Title: The Scorpion’s Empress
Author Name & Publisher: Yoshiyuki Ly (Solstice Publishing)
Publication Date: June 1
After years of serving a corrupt government, Ser Videl, an idealistic paladin, learns that her younger sister is tangled in a dark scheme against Raj Mangala, the compassionate yet troubled Empress of the city’s oppressed lowtown; the two women meet and are deeply drawn to one another, finding a shared sanctuary in their violently-divided city. The Scorpion’s Empress is intimately written through the eyes of both twenty-seven year old women.
Videl’s loving devotion is just what Raj craves, but Raj is wary of letting her guard down while protecting her throne. Determined to prove her worth, Videl chases after Raj and works to unravel the mystery of the plots against the Empress. Raj wants Videl to serve her emotional and sexual needs, and the two explore a meaningful relationship of dominance and submission that delves fully into their deepest wants. When the conspiracy against Raj comes to a head, Videl’s loyalties are tested when she is forced to choose between her past and her Empress.
A truly unique, dark and riveting book. I have not read any of Ms Ly’s books before but this one held me fascinated from beginning to end.
A complicated and intricate plot deliciously decadent at times, beautifully loving at others. The characters were immersed in both evil and righteousness.
The twists and turns, the challenges forced on each character were only surpassed by the ultimate love affair both women wanted but found so hard to acknowledge.
If you are looking for adventure, think that all thing may be possible, not entirely sure what absolutely constitutes what is good and what is bad then this could be the book you are looking for.
This is a pretty difficult book to review for me. I love the concept of this book. The ideas and characters captured my attention quite easily and intrigued me to keep reading. My problem is that some things left me feeling confused and lost. I will say that I read an ARC, and there must have been some formatting issues, because I would find passages out of order, where one sentence would abruptly move into one that didn’t have much to do with the first, and after several more I would find the end of the interrupted sentence. So sometimes that was difficult to parse. But it was more than that. This is a whole new world that operated with its own rules and laws and customs. I understood that, and the characters obviously knew those rules, etc., but they weren’t fully explained for the reader. The other thing was the language. There were times when the descriptions or passages were almost poetic in the way they were described, but the author used a lot of metaphor. Metaphor is okay, perfect actually, when it’s in small doses. But this was so heavy with metaphor that I was left feeling that there was a whole other point being made that I just couldn’t figure out. I hate feeling like that. Most of the time it makes me feel like I’m a bit stupid, which others tell me isn’t so, and most of the time I choose to believe them. But then I don’t get something like this and whack! there I am trying to figure out if I’m the dullest crayon in the box again. The language was also a bit formal in places; it seemed to me as though it was written to be read in a noble manner, but it’s a little too stilted. It almost feels as though it has that oddly worded cadence of a translation that doesn’t quite encompass the gist of the original language. That holds true when the knights are talking about their duty, mission, and tenets. And also when Raj and Vidal are thinking about or discussing their relationship. It just seems like the passages don’t completely relate what’s in Ly’s mind. The relationship between Raj and Vidal is a little confusing. I’m not sure why each is resisting the other. Vidal admits that she wants Raj first, and admits she wants to serve her, yet has a problem for the longest time telling her that she loves her. And Raj has a problem allowing herself to become involved with Vidal, with showing Vidal all her dark secrets, but has no problem telling her that she loves her.
I liked the story, although I caution those that are offended by BDSM that this may not be for them. I just think that it would have benefitted from a bit of rewriting to deepen the reader’s understanding of things.
I write for the ones without a voice.