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Dark Currents

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Author: Lindsay Buroker

Published: June 9th 2011 (first published June 8th 2011)

Format: Kindle Edition , 320 pages

Isbn: null

Language: English


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It's been three months since former enforcer Amaranthe Lokdon and the notorious assassin Sicarius thwarted kidnappers and saved the emperor's life. The problem? Nobody knows they were responsible for this good deed. Worse, they're being blamed for the entire scheme. With enforcers and bounty hunters stalking them, and the emperor nursing a personal hatred for Sicarius, it It's been three months since former enforcer Amaranthe Lokdon and the notorious assassin Sicarius thwarted kidnappers and saved the emperor's life. The problem? Nobody knows they were responsible for this good deed. Worse, they're being blamed for the entire scheme. With enforcers and bounty hunters stalking them, and the emperor nursing a personal hatred for Sicarius, it's going to be hard to earn exoneration. When Amaranthe's team discovers mutilated bodies in the city aqueducts and a mysterious illness incapacitates thousands of citizens, she and Sicarius see an opportunity to solve the mystery and prove their loyalty. But they'll have to defeat vengeful shamans, man-eating predators, and deadly mechanical constructs, all while dodging imperial soldiers who would rather kill them than accept their help. Nobody said exoneration would be easy.

30 review for Dark Currents

  1. 5 out of 5

    ✘✘ Sarah ✘✘ (former Nefarious Breeder of Murderous Crustaceans)

    Previous rating: 3.5 stars. A slightly moronic shrimp I obviously was when I first read this book 🙄 New rating: 4 stars. Seen the light I have indeed! ➽ And the moral of this reread is: yeah yeah yeah, so the world building in this series is a bit on the decaf side, and not the most complex I've come ever across. BUT 1) Characterization is Super Extra Yummy (SEY™)—one of the best ragtag bands of wannabe-not-misfits ever, methinks—and 2) Those. Dialogues—some of the mostest funniest ever, methinks— Previous rating: 3.5 stars. A slightly moronic shrimp I obviously was when I first read this book 🙄 New rating: 4 stars. Seen the light I have indeed! ➽ And the moral of this reread is: yeah yeah yeah, so the world building in this series is a bit on the decaf side, and not the most complex I've come ever across. BUT 1) Characterization is Super Extra Yummy (SEY™)—one of the best ragtag bands of wannabe-not-misfits ever, methinks—and 2) Those. Dialogues—some of the mostest funniest ever, methinks—😂😂😂😂 (view spoiler)[Here, have some more on the house and stuff: 😂😂😂😂. Quite welcome you are (hide spoiler)] ➽ And the other moral of this reread is: Amaranthe's footstool-emulating tendencies (don't ask) + crazy creative scheming + everything Maldynado + little assassins school + Sicarius' perennial whimsicality stodginess + hectic and dangerous giant raccoons + Amaranthe's innate talent for finding missions projects jobs trouble + missing limbs and eyes, yay! + Books, aka the fuzzy sweater, aka the deranged furry predator + Sicarius', um, surprising llama lung and bone marrow surprises + decapitated bodies galore = 👋 To be continued and stuff. · Book 1: The Emperor’s Edge ★★★★ · Book 3: Deadly Games ★★★★ · Book 4: Conspiracy ★★★★ · Book 5: Blood and Betrayal ★★★★ · Book 5.5: Beneath the Surface ★★★★ · Book 6: Forged in Blood I ★★★★ · Book 7: Forged in Blood II ★★★★★ · Book 8: Republic ★★★★ · Book 9: Diplomats and Fugitives ★★★★ [March 2014] Actual rating: 3.5 stars. The Emperor’s Edge was a nice introduction to the series and Dark Currents, although not the best book in the series, offers quite a lot in terms of character development. I didn’t enjoy the story that much but what makes the series so appealing to me is the interaction between the characters. I just love Amaranthe and her fellow outlaws! In this second instalment the story focuses on Books and although he is not my favorite character I still enjoyed reading about him. The next book will focus on Basilard, which I am looking forward to. I think it’s a great idea to explore a different character in each book and give the reader a different perspective. The funny thing about this series is that no matter how sketchy the world building is, no matter what flaws there are in the plot or that there are so many things going on at the same time (sometimes too many), I still find myself enjoying the books very much. They are entertaining, funny (love the dialogues!) and Buroker knows how to keep the reader turning the pages. I really like the adventure meets silliness meets crazy plans meets “we’re saving the empire” thing that is going on here. It’s all quite improbable but it works! This series is definitely character-driven and I’m fond of them all (well, Books and Askyr I don’t like as much as the others but that could change as the series evolve). It seems Buroker found the perfect balance between all the characters in the story. They sometimes feel a bit clichéd individually but they are quite compelling nonetheless and I can’t wait to find out what happens to our little gang of outlaws in the next installment!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Willow

