Review: Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza

Monday, February 6, 2017

Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: February 7th, 2017
Rating: 2 Stars
Source: #booksfortrade
Format: Physical ARC
Pages: 344

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.

I really expected to like Empress of a Thousand Skies. I am a huge fan of this cover and that alone made me certain I was going to like it. Because a pretty cover = a good book, right? Lolllll.


Also, this book contains my favorite tropes. I love lost princess tropes and tropes with royalty trying to regain their rightful throne.

ALSO, this book gave me major Star Wars vibes. So I was expecting this book to grow on me at least a little bit.

All of that probably makes it sound like I hated this book. I didn't hate it, but I never felt ANYTHING while I was reading it. I don't care about the characters. I don't care about the war that's brewing. I don't care if Rhee ever claims her throne. I don't care what happens next. I just. Don't. Care.

This book is told in alternating points of view between Rhee, the soon-to-be-empress of Kalu and Aly, a Wraetan member of the UniForce who is basically a glorified space traffic cop who has a tv show.

Rhee has spent the last nine years plotting her revenge against the man that she believes is responsible for the deaths of everyone in her family. She has such a one track mind about this. I feel like she doesn't think before she acts. I definitely think her quest is noble and worthy and interesting, but she might be less conspicuous sometimes if she were to keep her chill a little more. She has no chill in these tense situations!

Aly is a refugee from the planet Wraeta. After his mother and sister were killed, he left his dad and went to join the UniForce. He finds himself traveling through space with his friend Vin, being a space traffic cop until the empress is allegedly assassinated and his is framed for her murder. Then he's on the run, trying to find a way to clear his name or something.

I think the only character I really cared about in this book was Pavel. Pavel is a droid that Aly programmed himself and I just thought that he was fun.

There really is not a lot of romance at all in this book. And I find it interesting that our two main characters are not the romance in this book. 

Rhee is pining after Julian, her best friend on Nau Fruma. So there's really no romance in this book for her, but she's too busy running for her life and trying to exact her revenge to be too worried about boys right now.

Aly finds himself a love interest while he is traversing the galaxy, trying not to get caught after being framed for a murder he didn't commit. I shouldn't be surprised by this, but I was surprised when it happened. I didn't really feel that much chemistry between them??

In the synopsis of this book, it says that Aly and Rhee will be thrown together. That is misleading because they are only in the same room for like .2 seconds. They're not even close to each other in this room, but somehow they locked eyes from across the room and had a connection and that's literally the only time they are together in this whole book. I don't see the point.

Then the other major thing about this book that bothered me is this: It seems like every chapter builds up to something that has the potential to be super intense and interesting to read about, but when you get back to that character's point of view, the thing is over and resolved and they're on to the next thing with barely any information on how the last thing went over.

I swear this scenario takes out like half of the action that could have happened in this book. It would have been so much more interesting.

Overall, I didn't really like this book. It wasn't necessarily bad. I was obviously at least somewhat motivated to finish this book, but it never really caught my interest. I was kind of just bored the whole time I read it and I was just waiting and hoping that I would get to a point where I started to care what happened. I don't really think that I would recommend this book.


  1. Aww, I'm sorry you didn't like this one! I hope your next read with be better :D Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

    1. I wanted to like this one so bad! Especially since you did and we seem to have the same taste in books! I guess we just can't love them all, can we?

  2. Hmm. I am always a little bit picky with sci-fi so I'll probably pass on this one though your comments on how the narrative structure does make me want to pick it up just to see what it's like. One of my favorite authors once said that if the most interesting scenes in your book are happening off the page that is a problem. It sounds like this book is suffering from that.

    If you want to try some other sci-fi that is as high action as the synopsis promises, I'd suggest checking out The Diabolic by S. J. Kincaid and A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix. (Or basically anything that is pitched as a space opera which I'm realizing is my favorite sci-fi sub-genre.)

    1. The one scene that I probably would have liked reading the most, probably the one scene that would have given a person the most feels, happened off the page. I was hideously annoyed. I will definitely have to check out your recommendations! I have been wanting to read The Diabolic for awhile now!


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