Friday, June 9, 2023

Echoes and Empires by Morgan Rhodes - HIGH

Echoes and Empires
by Morgan Rhodes
400 pages. Razorbill. 2022. $12. 

Language: R (115 swears 0 'f') Mature Content: PG-13 (Brief, passionate kissing and underage drinking); Violence: PG-13 (Bloody kicking, bloody shooting, and bloody death).



17yo Josslyn lost her father, the Prime Minister, to an assassin a year ago during the Queen’s Gala. She’s attending the current Gala to support 18yo Celina, her best friend and the first daughter of the present Prime Minister, and to help Celina gain confidence. While at the Gala, Josslyn wanders to the art treasures display and accidentally absorbs magic when an artifact opens during the robbery she walked into. The robber, 19yo Jericho, knows the magic will cause swift action and punishment for Josslyn if the Queen finds out because she has completely banned all magic, so the two of them run and end up in the Queens prison after they search for help in removing the unwanted magic and discover they have something in common: the same assassin that killed Josslyn’s father, Lord Banyon, also killed Jericho’s parents. The magic Josslyn absorbed shows her Lord Banyon’s memories from sixteen years ago when he was being tortured and she continues to have these memories in full force, showing her a side of Lord Banyon that isn't cruel at all. Lazos is the prison overlord and also a warlock who used to be the queen’s magic advisor, so Josslyn and Jericho ask him to get rid of the unwanted magic, but he strikes a deal first; Jericho must kill the beast in the prison before Lazos will help them. When the beast is discovered, many more secrets are revealed and the danger has just begun. 

Echoes and Empires is such a fun read! I enjoyed the humor and sarcasm. There's plenty of action. The story is entertaining almost immediately and I loved the twists. Josslyn is white, the queen is white, Overlord is olive-skinned, and all shapes, sizes, and skin tones at the Fight Club.

LynnDell Watson, Delta High School Librarian, Delta, Utah 

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