    ***½ I’m kind of puzzled as to why Lindsay Buroker’s The Emperor’s Edge books are so fun, readable, and compelling... but they are. Buroker’s books are not great fantasy. In fact, her world building is quite shoddy. I have no true visual of the city or it's people. The technology level is sketchy at best with her heroes driving lorries and using rifles/pistols, yet still carrying antiquated weapons like swords. The rules for magic are a mystery. The political strata is kind of vague and the neigh ***½ I’m kind of puzzled as to why Lindsay Buroker’s The Emperor’s Edge books are so fun, readable, and compelling... but they are. Buroker’s books are not great fantasy. In fact, her world building is quite shoddy. I have no true visual of the city or it's people. The technology level is sketchy at best with her heroes driving lorries and using rifles/pistols, yet still carrying antiquated weapons like swords. The rules for magic are a mystery. The political strata is kind of vague and the neighboring countries are too much alike, blurring together. Obviously Buroker is just making stuff up as she goes along, creating a technological or magical ‘doodad’ (as Amaranthe calls them) as she needs them, or creating a new magical character or power when it suits her. Consequently her world doesn’t always fit together or make sense. I will always yank a star for this. For one thing, creative world building is one of the reasons I seek out fantasy/steampunk. Another reason is without proper limits or rules, the action scenes just aren’t suspenseful. How can you fear for the hero when you know that the author will just pull another ‘magical’ rabbit out of their hat, or have an implausible escape whenever they need to get the hero out of a bad situation? It’s sloppy. The easy way out, and Buroker does this a lot. I wanted to skim over her action scenes, when they should have been exciting and compelling. Without boundaries, there’s no real risk, and the action is tedious to read. So why am I eagerly awaiting the next book? It’s the characters. They’re fun. I’m fond of them. Yes Buroker uses archetypes, but so do comic books. (And personally… I think some of the most creative and complex characters have come from graphic novels. As if being limited to a template makes writers go to greater lengths to give their characters depth.) But anyway, I’m intrigued and amused by Amaranthe’s motley little group. They bicker and fight. They tease each other. There’s a feeling of mystery and untold stories with each and every one of them. That’s where the suspense for The Emperor’s Edge books come from…this desire to know more about the characters. I want to see what happens to them. I’m dying to learn their secrets and see if they find happiness and romance. Yes, they tend to throw cheesy one-liners at each other (which make me groan) but I’m willing to ignore that. So while this series is far from great literature, I’ve been sucked in by the compelling characters and will definitely be reading book 3. This was a buddy read with Jeannette and she wrote an excellent review for this. review

  3. 5 out of 5

    Choko

    *** 3.75 *** So, this series is very entertaining. I enjoyed the first book a bit more than I did this one and I can't really put my finger on why, but I think it has to do with never truly feeling that any of the characters were in real danger. The stories rely on dangerous situations, action and a lot of banter between the gang of misfits, all with bounties on their heads, and all trying to figure out their place in the group and in society. I like all of them and it is easy to root for their s *** 3.75 *** So, this series is very entertaining. I enjoyed the first book a bit more than I did this one and I can't really put my finger on why, but I think it has to do with never truly feeling that any of the characters were in real danger. The stories rely on dangerous situations, action and a lot of banter between the gang of misfits, all with bounties on their heads, and all trying to figure out their place in the group and in society. I like all of them and it is easy to root for their success, but most of them seem ironclad plot wise and the danger factor is lower... This leaves the reader with character development and what shenanigans they are about to get involved in this time around. That part didn't disappoint. There were Magical constructs and monsters, cool fights, and some slow burning romance, which has not come to any resolution yet... Overall, I am enjoying reading this series quite a bit and would recommend it to light Fantasy fans of all ages. Looking forward to the next book 🙂👍

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mei

    As good as the first! I love Amaranthe, Sicarius, Books, Maldynado, Akstyr and Basilard! The way Amaranthe teases Sicarius and treating all the others is plain fantastic! Her voice is the most fantastic thing in this book! :) On with the next! :)

  5. 5 out of 5

    Sherwood Smith

    Thoroughly enjoyed this second entry in the series, which widens the POVs beyond Amaranthe (my favorite) to include Books, the quiet librarian among the five guys following Amaranthe. While the main relationship follows a predictable path I like the way it was handled, especially the conversations toward the end. And the last few lines? Terrific. Made me go straight out to buy the next. The world building is pretty sketchy, but the breezy tone and above all Amaranthe's voice carries the fast-pace Thoroughly enjoyed this second entry in the series, which widens the POVs beyond Amaranthe (my favorite) to include Books, the quiet librarian among the five guys following Amaranthe. While the main relationship follows a predictable path I like the way it was handled, especially the conversations toward the end. And the last few lines? Terrific. Made me go straight out to buy the next. The world building is pretty sketchy, but the breezy tone and above all Amaranthe's voice carries the fast-paced storyline magnificently. The main mystery is wrapped up, while some enticing threads are introduced, promising a broadening of the big questions. I also think Buroker does a terrific job with a female (especially in a warrior culture) leading five men. I kept thinking, "This works because all five are not in love with her." (view spoiler)[To my surprise, Sicarius is thinking along an orthogonal trajectory. That made him interesting to me for the first time. Not to say I don't enjoy the broody, distant assassin type, because I do, but they tend to be a bit alike. Sicarius is showing signs of being different from most. Huzzah! (hide spoiler)] . It's a great balance between them all, friendship and respect or at least tolerance building among the team.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Megan Baxter

    Dark Currents is better than the first book in the series, which struck me as okay, but weak. But it isn't a lot better. The Emperor's Edge was interesting enough to make me this self-published author a second chance, but while this does represent a step forward, it's not enough of one to make me enthused about the series. And so, I think we're going to part ways here. There isn't anything I'm hanging fire on finding out, so while I find them moderately amusing, I think I'm good. There are a lot Dark Currents is better than the first book in the series, which struck me as okay, but weak. But it isn't a lot better. The Emperor's Edge was interesting enough to make me this self-published author a second chance, but while this does represent a step forward, it's not enough of one to make me enthused about the series. And so, I think we're going to part ways here. There isn't anything I'm hanging fire on finding out, so while I find them moderately amusing, I think I'm good. There are a lot of books out there. I feel I've given these a fair shake. Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here. In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lala_Loopsie [fire breathing B!tch Queen]

