Empress of a Thousand Skies

Empress of a Thousand Skies

by Rhoda Belleza


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For fans of Pierce Brown and Firefly comes an epic sci-fi fantasy, hailed as "an important and relevant novel" by The New York Times. 

Rhee, also known as Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta’an, is the sole surviving heir to a powerful dynasty. She’ll stop at nothing to avenge her family and claim her throne.
Aly has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. But when he’s falsely accused of killing Rhee, he's forced to prove his innocence to save his reputation – and his life.
With planets on the brink of war, Rhee and Aly must confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy.

Rhoda Belleza crafts a powerful saga of vengeance, warfare, and the true meaning of legacy in this exhilarating debut, perfect for readers of Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles and Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman's Illuminae Files.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101999103
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 02/07/2017
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 633,253
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)
Lexile: 800L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Rhoda Belleza was raised in Los Angeles, where she grew up writing X-Files fanfiction and stuffing her face with avocados. She's a children's editor at a publishing house and writes from a sunny Brooklyn apartment stuffed with far too many bikes and far too many shoes. When she's not writing, Rhoda obsesses over nail art tutorials, watches kung fu movies, and sews together crooked things that pass for clothes. Empress of a Thousand Skies is her debut novel. Follow her on Twitter @rhodabee.

Read an Excerpt

RHEE tore a path through the bustling marketplace, kicking up dust that fell slowly in Nau Fruma’s low gravity. The foreign tourists coughed and complained as she passed, but Rhee ignored them, scanning the fairgrounds for Julian as she clutched his miniature telescope to her chest. She wasn’t accustomed to being in a crowd; so much of her life had been spent looking down at one from a balcony, urged to wave and smile and look as ladylike as possible. But now, among the people, there was a jostle and roughness to it that Rhee found thrilling.

