By Henry H. Neff

Plot: “For over three thousand years, the Faeregine dynasty has ruled Impyrium. But the family’s magic has been fading, and with it their power over the empire. Whether it’s treachery from a rival house, the demon Lirlanders, or rebel forces, many believe the Faeregines are ripe to fall. Hazel, the youngest member of the royal family, is happy to leave ruling to her sisters so that she can study her magic. But the empress has other plans for her granddaughter, dark and dangerous plans to exploit Hazel’s talents and rekindle the Faeregine mystique. Hob, a commoner from the remote provinces, has been sent to the city to serve the Faeregines—and to spy on them.” -Publisher

Writing: I was absolutely blown away by this amazing book! It took me a few chapters to get really hooked, but only because there was SO MUCH world building involved. This is such a rich universe, and I loved reading about it. Once I slipped into the reading trance, I didn’t come out of it until like, midnight. I’m not sure I have ever been this entranced by a single-book fantasy, it was that good. The writing wasn’t overly descriptive, and yet with only a few sentences I felt like I was actually there. Character development was amazing, although Hazel was kind of annoying until a couple chapters in.

Age Level: 12-15. This is supposed to be a middle grade novel I guess, but at some points it felt more YA. They say a few words that are technically bad words, and there’s like one scene that could be a little weird for anyone younger than twelve.

Overall: I’m surprised that I hadn’t heard of this book until now, but it was so good! The plot was well-written, and everything wrapped up at the end pretty okay, thought it could’ve used a sequel. The only thing I didn’t like about Impyrium was that the main characters are apparently 12 and 13. This would’ve been fine if both characters didn’t act and sound like they were 15. Their maturity levels were just too high for that age. Also, Hazel is a triplet, but one of the triplets seemed like 17, and the other seemed like she was 18, and yet they were all supposed to be twelve! Other than that, this book was sooo good! I highly recommend it.

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