Impyrium by Henry H. Neff
Just out this fall, Impyrium ‘s first novel promises to be the beginning of a whole new world to delight tween, young adults, and older adults as well. For those of us who have been lamenting the lack of fully realized fantasy worlds a la Harry Potter, this book is a dream come true, with the promise of at least two more books in the series. In this magical world, the Faeregine dynasty has ruled Impyrium for over three thousand years. They have held onto their power through use of their magic to hold the empire together, but it appears to be fading. Many factions–competing “houses” and outright rebels–are counting on just that.
But as the tale unfolds, it isn’t so easy to decide who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. Our intrepid–and fascinating–heroes are Hazel, youngest of the triplet princesses, and a powerful magician in her own right, and Hob, a brilliant commoner from an outlying province who cares deeply about saving the realm. They must figure out who to trust to help them in their quest, and also forge an unlikely bond. Magic and mystery abound, as well as an underlying theme of social activism. Strong, interesting characters, lots of action and intrigue, court politics, scary myths…something for everyone. I am looking forward to the next installment–coming in 2017.