Series: Pact and Pattern #2 (See my review of book one here!)
Release Date: August 4th 2022
Find it on: Goodreads. BookDepository. Waterstones.
Source: The publisher kindly sent me a copy of this book
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
WAR MAKES MONSTERS OF EVERYONE.
Foolish Cur, once named Wen Alder, finds that his allies in the rebellion might cross any line if it means freedom from the Empire. But he can’t overcome a foe as strong as Emperor Tenet alone.
REBELLION HAS UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES.
Koro Ha, Foolish Cur’s former tutor, discovers the Empire is not so forgiving of those who raise a traitor. And their suspicion may cost him and his people more than he can imagine.
THE GODS ARE LURKING IN THE SHADOWS.
As war against the Empire rages, Foolish Cur knows there is a greater threat. The emperor plans his own coup against the gods, and they will wreak destruction if he tries. To stop him, Foolish Cur might have to risk everything – and resort to ancient magics that could tear the world apart.
The Garden of Empire is the second installment in J. T. Greathouse’s Pact and Pattern series. The Hand of the Sun King was one of my favourite reads of last year so I was really excited to see where Greathouse would take the story next. Following on from the events in book one, where Foolish Cur finds himself in the middle of the war between the Sienese and the Nayeni. He knows the Emperor plans to fight a war against the gods themselves and will destroy everything in his path as he does so. Foolish Cur must do everything he can to stop him, even resorting to an ancient magic that could destroy everything.
Just like The Hand of the Sun King, Garden of Empire is a hugely engrossing read. Greathouse continues to expand on the worldbuilding and I was hooked from the very first chapter. I really liked that the reader gets the chance to learn more about the magic system and understand how it works. Greathouse has a really nice writing style and it was so easy to get lost in the story. One thing that did surprise me was the introduction of different POV characters in this installment as book one is all told from the same perspective. This was a really interesting addition as it added multiple layers to the story and allowed the reader to see things from a different angle.
One of the most interesting things about this series is our main protagonist Foolish Cur. Greathouse has created a really fascinating character who is at times flawed and unlikeable. I enjoyed seeing him grow through the course of Garden of Empire, particularly as he reflects on the events that have led him to where he is and the decisions he has made. Garden of Empire is an incredibly fascinating fantasy tale, with a few twists I definitely did not see coming. If you’ve already read Hand of the Sun King this is an absolute must read and I am already looking forward to book three.