    Goodreads: I've cheated on you, and for that i am sorry; the book was finished yesterday. But no worries, i put the right finished date. So... What i want to say is: The bOOk is awesome. Amaranthe is cool and kickass, and so is Sicarius. Books is admirable, since he "likes" books. Overall, the book is good. But i don't really like having Books' POV. Not that i don't like him, it's just that Amaranthe is in all the action, so to say. Yet he did bring and interesting change of view and feelings. Thoug Goodreads: I've cheated on you, and for that i am sorry; the book was finished yesterday. But no worries, i put the right finished date. So... What i want to say is: The bOOk is awesome. Amaranthe is cool and kickass, and so is Sicarius. Books is admirable, since he "likes" books. Overall, the book is good. But i don't really like having Books' POV. Not that i don't like him, it's just that Amaranthe is in all the action, so to say. Yet he did bring and interesting change of view and feelings. Though, i have one question. Why/how did everyone in the Empire know Sicarius' name? Did he sign his name in blood? It's a question that keeps nagging me.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Milda Page Runner

    3.5* Another light and fun read. I'm really enjoying this series. And it doesn't hurt that it's free. :)

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sylvia Mercedes

    Loved it. Not going to bother writing a full review since I JUST reviewed Book 1, and I'm diving right into Book 3. But I seriously enjoyed this and think everyone who is even somewhat interested in steampunk fantasy should give The Emperor's Edge series a try!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Nathan

    Fantasy Review Barn A quick recap of ‘The Emperor’s Edge;’ Amaranthe and her plucky cast of outlaws are actually nice people, doing everything they can to save the Emperor from some bad people. Amaranthe sets up a complex and brilliant plan to trap the baddies, which fails miserably. Despite this, a few lucky breaks and some quick thinking from several people in the crew works out in their favor, the Emperor is saved, and the entire crew find themselves to be outlaws still. Tough break. So an ex- Fantasy Review Barn A quick recap of ‘The Emperor’s Edge;’ Amaranthe and her plucky cast of outlaws are actually nice people, doing everything they can to save the Emperor from some bad people. Amaranthe sets up a complex and brilliant plan to trap the baddies, which fails miserably. Despite this, a few lucky breaks and some quick thinking from several people in the crew works out in their favor, the Emperor is saved, and the entire crew find themselves to be outlaws still. Tough break. So an ex-cop, deadly assassin, male escort, wannabe magician, former pit fighter, and Books (guess what he does) are out of work, looking for good deeds to clear their name and get back in the Emperor’s good graces. Turning down a job for an assassination gives them a lead into some nefarious doings anyway, and soon the group must leave town together to save the city from the latest and greatest troubles. Glowing eyed wildlife, magic practitioners, angry fathers, and near-invincible imported predators are all out there to greet them. Like the first novel this book moves at a lightning speed, I am amazed at how fast I have read the books in this series. The group’s adventure relies less on a complex plan and more on quick decisions this time around, which helps alleviate some of the plot holes the first book had (though I am sure a reread would make me questions a few things). Not a lot is added to the world other than proof there is life outside the main city and some signs that the Emperor they saved is trying to make the land a better place. The greatest strength of this book comes from the character interactions, which can only be described as fun. Constant bickering, light jokes, but brotherly (and sisterly in Amaranthe’s case) love is shared by almost all. I am glad to be past the team set up stage, because the interactions are much more natural now that I have gotten to know the characters. The author states in the epilog that her hope was to each book feature a different secondary characters; 'Dark Currents' features Books. It worked, though he is certainly not the most intriguing character of the group (though he is probably the most realistic). What made it work was the relationships he had; the love/hate with Maldynado and the romance he is struggling to keep up with. I still am not a huge fan of the assassin character, but he doesn’t detract from the story for me. The weaknesses of the book are easy to spot as well. Many things happen not for logical reasons, but because the author needs them to happen in order to have a story. If these were not so fun it may be a bigger deal, but the light hearted nature made me care a little less. I was a bit disappointed that I learned the reasoning behind some of the villain’s acts, but never the true purpose of the master plan. This is such a major thing that I have to give the author benefit of the doubt, and assume all will be explained later. Oh, and I never quite understood the purpose of monsters that eat lady parts. Just a bit weird. The Emperor’s Edge series has so far been a blast to read; Engaging and fun characters, quick paced adventures, and it appears that the beginning of an actual story arc building. While they are not as strong as Chris Wooding’s ‘Kitty Jay’ Series, I have the feeling a lot of fans of Wooding would really enjoy Buroker’s books. 4 Stars

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sandra

    I loved this one too. Lindsay Buroker is the queen of pace and action. I love The emperor's edge and I hope Sicarius will be impossible to tease for long. I hope Amaranthe keeps trying, though. Onto the next one.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    Not bad, better than book #1 was, perhaps because I have some investment in the characters now. A good light read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Denisa

