In Holly Bargo’s The Falcon of Imenotash, Emperor Giroch of the Harudin Empire tasks the provincial Queen of Imenotash, Aridis, with producing an heir so that she can keep her reign over her lands. Edan, Captain of the Palace Guard, is her chosen candidate. However, their cordial arrangement soon blossoms into genuine passion, a relationship that the Emperor is displeased with. The Emperor does what he can to dissolve the union and dampen their spirits, but Aridis and Edan have a secret that could bring his entire reign to a brutal end.
The Falcon of Imenotash certainly wastes no time with exposition; rather, it jumps right into the meat and action of the story. Though a refreshing approach, perhaps it isn’t always effective. Some scenes and characters could have been developed a bit more thoroughly than they are. However, this rushed pacing doesn’t necessarily hinder the story; there are still plenty of details and development to help the reader follow along as the The Falcon of Imenotash progresses.
A most unique fantasy, The Falcon of Imenotash rejects the common tropes of the fantasy genre; instead, it is a creative, distinctive, incredibly memorable work that incorporates everything from strict politics to mystical shapeshifting. It is exceptionally well-written, whether the scene is a battle, an act of lovemaking, or one of cruelty and abuse. Holly Bargo’s strong, tactful, and descriptive writing leaves the reader wanting more, chapter after chapter and long after the book is finished. The Falcon of Imenotash is a spectacular novel, captivating from beginning to end, and a most fulfilling read for anyone searching for a great fantasy novel that isn’t just the same old fluff.
Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.