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The Empire of Dreams
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The Empire of Dreams
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"Action, adventure, betrayal, and poison add up to a winner." —BooklistNew York Times–bestselling author Rae Carson makes a triumphant return to the world of her award-winning Girl of Fire...
"Action, adventure, betrayal, and poison add up to a winner." —BooklistNew York Times–bestselling author Rae Carson makes a triumphant return to the world of her award-winning Girl of Fire...
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  • "Action, adventure, betrayal, and poison add up to a winner." —Booklist

    New York Times–bestselling author Rae Carson makes a triumphant return to the world of her award-winning Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy in this extraordinary stand-alone novel. Fans of Leigh Bardugo, Kendare Blake, and Tomi Adeyemi won't want to put this book down.

    Red Sparkle Stone is a foundling orphan with an odd name, a veiled past, and a mark of magic in her hair. But finally—after years and years of running, of fighting—she is about to be adopted into the royal family by Empress Elisa herself. She'll have a home, a family. Sixteen-year-old Red can hardly believe her luck. Then, in a stunning political masterstroke, the empress's greatest rival blocks the adoption, and everything Red has worked for crumbles before her eyes.

    But Red is not about to let herself or the empress become a target again. Determined to prove her worth and protect her chosen family, she joins the Royal Guard, the world's most elite fighting force. It's no coincidence that someone wanted her to fail as a princess, though. Someone whose shadowy agenda puts everything—and everyone—she loves at risk. As danger closes in, it will be up to Red to save the empire. If she can survive recruitment year—something no woman has ever done before.

    New York Times–bestselling author Rae Carson returns to the world of The Girl of Fire and Thorns in this action-packed fantasy-adventure starring an iconic heroine who fights for her family and her friends, and for a place where she will belong.

About the Author-

  • Rae Carson is the author of two bestselling and award-winning trilogies, as well as the acclaimed stand-alone novels Any Sign of Life and The Empire of Dreams. Her debut, The Girl of Fire and Thorns, was named a William C. Morris Award finalist and an Andre Norton Award finalist. Walk on Earth a Stranger was longlisted for the 2015 National Book Award and won the Western Writers of America Spur Award. Her books tend to contain adventure, magic, and smart girls who make (mostly) smart choices. Originally from California, Rae Carson now lives in Ohio with her husband. www.raecarson.com

Reviews-

  • School Library Journal

    February 1, 2020

    Gr 8 Up-Red Sparkle Stone, the strong-willed and courageous girl from the final book in Carson's "The Girl of Fire and Thorns" fantasy trilogy, stars in this rousing companion novel. The story moves between past and present as it recounts Red's horrific childhood and her life now as the 17-year-old ward to Empress Elisa. Denied the opportunity to become Elisa's imperial adopted daughter, Red becomes the first girl to train for the Royal Guard and endures harassment and worse by male recruits. The Guards training the recruits are men Red doesn't know from her time living in the palace, and she's immediately suspicious of them, especially after the captain of the Guard goes missing. Others loyal to the Crown Prince Rosario are being attacked or killed or have disappeared. Red instantly clashes with handsome recruit Iván, the son of a traitor to the empire, even as they are forced to secretly work together to protect Rosario from being assassinated by his enemies. Familiar characters from "The Girl of Fire and Thorns" series appear but remain mostly on the sidelines. Red's a strong, forthright, and feisty young woman, and her struggle to prove herself among the men while living with post-traumatic stress disorder is sensitively and realistically handled. This fantasy adventure also touches on themes of friendship, forgiveness, fathers' sins, betrayal, revenge, and resilience. VERDICT An exciting, satisfying read that will appeal to lovers of "The Girl of Fire and Thorns" or fans of Tamora Pierce's "Protector of the Small" series.-Sharon Rawlins, New Jersey State Library, Trenton

