Here’s the blurb:
“An Empire in ruin. The power of the gods corrupted. Nations shattered.
Novesh, once the Empress of Shebal, must now carve out her political career in Faiz – a city tearing at the seams as different factions vie for its control. From her fortified seaside mansion, she silently orchestrates the rebirth of the Empire. Her Empire.
But there are those who would see her fail – those who would pay great amounts to topple the would-be Empress.
The enigmatic Triarchy of the Mountains need to see Novesh dead. The former Empress stands on the precipice of overthrowing their decades-long work: The work of the gods. And they have just the person for the job.”
The first short story published by Fox and Raven was a gripping, horrific tale (reviewed here), and this tale by Blatchely is a great example of Epic Fantasy.
The story opens with Edralit, a mysterious visitor to Faiz – she’s from the Highlands, which makes her arrival in Faiz an event that is noticed by many.
Novesh is an empress without an empire, struggling to marshal what support she can gather for her cause while suffering nightmares regarding the events that saw her Empire collapse.
From the beginning I was curious about Edralit – she’s capable, intelligent and wary, trying to hide a past that would lead most people to giving her entirely too much attention. From her opening conversations with a serving girl right through to the tale’s climax Edralit is compelling and interesting, a great counter-character to Novesh.
Novesh plainly struggles with the trappings of her station and birth, and her need to ensure the rebirth of her empire brings a constant, sad tension her scenes – her strength and resolve come through wonderfully, as does her political acumen.
The back-story of this tale raises some very interesting questions that I hope Nyki will deal with in a full-length novel – the settings (the places we as the reader visit and those only mentioned) really made me curious and world-building was interesting and imaginative, with a hint of the magic which exists in this world. Nyki has a great eye for scene-detail and he handles character-interaction well – the action-oriented scenes are also thrilling, adding the physical element to the tale and also mixing in great tension.
All in all, ‘The Triarchy’s Emissary’ is a great snapshot tale, beautifully self-contained yet evocative of a larger world, and Epic Fantasy fans everywhere will enjoy it! Perfect for a quick read and when you want to discover new voices in Fantasy without having to read a full-length novel. Well done, and looking forward to more! J
8 / 10
Follow this this link to Nyki’s website for more info on his work, check him out on Twitter here, and click here for an interview with Nyki. Also, check out Fox and Raven Publishing for more information about previously published stories as well as upcoming publications!