Review – Darien: Empire of Salt by C.F. Iggulden.

Title – Darien: Empire of Salt
Series – Empire of Salt #1
Author – C.F. Iggulden
How I Got It – From the publisher
Pages – 340 pages
Publication Date – August 1st by Michael Joseph, imprint of Penguin Random House
ISBN – 9780718186487
RRP – $30.00 NZD
My Rating – ★★★/5

The city of Darien stands on the end of a golden age. Twelve families keep order and try to maintain peace while the people in the city endure things they don’t have the power to change.

Amongst old feuds a plot is hatched to kill the king. It will bring strangers to Darien – a hunter, an old swordsman, a young boy who doesn’t talk, a man who doesn’t feel guilt, a gambler and a girl with a talent that may have the power to undo them all.

Their presence in Darien will cause one explosive event after another. Before the sun comes up, six destinies will be made and lost.

I received a copy of Darien: Empire of Salt from Penguin Random House New Zealand to review. This is the first book in a new YA fantasy series. 3

I found this book hard to get into in the beginning. Not because the story was bad but kind of all over the place. I know a lot of books have chapters in different characters perspectives but I just couldn’t figure out how or if any of these characters were linked or if their stories were connected in some way. The synopsis kind of hinted that they were all going to be in the same area at the same time but it took a while to come together. I think I was a little past halfway when I got into the story. But once I was I liked it. It’s just a shame it took me so long to get into it.

The world in this book does have some magic – it’s hinted that there are witches and sorcerers. I’d like to see more magic in the next book. Some magic was used towards the end of the book and there were a couple of characters that had their own kinds of magic. I don’t think it was explained much but I liked that it was sort of different from other books that have magic in them. I’m not going to say anything about which characters have magic and what they can do because I don’t like spoiling things. But I will say that I do want to find out what happens to them in the next book. If they’re in the next book…

The second half of the book was more exciting than the first. For me anyway. There was battles, explosions, lots of death. There were a few loose ends with some characters that I’m hoping will be explained in the next book. Which I plan on reading. I know it took me a while to get into this book but there are some characters that I liked and want to know what’s next for them and Darien.

I think this was a good first book in a series, not great. I don’t know where the story is going in the second book but I am looking forward to finding out. If you love dark fantasy books then I definitely recommend giving this a try.

*Thank you Penguin Random House New Zealand for sending me a copy to review*

– Aimee.


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