Excerpted from "Empress of a Thousand Skies"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Rhoda Belleza.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Young Readers Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Empress of a Thousand Skies 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Shawscribbles More than 1 year ago
While this was a fast read, I was disappointed overall with the story. As many other reviewers have noted the blurb is misleading. The story alternates between Rhiannon and Aly's point of view: a princess and a reality tv star. The premise was good and there was a lot of action but for some reason the story missed its mark for me. The only likeable character for me was Aly. And I had a problem with the story moving back and forth in time (a LOT of flashbacks). So overall I was disappointed in this book. Will I read the sequel (if there is one)? ... Maybe but it won't be first on my TBR list.
HowUsefulItIs More than 1 year ago
About: Empress of a Thousand Skies is a young adult fantasy written by Rhoda Belleza. It was published on 10/31/17 by Razorbill, an imprint of Penguin Random House, paperback, 352 pages. The genres are young adult, science fiction, and fantasy. This book is intended for readers ages 12 and up, grades 7 and up. My Experience: I started reading Empress of a Thousand Skies on 1/28/18 and finished it on 2/2/18. This book is a great read! I love the futuristic feel in the story with the cube for instant connection and memory playback to everyone and everything. I love following those adventures with Vin and Aly, including their reality TV show. Their banter is fun. I like the high tech with machine police called robodroid that can detect lies during an interview on the go. Traveling in outer space and galaxy is a plus! I love the epilogue and I’m excited to read book 2! This book is told in the third person point of view following Rhiannon (Rhee) Ta’an, crown princess and the only surviving heir to the Ta’an dynasty in Kalu, a populated planet in the galaxy. Another point of view is Alyosha (Aly) Myraz, a Kalu UniForce soldier and star of a reality TV show called The Revolutionary Boys originally from Wraeta, another planet but was destroyed during the Great War against Kalu. Rhee has been preparing herself the past 9 years to avenge her family’s death, but an attempt to assassinate her the day before she was to take back the throne only speed her revenge faster. Only when she ready herself to kill the enemy, she is left with a new discovery that the person she thought was the enemy may not be the enemy after all. She is now faced with a mystery of who truly wanted her family dead and who was it that wanted to steal the throne. Aly, a foreigner living in Kalu struggles everyday to fit in. Everything he’s known and familiar with suddenly goes against him. He is caught in the middle, blamed for the princess’ assassination, now is a fugitive against the law of Kalu. The hunt is on for him and he has to stay alive to prove his innocence before it’s too late. This book is well written and organized. I like the start with escape and revenge to keep me hooked. I like the concept of “enemy against the state” with Aly running for his life and the law searching for him. I like his adventures with his droid Pavel, reminds me of a cute droid from the Lunar Chronicles. Despite Rhee having trained to combat for 9 years, she only use those skills once to fend off her assassination, and yet with help. She couldn’t use her combat skills to teach those zeppelin’s securities a lesson. Aly seems to have trust issues but he is ready to follow Kara anywhere without knowing the real her, “rich kid or ambassador visitor”. Rhee is too quick to blame just about anyone for her family’s death with just a gut feeling. The ending is excellent even though I was able to guess it. With few setbacks, the story is still an interesting read and I do recommend everyone to read it! Pro: fast paced, page turner, outer space, futuristic, fugitive, some humor ***Disclaimer: Many thanks to Penguin Young Readers for the opportunity to read, review, and host a blog tour! Please be assured that my opinions are honest. xoxo, Jasmine at howusefulitis dot wordpress dot com for more details
AvidReaderDiary More than 1 year ago
AAAAAAAA I LOVE THIS BOOK I LOVE THE STORY I LOVE THE WORLD I LOVE THE CHARACTERS I LOVE THE WRITING I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT IT!!! So, aside from the fact that I love sci-fi, I also love fast-paced reads. Empress of a Thousand Skies is both sci-fi and a fast read. How can I not love it??? How? There's no how. Okay? NOT LOVING IT IS IMPOSSIBLE. Also, the sequel is coming out this February and I AM SO FREAKING EXCITED. I MISS THE BAD-ASS CHARACTERS. YOU SHOULD READ THIS. NOW. I swear you'll be blessed by the galaxies if you read this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I’m excited to read the sequel
paisleypikachu More than 1 year ago
Sometimes I read a book, and half-way through I put it down in favor of something else. And then I forget to pick that original book up for months. That's what happened with EMPRESS OF A THOUSAND SKIES. The thing is, I really didn't dislike this book. It just didn't *grab* me the way I wanted it to, and with all the competition staring at me from my bookshelves, it just kinda got lost in the mix. Even after finishing it, it just didn't stand out enough for me. I do want to point out some really good things about this book. The writing is really great. I loved the dialogue throughout the whole book. The characters were fun and interested, not stereotypical of YA characters. The world building was seriously impressive. Every description was so vivid, so full, that I never had trouble picture this world that Belleza has built. The settings often reminded me of the Saga comics, which I love. In fact, a lot of this book reminded me of a toned-down, YA version of Saga, which could be a good selling point to potential readers. What this book lacked for me was an interesting story. I've seen plenty of thrones overthrown, royal families murdered, fugitive princesses. And I actually really like those stories, but I need them to stand out. To be special. And this story never really got to me. It was fine enough, I mean, I finished the book. But it wasn't as gripping as I wanted. Now, I do think part of this could be personal preference. For instance, the isn't much focus at all on romance in this book, which is totally fine and perfect for some readers. I just know that I personally gravitate toward books with swoony love stories. I also love big sweeping climaxes, and I didn't feel that there really was one. The ending felt rushed to me, with no HUGE moments that really stood out. Because I gave Empress of a Thousand Stars three stars I will definitely give the sequel a try. I'm invested enough in the characters to want to see where things go for them. I hope to see a fuller story next time though.
Aditi-ATWAMB More than 1 year ago
