7 deaths of an Empire

Thanks to NetGalley and Rebellion/Solaris I am able to bring you the review of a fantastic epic fantasy novel. 

Book information: 

  • Author: G.R.Matthews
  • Date of publication: 22nd June
  • Genre:  Epic Fantasy
  • Pages: 550
  • Publisher: Solaris
  • ISBN:978-1786184696

Book Blurb:

The Emperor is dead. Long live the Empire.

General Bordan has a lifetime of duty and sacrifice behind him in the service of the Empire. But with rebellion brewing in the countryside, and assassins, thieves and politicians vying for power in the city, it is all Bordan can do to protect the heir to the throne.

Apprentice Magician Kyron is assigned to the late Emperor’s honour guard escorting his body on the long road back to the capital. Mistrusted and feared by his own people, even a magician’s power may fail when enemies emerge from the forests, for whoever is in control of the Emperor’s body, controls the succession.

Seven lives and seven deaths to seal the fate of the Empire.

taken from goodreads

Review and Recommendation:

I became aware of the book on twitter as I follow the author. I stumbled across him on goodreads a while ago as someone mentioned that he is one of their favourite authors. So when I saw that he was publishing a  new novel – a start to a series – I was really intrigued. And when I saw the cover, my heart melted away and I applied for it on Netgalley. After I got approved I started a happy dance. It is such a pretty book -inside and outside. Although maybe pretty is not the exact right word as the story itself is very captivating but also pretty bloody. Oh well, there you have the ‚pretty‘ 😃

The story is set in a fictional world similar to the Roman Empire. Th Empire is everything and it keeps expanding. This closeness to the Roman Empire also influenced the author’s choice of words, which took me while to get used to. So some names or job descriptions resemble Latin words like for example Cohort or Legion. For me this sometimes was a bit of a struggle as I am absolutely clueless about Roman Latin warfare words -except for Asterix and Obelix vocabulary- but I quickly got used to it. Also the way society is built has its paragon in Roman society. There are the rich nobles, the poor people and finally the slaves. Buuuuut differently to the real Roman Empire this Empire also has got magic. So it has magicians too.  And not only the Empire inhabitants are able to control magic but also the ‚wild‘ people of the forest know how to wield magic even if it is different for them .

The story is told from two alternating perspectives: The General’s and the Magician’s; Bordan and Kyron. These two are also the two main characters of the book. 
By far my most favorite character is the character the author dedicated his book to: Emlyn. She is my heroin 💕. Emlyn -already her name is pretty- is a strong character who knows exactly what needs to be done and does not shy back from doing it.  I can not reveal much more about her as that would give away too much already. I am convinced you will like Emlyn very much too, when you read the book. Her and Kyron really spoke to my heart. 

The story of the book is excellently told and the ending really surprised me. I did not see that plot twist coming at all!  It is not too bloody and there is not much nudety and sexuality in it. There is violence and there is torture and death but it is not too explicit. 

The book is a real gem of an epic fantasy novel – even if you’re not interested in the Roman Empire and I can’t recommend reading it enough. I am really looking forward to reading the next installment and find out how the story continues and how the Empire is going to die. 

Information on the author can be found on:


7 D Empire