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THE EMPRESS OF TIME by Kylie Lee Baker

Half British Reaper, half Japanese Shinigami Ren Scarborough is no longer the girl who was chased out of England—she is the Goddess of Death ruling Japan’s underworld. But her problems have never been greater. Her Shinigami see her as a foreigner on the throne. Her brother, Neven, is gone, lost in the deep darkness. And her fiancé, Hiro, has been killed by her own hand.

Then Ren receives the most troubling news yet—Reapers have been spotted in Japan, and it’s only a matter of time before Ivy, now Britain’s Death Goddess, comes to claim her revenge.

Ren’s last hope is to appeal to the god of storms and seas, who can turn the tides to send Ivy’s ship away from Japan’s shores. But he’ll help Ren only if she finds a sword lost thousands of years ago—an impossible demand.

Together with the moon god Tsukuyomi, who shares an uncanny resemblance to his brother Hiro, Ren ventures across the country in a race against time. As her journey thrusts her into the middle of scheming gods and dangerous Yokai demons, Ren will have to learn who she can truly trust—and the fate of Japan hangs in the balance. 


Title : The Empress of Time
Author : Kylie Lee Baker
Series : The Keeper of Night (book two)
Format : eARC
Page Count : 416
Genre : YA fantasy
Publisher : Inkyard Press
Release Date : October 4, 2022

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ 


Hollis’ 3 star review

I don’t think I enjoyed this quite as much as book one, which is why I knocked off the half point, but overall I think it’s a pretty solid duology — even if it won’t be a new favourite.

This story really shines in both the tone and the worldbuilding/setting. It’s dark but somehow also vibrant. However, much of this one does feel a bit wheel spinny in the sense that Ren is sent running around Japan for.. reasons.. and only one of the encounters along the way was actually interesting. This side quest in the run-up to the big conflict does give a little breathing time for a certain reunion but it does also end up feeling like a lot of nothing happens between those bits. And this isn’t a short book!

Having said that, I was really pleased with how everything went down at the end. Unlike book one, I actually enjoyed the big conflict and how that resolved. I finished this feeling very satisfied and that’s a win despite some of the middling middle bits.

If this is on your radar, I would definitely suggest you give it a try. I will be very interested to see what comes next from this author.

** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **