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January 30, 2019

The Emperor's Trap by R. A. Denny ~ a Review

by MK French

Amanki had arrived in the capital city and has met with Baskrod, but he didn't know what happened to Brina and Moshoi. He had to remain in hiding. In the meantime, Brina and her people were sold into slavery, and Moshoi had been presumed dead in a landslide. Moshoi's brother Tuka and their companion Burlem have taken up his quest, but there is a lot of danger that threatens them along the way.

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The Emperor's Trap
April 2017; ebook (290 pages); YA, fantasy
This is what was book three in the Trees, Mud and Rock series, and had been called Captives. That title certainly makes as much sense as the current title: The Emperor's Trap, given the circumstances for our three heroes of the series. Chapters alternate between viewpoints, so we have the drudgery of Amanki hiding with a foster family of sorts intermixed with Brina being sold off to Metlan's uncle and Tuka working to get into the Emperor's army to head to the capital. Metlan, the catfolk prince from the prior novel, takes more of a role here, starting with his intervention at the slave market.

Again, plot contrives to bring our varied teenagers together, but not quite. Webbies are conscripted into the army the Emperor is putting together, the household that Brina is purchased by will be going to the war front, and Tuka and Burlem both pose as recruits for the army to discover who had ordered the deaths of the Armored folk. Hardships exist, and there are mentions of the same kind of improprieties with slaves in this book as historically had happened. There are also mentions of human and animal sacrifice to various gods. Nothing is described in any kind of detail, so it should not trigger any memories of trauma for people.

The novel ends on less of a cliffhanger, but I was still looking for more of the story. We have a lot of tantalizing tidbits of possible back story for the characters, particularly Metlan, and I'm eager to see what's next in the story.

Buy The Emperor's Trap at Amazon

Read my review of book 1 - The Emperor's Harvest.

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and golden retriever. 

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