Monday, February 13, 2017

Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza {blog tour review, giveaway & cupcake!}

Welcome to my stop on the tour for
Empress of  A Thousand Skies!!

Today I'm featuring this galactic adventure with my review and a specially designed cupcake to go with that gorgeous cover! Plus don't forget to enter the tour-wide giveaway below for a chance to win one of FIVE signed copies of Empress of A Thousand Skies!

by Rhoda Belleza
♦publisher: Razorbill
♦release date: February 7th, 2017
♦hardcover. 344 pages
♦intended audience: Young adult
♦series: (no info on upcoming books yet!)
♦source: from publisher for honest review
Rhee, also known as Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta’an, is the sole surviving heir to a powerful dynasty. She’ll stop at nothing to avenge her family and claim her throne.

Aly has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. But when he’s falsely accused of killing Rhee, he's forced to prove his innocence to save his reputation – and his life.

With planets on the brink of war, Rhee and Aly are thrown together to confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy.

A saga of vengeance, warfare, and the true meaning of legacy.

Review:  This was quite an adventure! 

The story is told from the alternating voices of Rhee and Alyosha.  I really enjoyed both of their personalities. Rhee's fierce determination is admirable but when she gets caught up in a deeper political mystery than she expected, she looses her confident footing and realized she doesn't know who to trust. Despite her questions, she pushes forward, sometimes alone, and I loved her perseverance and the way she pulls from family memories for strength. Alyosha is quick and resourceful and careful, running for his life as a wanted murderer. He's a fun and interesting character to get to know.  

The world building definitely has a very cool and detailed Star Wars feel to it, with lots of different planets, societies, alien races, and cultures. It dealt with the issues of prejudices that go with such a melting pot of cultures, especially as we see Aly and what he goes through as an "easy target" to be framed for Rhee's murder, but also in the case of Rhee, who is treated differently once her face becomes marked.  

I think some will be disappointed with the lack of romance in this one, because the synopsis definitely makes it sound like there might be. I thought it was fine without it, and definitely think we'll come to it in future installments, but not for Rhee and Aly.  There's a lot going on plotwise with this and I though what little romance there was made sense. 

One drawback with this is actual a personal peeve of mine, so feel free to disregard LOL. In fantasy worlds, sometimes made up words are used in place of swear words or exclamations. It's a fun detail, but for some reason it irritates me when they are used really, really often. But, again...that' s just me. :) There are also a few dips in pacing here and there, but it's still a fairly quick read.

It's a great story with lots of twists, and although the big reveal at the end was not surprising, it was entertaining to see the truth unfold for the characters. I can't wait to see where the new info will lead all of them!

Guys, since the day I spotted that gorgeous cover, I knew I wanted to design a cupcake to match!! So many pretty colors and I love the hidden image in the moon. So here's what I came up with: the cover's main colors swirled into buttercream frosting, edible star sprinkles, and a shimmer-dusted moon!


Rhoda Belleza was raised in Los Angeles, where she grew up writing X-Filesfanfiction 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. 

Purchase the book:  Indiebound  •  BookDepository  •  Amazon

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Enter below to win one of FIVE signed finished copies of Empress of a Thousand Skies!

a Rafflecopter giveaway 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.

Don't forget to stop by the rest of the tour!


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