Book Review

ARC Book Review: Echoes and Empires (Echoes and Empires #1) by Morgan Rhodes

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy Romance
Length: 400 pages
Author: Morgan Rhodes
Publisher: Razorbill
Release Date: January 4th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


A snarky seventeen-year-old must team up with an enigmatic criminal to cure herself of dangerous forbidden magic in the first book of a new fantasy duology from Morgan Rhodes, the New York Times bestselling author of the Falling Kingdoms series.

Josslyn Drake knows only three things about magic: it’s rare, illegal, and always deadly. So when she’s caught up in a robbery gone wrong at the Queen’s Gala and infected by a dangerous piece of magic—one that allows her to step into the memories of an infamously evil warlock—she finds herself living her worst nightmare. Joss needs the magic removed before it corrupts her soul and kills her. But in Ironport, the cost of doing magic is death, and seeking help might mean scheduling her own execution. There’s nobody she can trust.

Nobody, that is, except wanted criminal Jericho Nox, who offers her a deal: his help extracting the magic in exchange for the magic itself. And though she’s not thrilled to be working with a thief, especially one as infuriating (and infuriatingly handsome) as Jericho, Joss is desperate enough to accept.

But Jericho is nothing like Joss expects. The closer she grows with Jericho and the more she sees of the world outside her pampered life in the city, the more Joss begins to question the beliefs she’s always taken for granted—beliefs about right and wrong, about power and magic, and even about herself.

In an empire built on lies, the truth may be her greatest weapon.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for an eARC.


This didn’t have the best start for me. I wasn’t vibing with the main character at all. But I also could recognize the option for some major growth and gave Josslyn the benefit of the doubt. It paid off!

Josslyn really grew on me. From high and mighty, stuck in her opinions and way to learning to listen and absorb new information to fit into a better narrative of the world around her. I liked how she found strength and called Jericho out when he needed it. Joss had so much thrown at her and many reveals that she handled well and now she’s a main character I can get behind.

I adored the beginnings of some enemies to lovers romance. The banter is top notch and I found myself smirking right alongside Jericho. The teamwork and a few quiet scenes. Yesss. The only thing missing were a few more kissing scenes. Though I imagine book two is going to bring the heat.

The plot gets kind of wild and even when I saw the reveals coming I still appreciated the set up and ingenuity. The world building is interesting and took me a minute to grasp. It’s a mix of urban fantasy + technologically advanced society + elemental magic I want more info on. A unique combination that I look forward to further exploration in the second book.

Lots of good stuff here. I just couldn’t put it down. I loved Rhodes Falling Kingdoms series and have been anxiously awaiting getting a chance to read this. Not one to miss!

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy Romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: physical, gun violence, magical altercations, blood depiction, torture, loss of loved ones

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