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“Amber must be bought with blood.”

The Amber DameBrendan Noble shows off his incredible imagination in The Amber Dame, the captivating prequel novella to the Eastern-European flavoured and epic flintlock fantasy series known as The Realm Reachers. 

Set 2 years before the events of The Crimson Court, this story follows Kasia Niezik and showcases how she became known as the legendary Amber Dame. She is not yet the fearsome and experienced woman that we have come to know and love in the main series, but that does not mean that she should be underestimated. Faced with petty rival nobles, dangerous beasts, and her own tragic past, she will stop at nothing to start her quest for revenge and justice.

When I read The Crimson Court earlier this year, Kasia quickly became one of my new favourite female characters, and I was desperate to learn more about her dark backstory. Needless to say, The Amber Dame was an absolute delight to read for me. I loved seeing Kasia in a slightly different light in this novella, and it only makes me more proud of her to discover how hard she fought to restore her fallen house’s name and get to the place we meet her in when book 1 starts; she is just such an absolute badass (with a big heart).

Moreover, it was generally just wonderful to be back in this breathtakingly epic world again for a while. Within just a couple of pages, Noble offers a tantalising glimpse of all the wonderfully imaginative aspects of this Eastern-European flavoured flintlock fantasy world that will immediately make you want to go wander off and explore it all on your own. The incredibly cool yet dangerously corruptive Realm Reacher magic (which is easily one of my favourite magic systems I have ever read about) is also on full display, and I loved that the stakes instantly felt so high.

Now, I do have to admit that I was personally really glad to have read The Crimson Court beforehand, because I don’t think I would have been as invested or immersed if I hadn’t been familiar with this world and its intricate political landscape beforehand. Yes, The Amber Dame can absolutely work as your first little taste of the series, but I honestly think I would recommend treating this more as a delicious dessert after devouring book 1.

That is just my humble opinion though, and I think Noble actually does a remarkably impressive job of packing a lot of world building and character development in a limited amount of pages without it feeling overwhelming. So, if you are looking for a short yet unforgettable fantasy novella full of incredible imagination, dangerously cool magic, flintlock aesthetics, cutthroat politics, and incredibly high stakes, then I can’t recommend The Amber Dame highly enough!

Thank you to the author for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
The Amber Dame is scheduled for release on July 16th, 2024, and will be available to download for free by signing up to the author’s newsletter. 

The Amber Dame

The Amber Dame

The Amber Dame

The Amber Dame

The Amber Dame

The Amber Dame

The Amber Dame

The Amber Dame

Esmay Rosalyne

Esmay is a self-proclaimed professional book devourer from The Netherlands. While (dark) fantasy will always have her heart, she is also a big indie/self-pub enthusiast and will probably read anything if the premise sounds intriguing enough. Or, you know, if it promises complete emotional destruction. When not reading books, she is probably reviewing books, talking about books, or watching videos of fellow bookworms talking about books.

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