Podcast Review #113: The Emperor’s Edge

Title: The Emperor’s Edge
Author: Lindsay Buroker
Genre: Fantasy with Steampunk elements
Released: 28 August 2011 – 27 December 2011
Located: PodiobooksiTunes
Formats Available: podcast, ebook, paperback
Rating: PG – 13 for violence

I’ve been a fan of Starla Huchton since l listened (and reviewed) her novel, The Dreamer’s Thread. In August of this year, I learned through Twitter that Ms. Huchton had been providing voice work for a book called The Emperor’s Edge. I immediately ran over to iTunes to see if it was there, and it was. 22 episodes later, I share with you my thoughts.

So, on to the review.

Synopsis: Imperial law enforcer Amaranthe Lokdon is good at her job: she can deter thieves and pacify thugs, if not with a blade, then by toppling an eight-foot pile of coffee canisters onto their heads.

But when ravaged bodies show up on the waterfront, an arson covers up human sacrifices, and a powerful business coalition plots to kill the emperor, she feels a tad overwhelmed.

Worse, Sicarius, the empire’s most notorious assassin, is in town. He’s tied in with the chaos somehow, but Amaranthe would be a fool to cross his path. Unfortunately, her superiors order her to hunt him down.

Either they have an unprecedented belief in her skills… or someone wants her dead.
(Stolen from Podiobooks.com)

Production: The Emperor’s Edge is produced by Darkfire Productions. I have done no research at all on this organization and have no idea if it is comprised of a single 12 year sitting in his mothers basement or if it is comprised of a dozen highly paid audio professionals sitting in an ivory tower. Although, if I were to hazard a guess, I’d say it is more likely more closely related to the former than the latter. Regardless, Darkfire does a great job. A seriously great job. I will admit that when I carefully listen to the background, there is more than whitenoise is some places. I don’t know if this is due to atmospheric noises captured during recording or something else.

Grade: A-

Cast: As noted previously, this book was brought to my attention by the discovery of Ms. Huchton’s involvement. As I previously stated, I believe this be a very good thing. Ms. Huchton again does a stellar job with a single read. I am quite impressed with the reading of this story and I believe Ms. Huchton could do well with most material she is provided with.

Grade: A

Story: The Emperor’s Edge doesn’t claim to be steampunk. In fact it claims to be high fantasy in a world of steam. I can understand the High Fantasy part, it is the steam part that confuses me. Don’t get me wrong, This fantasy is a well done take on many of the traditional concepts with the addition of certain “steampunkish” elements. This story just doesn’t seem like it needs the steam

Grade: A-

Verdict: I enjoyed The Emperor’s Edge. Immensley. I intend to track down more of Ms. Buroker’s works. This story engaged me with humor, intelligence and action. I do believe that if you give it a chance, you’ll be craving more too.

Disclosure: I’ve never met Ms. Buroker. I’ve never even heard of her before giving this podcast a listen. I was offered nothing in return for this review.

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