    Yes, continue reading this series. If the previous one got at least 3 stars from you, go on, try some more! Yes, continue reading this series. If the previous one got at least 3 stars from you, go on, try some more!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    This sequel to the King's Edge neither surprised nor disappointed. The character interactions, the sole thing that kept me reading, progressed predictably. The steampunkish world, however, jarred even more annoyingly in the second book than the first, and the plot and gimmicks that drove the book made me feel that the whole thing would have been more enjoyable in a Regan-era Cold War setting rather than messily glopping a coat of steampunk paint onto easily recognizable objects and situations. A This sequel to the King's Edge neither surprised nor disappointed. The character interactions, the sole thing that kept me reading, progressed predictably. The steampunkish world, however, jarred even more annoyingly in the second book than the first, and the plot and gimmicks that drove the book made me feel that the whole thing would have been more enjoyable in a Regan-era Cold War setting rather than messily glopping a coat of steampunk paint onto easily recognizable objects and situations. A single spoilerish example: A dam in this world is believable. Its inner workings closely resembling a modern dam is jarring. A means for workers to maintain the dam is believable. "Hey, presto, diving suits!" is jarring. Even the particulars of the main threat are very "ripped from the headlines", and, again, would have fit seamlessly in a modern setting. While the characters are pleasant enough to spend time with, and the writing itself evokes clear images to place you into the world, I found the book easy to put down between readings, and did not delay other activities (or end them early) to get back to it. I see that there are several further sequels, and maybe in a few years I might feel a nudge of curiosity to see if my initial predictions for character development and major plot are correct (They meet the emperor! They work FOR the emperor! The are cast aside by the emperor! They are back to working for the emperor! They unravel and defeat the faceless organization! The faceless organization isn't really defeated! There is a BIGGER threat behind the faceless organization! And that the situations driving the plot continue to be ripped from the headlines and translate easily to modern situations with only the most minor of tweaks. And that the characters will continue to develop into a family, squabbles will break out, there will be leavetakings and rejoinings, and book by book the protagonist and the assassin will dance around their attraction, finally consummating the relationship, then having to cool it back down.) Most likely, though, I will have forgotten about this series entirely. If you are at the beginning of your reading life, say in your teens or twenties, then I would recommend the series to you. Likely you will not have followed this path more than a dozen times already. For those of you with forty-plus years of avid reading in your experience, I would suggest you can give this series a pass without missing anything new or exciting, and urge you to search out other more original books to report back on for the rest of us.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    The second novel in the Emperor's Edge series does a good job of developing the characters introduced in the titular first novel. The author takes her semi-steampunk fantasy world further in this installment, introducing a mystery that requires the team to leave the walls of the city for a rural woodland adventure. More elements of steampunk technology and magic (referred to as the 'mental sciences' by the inhabitants of the world) abound in this novel than the last, again not too often relied u The second novel in the Emperor's Edge series does a good job of developing the characters introduced in the titular first novel. The author takes her semi-steampunk fantasy world further in this installment, introducing a mystery that requires the team to leave the walls of the city for a rural woodland adventure. More elements of steampunk technology and magic (referred to as the 'mental sciences' by the inhabitants of the world) abound in this novel than the last, again not too often relied upon as a trope to move the plot forward, but rather only where they make sense. The faceless villain organization known only cryptically as Forge seem to have their hands in this latest mystery, but never make an appearance. The water supply for the city is being poisoned by magical means, and in an effort to build goodwill and clear their names, the Emperor's Edge team investigate. The novel reads as a cross between a Hardy Boys mystery (or perhaps, Nancy Drew?)and an episode of the A-Team, with enough sexual tension to please the mostly female reader base. Amaranthe is back as the main point-of-view character, but this time shares the spotlight with her erstwhile companion Books, the group's researcher and often lecturer. Each book in this series uses a different POV character besides Amaranthe to get the reader better acquainted, and it is a good idea which works well. I did not mind Books' character in this novel, but he is one of the less eccentric members of the team. We will see how well the swapping POVs work in future novels. My dislike of the assassin Sicarius in the first novel (arguably the second most important character in the series) was slightly lessened by the end of this book. He seems to have three times as much dialogue (however stilted and short), and he even seems to have emotions as the pages turn on. I am less enthralled by the sexual tension built between he and Amaranthe, but only because I have seen the 'dangling carrot' held in front of audiences so often it is beyond a trope. Here's to hoping that things develop beyond that in the future, but it is would be worth reading the next novel to find out.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Simply Sam ツ

    ***3.5 Stars*** Yes! I made it through this one! There are still a lot of the same elements carried over from the last book that bugged me. Amaranthe and her compulsive cleaning/straightening and the lack of other strong female characters (aside from the bad guys of course-there are always women bad guys) being paramount. Also, the author's use of obscure/not commonly used words when colloquially ones would have sufficed. I noticed it first with cogitate, especially when she used it twice. After ***3.5 Stars*** Yes! I made it through this one! There are still a lot of the same elements carried over from the last book that bugged me. Amaranthe and her compulsive cleaning/straightening and the lack of other strong female characters (aside from the bad guys of course-there are always women bad guys) being paramount. Also, the author's use of obscure/not commonly used words when colloquially ones would have sufficed. I noticed it first with cogitate, especially when she used it twice. After that a few I highlighted were: palaver, pusillanimous, insouciant, panoply, inimical, susurrus, appurtenances. Of course, you may ask is yourself why all this palaver over the author's word choice? Yes, I hear the susurrus over this seemingly inimical review. But when such a panoply of words are used as the appurtenance of her writing style I decided not to write a pusillanimous review or even a insouciant one but instead a review that accurately reflects the garrulous nature of Ms. Buroker's work. Cogitate one that I ask you. Acquiesce I implore you.... Okay, I'm done. Even though it took me for-e-ver to get through this one, annoyances aside, I still feel like there is something there worth reading. Of course it helps that I'm kind of in love with Sicarious (don't worry Sarah, I know that I have to stare at him creepily from a distance!). I'm going to continue reading these. They first two haven't hit it out of the park for me yet but I'm told it only gets better. Onward!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kara

