Okay, so I did write a full, detailed review for this book, but then Goodreads had a little issue and didn't save it so... I shall just write a short version of what I wrote before because I can't be bothered to re-write the whole thing! Also, I read this as part of a group read for Fantasy Fanatics
.Rise of Empire
continues where Theft of Swords
left off. Thrace has been claimed by the Church and as the heir of Novron and the new Empress and re-named Modina, whilst the real heir remains hidden and only the wizard Esrahaddon knows where he is. Melengar is threatened by this new Empire, and so Arista enlists the help of Royce and Hadrian to help save it before it's too late.
The main characters continue to develop and grow in this book. Arista possibly develops the most throughout the course of the book, and I really started to like her more in this book. Royce and Hadrian are their usual awesome selves, but even they continue to grow.
Each book in this volume is a self-contained story, but as the overall story of the series is obviously progressing now there are more distinct storylines that run through both books. I really loved the first book in this volume and thought it was really interesting but I was less interested in the second book which just seemed a little overly drawn out and just... kinda pointless to be honest!
Overall though, it was a really good and interesting book and I'm looking forward to reading the next volume and finishing this series off!