Book Review: Bones of Empire

Amazon Cover

Bones of Empire by Aaron Rosenberg


When magic dies, only the dead hold magic.

Once the empire of Ritakhou was full of magic. But since the Schism, the remaining empire of Rimbaku is but a pale whisper of its former majesty, with barely a fragment of its magic remaining. Now the only source of magic is the Relicant Touch, the power drawn from the aishone, relic bones that are jealously guards and widely coveted.

Kagiri and Noniki leave their small village with a small clutch of aishone and all the hope they can muster, but the world is a larger, more dangerous place than they ever dreamed. They are forced into a dark bargain that may cost them not only their lives, but their souls, and may change the Relicant Empire forever. Their fates intertwine with an emperor, a warrior, a graverobber, and a killer in patterns none of them ever imagined along the way to reshaping an empire, and quite possibly a world.


A multi-POV epic fantasy with an Asian flair. The magic-based system takes ancestor worship a step beyond. When you eat the powdered remains of your relatives, you may gain some of their abilities. How quickly, how long, and how completely depends on a person’s natural abilities.

This is clearly the first book of a longer series, introducing the world, the point-of-view characters, and setting up the situation.

I mixed up two of the women POV characters a couple of times, but eventually I got them straight in my head.

Great defining of magic and great plot setup. But it is only the setup – whether this is a great series will depend on Book 2.