    I wanted to enjoy this book more than I did. Perhaps it's the second-book-syndrome... After loving the first book in the EE series, which I read in one day, I found myself finishing Dark Currents more because I felt like I should than because I couldn't put it down. I read that Ms. Buroker intends to give each of the characters his/her own books, but honestly, I didn't realize that this was Books' book until I read her notes. I'm more interested in knowing what drives Amaranthe, rather than get I wanted to enjoy this book more than I did. Perhaps it's the second-book-syndrome... After loving the first book in the EE series, which I read in one day, I found myself finishing Dark Currents more because I felt like I should than because I couldn't put it down. I read that Ms. Buroker intends to give each of the characters his/her own books, but honestly, I didn't realize that this was Books' book until I read her notes. I'm more interested in knowing what drives Amaranthe, rather than get to know the secondary characters. (Although I am intrigued about how Basilard's story will be told, given that he doesn't speak...) Here are the things I want to know: how did Amaranthe transition from being an enforcer to outlaw so easily? I read about the circumstances, but I want to know about her emotional development. What in her background made it so easy to seemingly change how she saw herself? She's clever, fearless, and creative. How did she develop those characteristics? What was her motivation to become an enforcer in the first place? (I think this is covered in the first book, but I want to know more...) I want to know what, exactly, she sees in Sicarius, and why. (I'm not much into the silent, brooding type, so perhaps I'll never understand that attraction.) The good news in all of this is that I'm engaged enough in Amaranthe to still be thinking about her. I'll keep reading the series, and hope to discover answers to some of these questions.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ian

    When three bodies show up in the aqueduct our heroes are using for their hide-out Amaranthe senses an opportunity to help the Empire and clear their names. The team head into the mountains to the source of the cities water in an effort to find the culprit and thwart whatever dastardly plan they have. Dark Currents is interesting and entertaining in a Romancing the Stone kind of way. There isn't all that much world building and the story is painted with broad brush-strokes so it's easily accessib When three bodies show up in the aqueduct our heroes are using for their hide-out Amaranthe senses an opportunity to help the Empire and clear their names. The team head into the mountains to the source of the cities water in an effort to find the culprit and thwart whatever dastardly plan they have. Dark Currents is interesting and entertaining in a Romancing the Stone kind of way. There isn't all that much world building and the story is painted with broad brush-strokes so it's easily accessible for people who wouldn't normally read fantasy. It's a fun story, well told. Amaranthe and Sicarius ... (view spoiler)[Well I thought it was funny anyway. Hey! At least I didn't use a Tangled .gif (hide spoiler)] (view spoiler)[Oh what the hell!!! (hide spoiler)]

  19. 4 out of 5

    Soo

    Is it possible to love the characters but snort a lot at the action? I love the word play and finding myself looking up words I haven't seen or heard in a while. It's always good to keep your vocabulary fresh! I'm glad that the characters aren't invincible but I wish the solutions were a little more practical. I can't wait for Sicarius to land a kiss on Amaranthe! It may never happen! Haha! What else will the gang be up to next? I'm looking forward to it! It helps to know that another friend is Is it possible to love the characters but snort a lot at the action? I love the word play and finding myself looking up words I haven't seen or heard in a while. It's always good to keep your vocabulary fresh! I'm glad that the characters aren't invincible but I wish the solutions were a little more practical. I can't wait for Sicarius to land a kiss on Amaranthe! It may never happen! Haha! What else will the gang be up to next? I'm looking forward to it! It helps to know that another friend is also enjoying the series and reading it faster than I!

  20. 5 out of 5

    cEe beE

    Hear ye! Hear ye! EVERYBODY should read this series! The Emperor's Edge books by Lindsay Buroker is a very smart, funny, well-written fantasy series!! Dark Currents the 2nd installment is just as good and improves on the first book. Amaranthe Lokdon, former enforcer turned outlaw is back with her motley crew of unlikely Empire do-gooders, Sicarius the Empire's best assassin, Maldynado the handsome ladies man, Books the professor & Akstyr, the sullen would-be magician. I enjoyed this so much, I've Hear ye! Hear ye! EVERYBODY should read this series! The Emperor's Edge books by Lindsay Buroker is a very smart, funny, well-written fantasy series!! Dark Currents the 2nd installment is just as good and improves on the first book. Amaranthe Lokdon, former enforcer turned outlaw is back with her motley crew of unlikely Empire do-gooders, Sicarius the Empire's best assassin, Maldynado the handsome ladies man, Books the professor & Akstyr, the sullen would-be magician. I enjoyed this so much, I've bought the rest of the series. I HIGHLY, HIGHLY recommend this.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Suz

    Good story. I'm still reminded of Sagara's Elantra without all the races, but I think the slow burn romance in this one will actually happen at some point whereas Sagara's is unlikely to ever happen after 11 books and still not movement. Buroker approach to the "female enforcer" story is believable, although I have to be honest that the steampunk is quite light and I don't feel like I know the world well enough yet to get a handle on just how much technology is available to the world, nor on how Good story. I'm still reminded of Sagara's Elantra without all the races, but I think the slow burn romance in this one will actually happen at some point whereas Sagara's is unlikely to ever happen after 11 books and still not movement. Buroker approach to the "female enforcer" story is believable, although I have to be honest that the steampunk is quite light and I don't feel like I know the world well enough yet to get a handle on just how much technology is available to the world, nor on how the magic system works. But the characters are engaging.

  22. 5 out of 5

    JAIME

    I really wanted to like this series - but I just can't. It's just dull. I have no time for dull. DNF - 41%

