War built the Kisian Empire. War will tear it down.
Seventeen years after rebels stormed the streets, factions divide Kisia. Only the firm hand of the god-emperor holds the empire together. But when a shocking betrayal destroys a tense alliance with neighboring Chiltae, all that has been won comes crashing down.
In Kisia, Princess Miko Ts’ai is a prisoner in her own castle. She dreams of claiming her empire, but the path to power could rip it, and her family, asunder.
In Chiltae, assassin Cassandra Marius is plagued by the voices of the dead. Desperate, she accepts a contract that promises to reward her with a cure if she helps an empire fall.
And on the border between nations, Captain Rah e’Torin and his warriors are exiles forced to fight in a foreign war or die.
As an empire dies, three warriors will rise. They will have to ride the storm or drown in its blood.
We Ride The Storm is a big, chunky epic fantasy told from three viewpoints. Rah e’Torin, the warrior. Cassandra Marius, prostitute/assassin. And Princess Miko Ts’ai, sister of the would-be heir to the Emperor’s throne.
It took me a little while to settle into the switching narratives, coming as they do from such utterly different viewpoints. Rah and his Swords, exiled from their home and forced to fight against their will had a gritty, brutal feel, whereas Princess Miko’s story was all court intrigue, double crossing and politics with a strong east Asian feel.
Then we have Cassandra and the mysterious voice inside her head, possibly my favourite of the three. I found myself turning the page wanting to read more about her and her quest to find the means to find silence.
All three of the protagonists, whilst very different, are all engaging and their stories just as strong.
The story is properly epic, wide-screen fantasy, with the three protagonists going along their own tracks for much of the book before inevitably converging in the final act. It’s fun trying to work out how and when their stories might overlap in this giant, war-torn tale.
There’s a lot (and I mean a lot) of blood shed in this book. There’s some great little bits of worldbuilding on show, with Rah’s horse-based culture and their tradition of removing the heads of the fallen to free their souls. There are a lot of heads removed from their bodies in this – and not all by Rah! It’s a brutal, no-holds-barred kind of world, and I’m looking forward to reading more in the next book.
We Ride The Storm by Devin Madson is published by Orbit Books. Many thanks to Nazia Khatun at Orbit for the advance copy of the book, and for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.