The first thing I noticed about Empress of A Thousand Skies was THAT COVER. It is SO SO beautiful – and it took me about two weeks to even SEE the girl on the planet. It truly is one of the PRETTIEST covers this year! The second (and what the cover obviously alluded to) was that this WAS A SPACE BOOK! After reading Illuminae and Gemina earlier this year, I have become OBSESSED with books set in Space! Also, add in the words Empress, Fighting for her Throne, Vengeance and Politics AND I HAVE ALREADY WANTED TO READ THIS MORE THAN ANYTHING. “An entire universe full of stars and planets, and not a single one that would hold her.” Rhiannon (Rhee) Ta’an is the last surviving princess of the legendary Ta’an Dynasty. After her parents and older sister were killed, she was shipped to a moon orbiting the planet she would rule over one day, to learn and to grow. The book opens on the day she’s scheduled to go back to her planet, for her coronation, only to have her best friend’s father try to kill her. On the run with a boy she doesn’t know with secrets of his own, she must find her way to reclaim her throne and avenge her family. Alyosha is a Wratean. His planet was blown up in the Great War ten years ago that ended in the Unrew Treaty which Rhiannon’s family paid the highest price for. After he is blamed for the assassination of the princess, he goes on the run, trying desperately to prove his innocence. What I LOVED about this book: 1. THAT ENDING: Gorgeous. Spectacularly Done. WONDERFUL. Such a set up for Book Two! I CANNOT WAIT for the next instalment. 2. THE FACT THAT ROMANCE DIDN’T PLAY THAT BIG A ROLE: In a war that will overtake a galaxy, I AM SO HAPPY that it focused on the war, and the rebels, and the Ravaging and the Overwriting of Cubes that there were no star crossed lovers mooning for each other. SUCH a breath of fresh air. 3. THE TECHNOLOGY: While I did LOVE the technology in this book – and the misuse of it, I wish it had been better explained. What were hyperloop trains? What were the functions of NX Droids? I felt like I had to make a LOT of assumptions and it left me feeling sort of uncomfortable. STILL. LOVED ALL OF IT. What I didn’t like about this book: 1. RHEE TA’AN’S DECISION MAKING PROCESS: For some reason, I HAD NO IDEA WHAT THIS GIRL WAS DOING. Why WHY did she get the Mark on her face – there HAD to have been 8 billion other disguises. WHY did she not reveal herself? Especially if all the media was there TO RECORD IT. If she’s the girl everyone’s looking for, won’t they believe her? Why did she leave Dahlen? SHE WAS GOING TO WHERE HE WAS. 2. The Fact That Something Was Missing: The viewpoints switched between Aly and Rhee and well, each time it switched back, the characters weren’t in the same place we left them and it had me slightly… disoriented? It was a strange feeling, and I kept feeling like SOMETHING WAS MISSING. A beautiful book on loyalty, family, vengeance, war and traitors. SET IN SPACE. I LOVED it and I could not recommend it more. 4 stars.
Morgan_S_M More than 1 year ago
This was awesome!!! It took a little while to get going but once it did, it was full of twists, turns, betrayal, and interesting galactic politics. The world building is pretty astounding; it's a lot to take in vocabulary wise but I could picture everything and it was all very diverse and interesting, from customs and religion to species and technology. I can definitely see the Lunar Chronicles parallels for a few reasons; it also reminded me of Stitching Snow a little, and a bit of Star Wars. It didn't hurt that I was definitely picturing John Boyega as Aly haha. I did find the synopsis a bit misleading but not exactly detrimental to the story and had some trouble keeping character names straight at first. There also isn't much romance but that's not a bad thing in this case. The story moves at breakneck speed and is very much about life or death survival. I'm glad the author didn't shoehorn in a relationship; the small amounts there are feel appropriate to the situation. That being said, I'm sad the sequel is so far away since this is a new release- I need to know what happens next!
book_junkee More than 1 year ago
I went into this book expecting to love it. I mean, look at that cover. And the synopsis sounded awesome. Plus I had seen lots of high reviews calling it a space opera. Sadly, I was quite disappointed. I didn't really connect to Rhee or Aly. At first, I enjoyed the story and I figured the parts that were a bit meh would be fixed when they got together. You know, because the synopsis says they're "thrown together" yet, that never happened. There's one brief scene where they glance at each other from across the room, but they have no interaction the story. I did like the dual POV, I'm always a fan of that. My main problem was that there would be all sorts of dramatic build up to end a chapter of one character and when we would get back to them, everything was resolved. We didn't see whatever happened, it was just stated and then there was a time jump. As for the world building, I legit have no idea what's happening. I loved the idea of the cubes and all of the plot around them, but by the time the reveal started happening, I was bored. There was an interesting bit at the end, but it was much too little and far too late for me. I doubt I'll be reading the next book. **Huge thanks to Razorbill for providing the arc free of charge**
Alyssa75 More than 1 year ago
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog*** Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza Book One of the Empress of a Thousand Skies series Publisher: Razorbill Publication Date: February 7, 2017 Rating: 3 stars Source: eARC from Edelweiss Summary (from Goodreads): Empress Rhee, also known as Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta’an, is the sole surviving heir to a powerful dynasty. She’ll stop at nothing to avenge her family and claim her throne. Fugitive Aly has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. But when he’s falsely accused of killing Rhee, he's forced to prove his innocence to save his reputation – and his life. Madman With planets on the brink of war, Rhee and Aly are thrown together to confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy. A saga of vengeance, warfare, and the true meaning of legacy. What I Liked: I don't think this book was terrible, but it was great for me. I can see myself reading the second book next year, since it's the conclusion to this series. Duologies are awesome. But I wasn't all that impressed by this book. For all the hype I've seen from certain bloggers and the publisher itself, this book isn't actually that special. This book is told from the POVs of Rhee, and Aly. Rhee is Crown Princess, set to become Empress on her upcoming sixteenth birthday. She is on her way to the planet where she'll swear her oaths when she is attacked and nearly killed. A mysterious boy named Dahlen rescues her, and she escapes the ship with him. But everyone thinks that she is dead, and the Regent has assumed power and has declared war on other planets. Her death has been blamed on the star of a DroneVision show, Alyosha. Aly is Wraetan, which is why the princess's murder is pinned on him. With a hefty bounty on his head, he is forced to flee. He meets a strange girl on the way to freedom, and he learns things about the technology everyone uses that shakes him to the core. Rhee is fighting for her throne, and Aly is fighting for his freedom. There is only one path to both of those goals, and no matter the choices, it involves war. I love science fiction, especially YA science fiction. This type of science fiction reminded me a little of Star Wars. There are ships and space travel and species of creatures other than humans. There is a man trying to claim power as Emperor who is similar to the Emperor of Star Wars. There are droids, good and bad - the good one, Pavel, is awesome. Rhee starts the story as a girl trained in secret to take the throne as Empress. She is desperate to get revenge on her family (parents and older sister), who were murdered years ago. The man who had them murdered has the power, but not for long, with her claiming the throne. She is blind and naive, in the beginning. As the story goes on, she becomes smarter, less blind, and more cognizant of the fact that ascending the throne and having her revenge wasn't going to be easy, with or without the attempts on her life. While I didn't dislike Rhee, I liked Aly much more. He is a Wraetan refugee who joined the galaxy's military at a fairly young age, and gained fame as part of a duo that is featured on a show on DroneVision. His buddy Vincent turns out to be someone with a lot of secrets - not just the golden boy of the show. Read the rest of my review on my blog, The Eater of Books! - eaterofbooks DOT blogspot DOT com :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very kewl times