Heroes of the Empire Book 1: The Cavalier by Israh Azizi
As an orphan cadet at the elite Chishman Academy, young Velamir keeps watch of the Borderlands, overlooking a land wounded by brutal, ongoing war. He and several peers are conscripted to carry out a mission in the Empire, the realm of his birth, where they find themselves in enemy territory. In the wake of an attack, Velamir uncovers personal history that shines new light on his mission, forcing him to decide whether to risk his life in order to avenge the unavenged — and bring down the Empire.
Meanwhile, Natassa, the Emperor’s beautiful young daughter, is increasingly unable to ignore the trauma her father inflicts on his subjects, the citizens of the Empire. After catching wind of his plans to marry her off to a despicable man, the last bond suppressing her rebellious nature is broken, and Natassa, like Velamir, forges a plan that just may threaten her life.
Israh Azizi’s writing style is simply captivating, drawing readers in and keeping them hooked from start to finish. The characters are skillfully crafted, making them easy to relate to and empathize with. The plot moves along at a steady pace, with unpredictable twists and turns that will keep readers guessing until the end. Azizi expertly delves into themes of revenge, redemption, and sacrifice, adding layers of complexity to the story.
Perhaps one of the most remarkable aspects of the book is the author’s world-building. Azizi has created a fully realized world that feels tangible and genuine. The various locations and cultures are described in lush detail, immersing readers in a richly imagined setting. The magic system is equally well-crafted, making sense within the logic of the world and adding a sense of wonder and intrigue to the story.
We have the foundation for Heroes of the Empire, the first installment of Israh Azizi’s sparkling new YA fantasy adventure series “The Cavalier”. Beyond the richly drawn portraits of an “outsider” (Velarmir) and an “insider” (Natassa), the promise of the series lies in all the popular genre elements that Azizi sweeps effortlessly together: dark academia, epic warfare, imperial subjugation and, foregrounded against it all, the flowering of two young heroes. The story is both beautifully detailed and briskly told. The characters sparkle with personality, and grow organically before our eyes. Heroes of the Empire represents the beginning of a grand and captivating journey.
“The characters sparkle with personality, and grow organically before our eyes.”
“Azizi has created a fully realized world that feels tangible and genuine. The various locations and cultures are described in lush detail, immersing readers in a richly imagined setting.”