My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As always, I enjoyed the world John Scalzi built. There is a simplicity in the focal concept of the world from which he installs a complicated cast of characters who populate a society of intrigue and political maneuverings. The story drew me in.
The characters are clever and memorable. Although I’ve read a lot of reviews that favor Kiva (and she is very colorful) – I think my favorite character is the emperox, Cardenia. I enjoy her reflections, her “last emperor” mentality and her day-to-day ordeals that make her grand office seem so human.
I love the author’s style of writing. There is impending doom and horrible things are happening, but he still finds the levity in everything. The ever present humor in his tale is refreshing. I would never describe his story as dark and depressing ever.
It is science fiction fantasy at its most entertaining best! I would recommend it to everyone – especially those who love space operas.