  23. 5 out of 5

    Anna lost in stories *A*

    I was a bit afraid to read this book... mainly because I loved the first one sooo much and I wasn't sure if the sequel would capture all of that... magic, humor and hilarious interactions that made me fall in love with it in the first place... :) but fear not, it was just as awesome :) my favourite band of misfits did not disappoint :) and to those of you who are new to this series, this review may contain some spoilers about the first book... not very detailed, but I wanted to let you know abou I was a bit afraid to read this book... mainly because I loved the first one sooo much and I wasn't sure if the sequel would capture all of that... magic, humor and hilarious interactions that made me fall in love with it in the first place... :) but fear not, it was just as awesome :) my favourite band of misfits did not disappoint :) and to those of you who are new to this series, this review may contain some spoilers about the first book... not very detailed, but I wanted to let you know about them just in case :) so if you are brand new to this series and don't want to know anything, I'm gonna direct you to my review of the first book -> https://bookworm8619.blogspot.com/201... <- :) check that one out and see for yourselves why you need to start this series immediately :) to all the rest of you, let's dive into more datails, shall we? :) I'm gonna start by telling you a bit more about the characters :) and even though I claimed that Amaranthe is the main one... well, because in my opinion she absolutely deserves that spot ;) but she's the boss of a group of the most entertaining band of misfits I've read about so far ;) they are a totally mismatched and hilarious group and I will tell you a bit more about all of them :) Amaranthe used to be one of a few female enforcers in the empire, but after stuff that happened in the previous book, and don't worry, I won't go into details about that, now she's kind of an outlaw trying to convince people that she and her team are actually the good guys :) she's smart, clever and sassy, so all the things I love in heroines :) next we have Sicarius... *sigh* I should not be loving a deadly and mysterious assassin so much but I can't help it... :) well, it's not like I'm really trying sooo... ;) he's definitely the most shadowy character in these books, not because he's evil or anything, it's just we know the least about him... he doesn't talk much, but I definitely see some improvement in his communications skills... ;) next there's Books :) it's his nickname, but I don't remember his full name :) besides, with a nickname like that I'm never gonna learn it :) he's always gonna be Books to me :) he's the oldest one out of them all, around 45 :) he's definitely more of a researcher in the team than a warrior :) we have also Akstyr, a young, rebelious and snarky teenager with inclinations towards magic... ;) we have also Basilard, a sort of an ex-slave / gladiator... I can't go into more details but it's all explained in the previous book :) he doesn't talk, instead using a specific sign language... and of course last but definitely not least, Maldynado :) I freaking love him :) he's the most charming smoothtalker ever :) Amaranthe met him when he was working as an escort after his family disowned him... I kid you not :) he's the main source of my laughter in this series :) but absolutely not the only one :) and I want to mention one more person... definitely keep your eyes out for Yara ;) trust me, you don't want to lost her in the excitement of reading this book... cause I have a feeling that it's not the last time we see her... ;) Now about this book... :) like the whole series it's set in the Turgonian empire with Sespian as the young emperor :) and even though we haven't seen him in person in this particular story, I love him as a character and I hope to see him more in future books :) in the previous story, Amaranthe and her team worked on stopping an assassination plot to kill him... dun dun duuuunnnnn ;) and it kind of ended in a good / bad way ;) good, because they succeeded, but bad because they sort of got blamed for it... ;) so now they are working to redeem themselves in the eye of the emperor and the people :) and it's going slower than anticipated... after a few months they are not closer to their goal... but, a new occasion arises... :) they discover bodies with weird marks in the sewer system which leads to another discovery... that I'm not gonna tell you about here, but I can say that it eventually leads to a road trip outside the city :) that's all of the details I can share without spoilers :) I absolutely loved this book :) I got this series recommended to me by one of my #BookBesties, Karen :) and I'm gonna be forever grateful to her, for helping me discover this gem :) they need to be read in order, well... technically I guess you could read them however you want, because there's no #BookPolice to stop you ;) but I highly recommend you to read them in order :) that way you can get to know the characters and follow all the events without spoilers... :) plus you might get lost in the story if you don't know what happened before :) but they are awesome, so it's not like a chore or anything ;) this whole series has a fantasy / steampunk sort of vibe to it :) and even though I read two books already, I still don't know much about the world in general :) but I don't mind, since these books are definitely character / adventure driven :) so just go with the flow and don't worry about it :) this book was written in an amazing style :) it was hilarious, entertaining and surprising :) I kept turning page after page never knowing what to expect :) and even if I had some ideas it always turned out to be something else ;) it was a truly amazing story and a fantastic sequel... :) and as a bonus we start to get to know more about members of Amaranthe's team :) this time it's Books :) and I know that in other installments it's gonna be other characters... and that makes me even more curious to pick them up :) so be sure to give them a try and see for yourselves why I simply cannot shut up how awesome they are ;) I have just a few quotes for you today and believe me... this is just a very tiny glimpse into all the hilarious awesomeness that awaits you in the actual book... I cannot stress that enough... just go read this series :) Part of a conversation between Books and Maldynado ;) Books first :) "'Amaranthe's birthday is next week and, with our limited funds, I didn't think I'd be able to find her a gift.' 'So, you're getting her... dead bodies?' 'Perfect, don't you think?' Books smiled. 'Most women like jewelry and flowers.' 'Do you honestly believe she would prefer jewelry over a mystery to solve?' Maldynado jiggled the key fob thoughtfully, then nodded toward the bodies. 'Can we say one is from me?'" One of the interactions between Amaranthe and Sicarius ;) "Not one for idle chatter, or chatter at all, Sicarius waited in silence. 'Interesting evening,' she said, hoping to draw him out. 'When you said , did you mean I looked good, as in all those workouts are improving my skills, or it was good that I didn't fall?' 'Yes.' She snorted. 'Thanks.'" One of many hilarious interactions between members of the team :) this time it's Books, Akstyr and Maldynado :) "'Your arm needs to do a whip action. You've got to be relaxed to make that.' 'Pardon me if the idea of hurling four inches of steel into someone's chest doesn't relax me.' 'That's a log, not a person,' Akstyr said. 'Though we can see how it'd be confusing,' Maldynado said. 'Here's a tip that helps me tell the difference: people scream a lot more when they get hit.'" And one more with Amaranthe and Sicarius :) "'Ah, forgive me. I guess it's your perennial stodginess that leaves me with the impression you're old.' There, that had to get a response out of him. He studied her, as if she were some exotic specimen of fish he'd pulled up from the lake depths and he was deciding whether to keep her or throw her back. 'I'm not old,' he finally said. 'But no argument on stodgy, eh?'" Something between Amaranthe and Books ;) "Amaranthe cleared her throat. 'Knocking is usually Step One in these situations.' 'Yes, I've heard that.' Books drew back his shoulders and thumped the ring three times. As they waited, a new worry reared its head. He eyed Amaranthe - and her revealing attire. 'If she's here, can we say you're my...' He groped for a relation that would suggest absolutely no sexual connotations. 'Daughter?' Amaranthe suggested. 'Dear ancestors, no. She'll think I'm ancient. Er, my age, anyway. And what would she think of my parenting influence if she saw you in that outfit?' 'Did you just, in the same breath, call me old and promiscuous?'" XOXO A

