Book Review

ARC Book Review: The Empress of Time (The Keeper of Night #2) by Kylie Lee Baker

Rating: ★★★
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 416 pages
Author: Kylie Lee Baker
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Release Date: October 4th, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads


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. 

Thank you Dreamscape Media and Netgalley for an ALC.


Audiobook review: Fantastic. I have zero complaints about the narration, story telling, or anything in regards to the audiobook. Easily would say to read this book that route.

Why am I happy I did? Because I could speed it up a bit. I adored the first book in this duo, and I’m unfortunately writing another meh review for a second book in a duology.

The plot was a bit meandering as if it was trying to fill space. I didn’t really get the sense of adventure I think was trying to be conveyed. All of the lore with Reapers and Shinigami was still one of my favorite aspects. I love dark fantasy and I this did hit those notes really well.

I also did like the sibling relationship. It’s not always simple to love your brother / sister and I liked the exploration of those dynamics. The good and the bad that can come with family, but how ultimately they were able to work things out. I loved Neven and Ren for these scenes the most.

For once I’ll say I don’t think the romance was necessary. I actually thought this had none and wasn’t upset about it (because it’s not the vibe here) so no harm no foul. BUT then when a little was woven in it felt out of place. I would have been here for a strong friendship over a relationship because Ren needed that kind of connection in her life.

Overall audience notes:

  • YA Fantasy
  • Language: very little
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: high
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: blood and gore depiction, loss of loved ones

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