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Blood and Tempest (The Empire of Storms) Mass Market Paperback – November 28, 2017
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"Furious where it needs to be, deceptively tender where it can get away with it, adventurous all around."―Sam Sykes on Hope and Red
"Engaging ... [Skovron's] skillfully developed world, filled with swords and magic, is a perfect foil for his dynamic characters."―Library Journal on Hope and Red
"A great swashbuckling adventure."
―The Sun (UK) on Hope and Red
"A fun beginning ... promises to be a great series."―Philadelphia Free Press on Hope and Red
"The adventures of Hope and Red will continue, and you should plan to sail with them."―SFRevu on Hope and Red
"Gripping and, most importantly, fun."―SFX on Hope and Red
About the Author
Jon Skovron is the author of several young adult novels and his short stories have appeared in publications such as ChiZine and Baen's Universe. He lives just outside Washington, D.C. with his two sons and two cats. The Empire of Storms is his first adult fantasy series.
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Meanwhile, Red is no longer under the biomancers’ control as the Shadow Demon, but he keeps up the guise hoping to get more information about what the biomancers’ true endgame is. When this doesn’t happen Red does the only thing he can think of: he comes clean about his treachery, and then immediately flees Stonepeak following in the trail of the Vinchen who are looking for Hope.
Tensions are high in the Empire, and there’s nothing that can be done to stop it from boiling over. Red and Hope will need to try to ban together both the commoners and aristocracy if they want even a chance of coming out of the conflict alive.
This story was built up so well within the first two books—as well as the character development—that this third and final installment in the trilogy was basically just an afterward. It was the natural conclusion in a battle of good vs. evil.
There were some wonderful singular moments spread throughout the story. Namely, the drive to get Hope and Red back on page together and what happens afterwards. They have been apart for over a year and shared no page time whatsoever in Bane and Shadow. They both changed exponentially in the second book. So seeing how they reacted to one another, if they could pick up where they left off was a highlight for me. I do have to say that the romance in these books was like a drop of fresh air among the darker and oftentimes grosser aspects of the books, yet never overwhelmed the main idea of the story.
Without a lot of world and/or character building needed for this conclusion, I felt like Job Skovron ended up starting a few new story threads that, should he decide, could be picked up and turned into a nice spin-off series.
I’ve really enjoyed and appreciated the female strong perspective that has been put into these books. For me, Blood and Tempest really showcases the female friendships and dedication to one another that have been built up between Hope, Brigga Lin (a female biomancer) and their student Jilly. But I really like the message that violence does not have to be the automatic answer for solving conflicts. There’s no one who wants to cross Hope with or without her sword.
Overall, this series is highly recommended. The strong, centralized female characters and the sweet romance are a big plus. If there are more stories to tell in the Empire of Storms world, I would gladly welcome them.
The thing that I also liked was that you saw the character grow and change in front of your eyes (so to speak).
It is a wonderful tale of destruction, revenge, murder, redemption and love. You know, like an Opera.When I got to the third book I slowed down just to savor it for as long as I could. Overall it ends on an upper for most of the characters but not all.
A great end to a great trilogy—if not the epic that you were expecting.
The entire Empire of Storms has been thrilling, epic and tirelessly entertaining. While Blood and Tempest is easily the shortest installment of the trilogy, it still manages to conclude a fantastic story with a thoughtful but epic conclusion that in no way seems dictated by length or lack of time.
SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN’T READ BOOKS I & II OF THE EMPIRE OF STORMS
I read Hope and Red maybe a month after its release in 2016 and was instantly in love. Since then the story has grown in scope—starting from the two title characters to encapsulate maybe a dozen or so (shall we say) “minor” characters that help lead Hope and Red to their conclusion. Be aware: this is THEIR story. The empire, the isles, the supporting cast are all involved, all living their own story as well—but for now, Hope and Red take center stage. And while the empire, the world itself may accompany them on this particular journey, the epic conclusion of EoS resolves their story, but not necessarily that of the world itself. This isn’t by any means a deal-breaker. It isn’t where I thought we were headed from HaR, but is entertaining all the same.
The plot of Blood and Tempest picks up where Bane and Shadow left off, with Hope having left the Sword of Sorrows—and presumably violence—behind her. In her private quest for meaning she wanders the south of the empire, searching for answers in her own past. Red, having escaped Biomancer control, continues to search for atonement following his period as the Shadow Demon, attempting to spite the very masters he once served. He serves as a spy for the Empress, although he’s… not terribly good at it. Lacks subtlety, that one. After a few not-so-minor setbacks, Red is given the one task he’s wanted all along: recruit Hope and Brigga Lin to the Empress’s cause.
Brigga Lin has shrugged off Hope’s sudden departure well enough. She’s off screwing a pirate captain, engaging in small time piracy. Her pupil, Jilly, struggles to fit in with the pirates—all of whom seem to be ragged, smelly dudes—while trying to cope with the life she’s been thrust into and the consequences of Hope’s betrayal and departure. The rest of their crew has split as well: Nettles becoming the Black Rose of Paradise Circle, Filler and Sadie and many more dead and gone, Missing Finn and Alash and others disappeared.
Hope, meanwhile, discovers peculiar mysteries in the south—not precisely the answers she was looking for. Red discovers a not-so-subtle plot that could mean the end of the empire itself. Together, with a motley cast and crew, their adventures and experiences will help change the shape of the world.
While not the perfect ending I was looking for, Blood and Tempest provides an ending, at least one to the saga that began in Hope and Red. While it may not be THE ENDING—a door is left open here for more in this world—Jon Skovron certainly provides a conclusion to the story he set out to tell. And it was a worthwhile conclusion to discover. So long as you don’t expect too much—as not all my questions were answered.
If you were after a conclusion to Hope and Red’s journey—you will not be disappointed. Hopefully. I hope to see more of Skovron in the future. Possibly a further glimpse into the Empire as well.