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    I'm invested. In truth? Don't read this series for tight plotting or world building. Read it for a fun character driven story. The characters, though fairly common in type, pull you in. Plus, it's just a fun series and now that I'm invested I pick up the next book as soon as I finish one. The genre is sort of a fantasy with a dash of steampunk.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Margaux

    Amaranthe Lokdon has quickly become my new favorite MC. I just love her! She's absolutely hilarious, clever, resourceful, direct, practical, and meticulous about details. She's also a little obsessive about cleanliness, which comes out at the most inopportune moments. But one of my favorite parts of this series is the dialogue between her and the enigmatic Sicarius. "You're an awful conversationalist," Amaranthe said. "How is it possible I prefer spending time with you?" "Most people don't want to Amaranthe Lokdon has quickly become my new favorite MC. I just love her! She's absolutely hilarious, clever, resourceful, direct, practical, and meticulous about details. She's also a little obsessive about cleanliness, which comes out at the most inopportune moments. But one of my favorite parts of this series is the dialogue between her and the enigmatic Sicarius. "You're an awful conversationalist," Amaranthe said. "How is it possible I prefer spending time with you?" "Most people don't want to talk to assassins." "I'm a unique individual." "Yes," he said, deadpan. "I'm never quite sure if you're complimenting me...or not." His eyes glinted as they passed a streetlamp. "Good." This romance (?) may turn out to be the slowest slow-burn I've ever read, but I can't imagine Buroker, with her genius when it comes to her characters and their relationships with each other, letting us down in the end. And I'm completely prepared to hang on to every word (and eyebrow raise, brow crinkle, and slight shake of the head) until the very end. This series isn't exactly heavy on the world building...there's a tiny hint of steampunk, and the way the society/politics are set up isn't anything new and exciting. But what it lacks in imagination in the way of world building, Buroker certainly makes up for in characterization. Every individual on this ramshackle team is well-thought-out and interesting, and I can't wait to learn more about each of them! This book featured Books, and while his character was probably one of the least intriguing to me out of the team, I loved seeing things from his POV! I look forward to every bit of dialogue in this series, practically skimming through everything else to get to it. Everything that comes out of Maldynado's mouth is pure gold, and as I said before, the banter between Amaranthe and Sicarius is always perfect. Even the mute, Basillard, manages to say the best things. I hang onto every word that passes between this crew. Ok, I'll stop fangirling and just say, you should read this series! You won't regret it! Ok, one more exclamation point! I can't wait to read the next one!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    I CAN'T EVEN REVIEW THIS PROPERLY RIGHT NOW. Dark Currents was a nonstop adventure. I absolutely adore every single character in this epic squad. Each of the characters offer something utterly fascinating, and I really want to keep delving into each of the character's pasts because I still feel like I don't actually know everything about them, and they have secrets they're keeping from each other and the reader. I'm honestly shocked how much progress was made romance wise. I wasn't expecting any I CAN'T EVEN REVIEW THIS PROPERLY RIGHT NOW. Dark Currents was a nonstop adventure. I absolutely adore every single character in this epic squad. Each of the characters offer something utterly fascinating, and I really want to keep delving into each of the character's pasts because I still feel like I don't actually know everything about them, and they have secrets they're keeping from each other and the reader. I'm honestly shocked how much progress was made romance wise. I wasn't expecting anything more than a smile - did we actually get Sicarius to smile in this book? I know we got a few eyebrow twitches, but no laughs or smiles. On the other hand, I kept noticing small changes, Sicarius calling Amaranthe by her first name and not her Lokdon as in book one, the subtle hand gestures, and Sicarius always asking Amaranthe if she's alright when she falls, etc. (view spoiler)[ the one scene where Amaranthe is attacked by the whatchamacall them (magical beasts;)) and Sicarius runs out with Amaranthe in his arms, and he's legit worried, but acts like he's so calm, reminded me of Crash in Sora's Quest when Sora almost dies and Crash leaves that note saying her almost dying was the first time he felt fear, whelp, I feel like that was very much Sicarius in this book. I mean he did admit he cares more than he should, and I'm hella shocked Amaranthe told him she loved him this early on, usually that's something the reader has to wait a few books for. I loved how it was so casual too, like "oh, by the way, I'm in love with you." I loved how Sicarius already knew too and he doesn't deny anything when Amaranthe asks if he feels similar. OH MY GOSH, I'M FREAKING DROWNING IN FEELINGS. IMMEDIATELY GOING ON TO BOOK THREE, AND BOOK FOUR IS ON THE WAY. (hide spoiler)] The only thing that really bothered me with this book was Book's Pov. I thought it was nice to hear from him, but I would much rather have had Sicarius or Maldynado's POV. Do we get their POV's in the future? Pretty please! Okay, I'm off to binge read Deadly Games. Let me go die in my feelings for the rest of the night.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    Actual rating 3.5 stars. The following review was originally posted on my book blog The Book Challengers. I can't believe it, but this series gets better! The first book was decent enough and I was a bit interested in finding out what would happen to Amaranthe, Sicarius, Books, Akstyr and Maldynado next. But I couldn't even dream of being this invested in the story! I guess my like for this series bases heavily on my like for the characters as they're fun to read about. The world building isn't al Actual rating 3.5 stars. The following review was originally posted on my book blog The Book Challengers. I can't believe it, but this series gets better! The first book was decent enough and I was a bit interested in finding out what would happen to Amaranthe, Sicarius, Books, Akstyr and Maldynado next. But I couldn't even dream of being this invested in the story! I guess my like for this series bases heavily on my like for the characters as they're fun to read about. The world building isn't all that great - I'd even say that the author wrote some of it down and even though she may have a full picture in her head, she forgot about sharing it with her readers. The mystery at hand isn't actually all that tricky and our fun characters find their way out of trouble relatively easily. But the characters' interaction is so fun to read about that I couldn't put the book down before I finished it. What I also enjoyed about this book, was the inclusion of magic. I love books with magic in them and I especially love books with magic, a good mystery to solve and characters to fall head over heels for. Although our heroine Amaranthe managed to make some bad decisions in this book as well, I'm adoring Sicarius. As a sidenote: What is it with me and emotionally aloof (fictional) men??? For some odd reason I discover myself falling for the same type over and over again. While the first book had no romance elements to it, this one started introducing us to Amaranthe's feelings towards our kickass assassin BUT nothing big never actually happened regarding those two. I hope that's not too spoilerish... But anyway, I'm very, very eager about the next book and I'm waiting even more eagerly for some action from these two. On to the next book in the series!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    Finally, the sequel to 'Emperor's Edge'! And this one is as good as, if not better, than the first. Amaranthe and her gang have stumbled upon a new dilemma facing the empire: someone is poisoning the city's water supply. Of course, Amaranthe and her team don't hesitate to take up the challenge, and naturally, mayhem and adventure ensue. I'll not go into detail (that would spoil the story), but if you've read any of Buroker's other books, you will not be disappointed with this one. Okay, you migh Finally, the sequel to 'Emperor's Edge'! And this one is as good as, if not better, than the first. Amaranthe and her gang have stumbled upon a new dilemma facing the empire: someone is poisoning the city's water supply. Of course, Amaranthe and her team don't hesitate to take up the challenge, and naturally, mayhem and adventure ensue. I'll not go into detail (that would spoil the story), but if you've read any of Buroker's other books, you will not be disappointed with this one. Okay, you might be disappointed that it ends and there isn't a third book ready and waiting in the wings . . . In this installment, we get to spend a little more time with Books and get to see his perspective on being a member of this unlikely group. Maldynado is as ridiculous and charming as ever (making me laugh out loud on several occasions). Akstyr and Basilard help glue the team together with Akstyr's typical teen surliness and Basilard's calm support (though I do hope to learn more about them in future books). As for Sicarius, we finally get to learn some more of his secrets, and he even learns to tease Amaranthe, in a very Sicarius-like way of course. All in all, another chapter in a story I can't get enough of. The character driven plot is well developed, the dialogue witty and engaging, and the action and adventure is non-stop. Eagerly awaiting what Miss Buroker has planned next; hopefully I won't have to wait too long!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dyanna