    Copyright 2020 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    February 1, 2020
    A foundling orphan girl sets out to prove her worth by joining an elite--and patriarchal--fighting force. Seventeen-year-old Red Sparkle Stone is about to be adopted by Empress Elisa and Prince Consort Hector of the kingdom of Joya d'Arena and gain everything she always dreamed of: a family and a place in the world. When the adoption petition is denied, blocked by the empress's political rivals, Red asks to join the Royal Guard, traditionally a male-only institution. Her journey within the Guard is fraught, complicated even further by the news of a potential coup in the works. Carson (Most Wanted, 2018, etc.) returns to her Girl of Fire and Thorns world with a stand-alone novel featuring Red, the enslaved girl rescued by Elisa in TheBitter Kingdom (2013). This novel develops a taut, self-contained, political mystery within the confined quarters of the Guard and the palace, with a few chapters set in the past showing Red's harrowing, traumatic history. Red's PTSD is deftly and sympathetically handled and so is her coming-of-age as a capable, truth-speaking woman alongside her equally well-developed brothers in arms. The noticeable absence of other female characters for most of the book is a consequence of setting the story within the confines of a strictly gender binary, male-only Royal Guard. Most characters are brown-skinned. A rewarding stand-alone novel with effortless plotting and deft characterizations. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

    COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    February 24, 2020
    Picking up nearly eight years after the events of Carson’s Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy, this standalone companion follows 17-year-old imperial ward Lady Red Sparkle Stone, a foundling rescued from enslavement in the original trilogy by Elisa, now reigning Empress of Joya. Empress Elisa and Prince Consort Hector have petitioned the imperial court to adopt Red; when the request is denied, to the royal family’s shock, it soon becomes clear that mutinous forces are at play. While the rest of the family retreats, Red and the royal heir stay to root out those who seek to move against the royal family. To protect and redeem herself after damaging rumors spread, Red joins the Royal Guard as the first successful female recruit, where she forges tenuous friendships with fellow first-year trainees as unidentified players seek to oust the progressive Empress Elisa from power. Alternating chapters ground readers in the years leading up to Red’s liberation, contextualizing previously established relationships and Red’s traumatic past. Exhibiting clear signs of PTSD and carefully honed survival skills, Red is a realistically complex heroine, and her journey to belonging and healing feels genuinely depicted. Positive platonic relationships with secondary characters, most notably the men in Red’s family and her fellow recruits, are rendered with nuance and care. Ages 13–up. Agent: Holly Root, Waxman Leavell Literary.

  • Booklist

    March 1, 2020
    Grades 8-12 When Red's formal adoption into the Joyan royal family is thwarted by Empress Elisa's enemies, she opts to enlist in the Royal Guard so that she can stay near those she loves?despite there having never before been a female guardsman. As Red trains, she also uncovers a deeper plot to overthrow the throne. Avenues of help are closing one by one, and it may come down to Red and her fellow first-year recruits to save the kingdom. Carson creates a worthy and sympathetic hero in Red, a minor character from the Girl of Fire and Thorns series, whom readers come to know through intermittent chapters that reveal a traumatic childhood. Her resulting PTSD is an occasional issue as well as an odd kind of protection while she unravels the source of political unrest and copes with being female and quasi-royalty in the Guard. Action, adventure, betrayal, and poison add up to a winner of a companion novel to be read alongside or after the series and related novella.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2020, American Library Association.)

  • Kirkus Reviews

    "Carson returns to her Girl of Fire and Thorns world. . . . This novel develops a taut, self-contained, political mystery within the confined quarters of the Guard and the palace, with a few chapters set in the past showing Red's harrowing, traumatic history. . . . A rewarding stand-alone novel with effortless plotting and deft characterizations." — Kirkus Reviews

    "Rousing . . . Red's a strong, forthright, and feisty young woman . . . An exciting, satisfying read that will appeal to lovers of The Girl of Fire and Thorns." — School Library Journal

    "Carson creates a worthy and sympathetic hero in Red . . . Action, adventure, betrayal, and poison add up to a winner of a companion novel to be read alongside or after the [Girl of Fire and Thorns] series." — Booklist

    "Set in the world of The Girl of Fire and Thorns, this engrossing fantasy follows two threads about protagonist Red. . . . Carson gives appropriate attention to the awkward moments encountered by the first female recruit in an elite fighting squad, but Red earns her place with talents and choices that will resonate with readers no matter their gender." — Horn Book Magazine

    "Red is a realistically complex heroine, and her journey to belonging and healing feels genuinely depicted. . . . Rendered with nuance and care." — Publishers Weekly

    "Fans will rejoice. . . . Carson effortlessly brings readers into her familiar, already well-developed world and its mangled politics, imparting a Tamora Pierce-esque flair to Red's journey as she overcomes the obstacles that come with being an outsider." — Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

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