so poorly by Alex in this book because he killed High Lord Mordecai in the first book. It was pretty mean of Alex to be so angry about it when there are clearly bigger fish to fry in the Aesarian ranks, namely Lord Bastian.

Jacob is discovering that he might have Earth Blood, which would be very strange and highly unlikely. But then again, it seemed highly unlikely that Kat was Olympias’ daughter until I got some hard facts on that. Jacob definitely can’t ask his mother if this is true, because Olympias killed his whole family, and it’s going to be very hard to keep his magic a secret from the other Aesarian Lords since their mission is to eradicate all magic. The secret is going to come out eventually, but maybe Jacob will figure out how to leave the Lords altogether before it does.

The Villains: Bastian, Cyn, Olympias

I hate lord Bastian. So glad he died in that duel with Jacob. Lying scoundrel, he deserved to die of his own poison. That’s all I have to say about him.

Kat is in danger from all angles, Olympias still wants her dead and she’s willing to use Cyn as her murderer. Cyn is sent after Heph and Kat with the goal of killing Kat in exchange for Olympias making her a queen, which is her birthright as princess of Illyria. Cyn is actually my least favorite character I think. I hate Bastian and Olympias too, but Cyn is about a hundred times worse because everyone is always giving her another chance. DON’T DO THAT. Cynane is pure evil. She will betray you again. She does not deserve any more chances! Cyn doesn’t succeed in killing Kat, but brings Olympias Kat’s fingertip and makes excuses that a head would be hard to get through the country’s border security. For some stupid reason, Olympias believes once again that her daughter is dead and does her creepy Snake Blood ritual. I really hope it didn’t work, she’s just freaking evil and I’m not a fan. I have to hand it to Eleanor Herman though, she writes a mean villain.

The Floater: Zofia

I have been a bit frustrated throughout these two books that Zofia’s story still hasn’t met up with everyone else’s. Pretty much every story line met by the end of the first book except Zofia’s. Fine, I can live with that but AGAIN? We get to the end of book 2 and Zofia is still stranded on her own in the middle of nowhere, with everyone telling her “you are fated to marry Alexander,” oh, and, “I should kill you, but I won’t.” I appreciate that Cosmas, Zofia’s former lover from Sardis, is now present in the Macedonian palace becuase that means at least some of Zo’s story is finally meeting up with Alexander. I’ll still have to keep waiting for the rest to happen though.

The Traitor: Kadmus

It was so obvious to me, from the moment Kadmus was let off the ruthless trial Alex held his father’s council to, that Kadmus was the traitor. He was too confident, Alex trusted him too much, and all those greedy old men that Alex either killed or punished another way were just greedy old men. I’m glad that Kadmus decided that he didn’t want to betray Alex, and that they are now going to work together, but I am a little worried that Kadmus’ situation is going to pressure him to do something bad in the future. I am also intrigued by the short scenes we got about Darius, Kadmus’ father, who is going against the great King Artaxerxes by running the Assassin’s Guild.

Those are my thoughts on book two of the Blood of Gods and Royals series, let me know what you think so far in the comments!

Katie x

Check out my review of Legacy of Kings here, and check out my Q&A with Eleanor (Linked in the 1st paragraph of this post) if you haven’t already!

Follow me on Goodreads to see what I’m reading next 🙂



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