    The Emperor's Edger - Trailer Dark Currents is the second book in the series The Emperor's Edge and it was told from the point of view of the heroine but also from Books, one of the member from the Emperor's Edge that is very smart so basically he is the intellectual member of the group. Despite being intelligent Books is the sarcastic one of the group that feels inferior to his crew because of his lacking skills in the art of fighting and for this reason he does not feel that he belongs with Amar The Emperor's Edger - Trailer Dark Currents is the second book in the series The Emperor's Edge and it was told from the point of view of the heroine but also from Books, one of the member from the Emperor's Edge that is very smart so basically he is the intellectual member of the group. Despite being intelligent Books is the sarcastic one of the group that feels inferior to his crew because of his lacking skills in the art of fighting and for this reason he does not feel that he belongs with Amaranthe and the rest of the members. This book's main focus is Books character and how he realize that in the end he is right where he belongs after resolving the problem with the infected water. Expect a lot of adventure and action but the strong point of this series has to be the characters! When the action begins I read that scene with a little interest but when the crew start to interact it is impossible to not enjoy and especially laugh , the characters are so good!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Martha

    This book is more fantasy than the first Emperor's Edge book -- the magic is more prominent. The first book was set almost entirely from the point of view of Amaranthe, with some from the point of view of Sicarius. This book lets us see into the head of Books, who is a fascinating character. His view of Amaranthe's relationship with Sicarius shows how scary the assassin can be, and how compelling Amaranthe's leadership is. She's helped him come to terms with the death of his family and begin to This book is more fantasy than the first Emperor's Edge book -- the magic is more prominent. The first book was set almost entirely from the point of view of Amaranthe, with some from the point of view of Sicarius. This book lets us see into the head of Books, who is a fascinating character. His view of Amaranthe's relationship with Sicarius shows how scary the assassin can be, and how compelling Amaranthe's leadership is. She's helped him come to terms with the death of his family and begin to believe in himself again, simply because she believes in him and needs him. Being needed is what forces him to start taking action. I also loved the further insight into the relationship between Amaranthe and Sicarius. Their emotional entanglement deepens, but Sicarius is absolutely right when he tells Amaranthe (both in the first book and in this one) that he's not good for her. Emotions are not logical, but I hurt for both of them. Sicarius's training of the group is starting to take effect, and they're all becoming more dangerous and more skilled. I'm hooked on the series.

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