The Hands of the Emperor

by Victoria Goddard

An impulsive word can start a war.
A timely word can stop one.
A simple act of friendship can change the course of history.

Cliopher Mdang is the personal secretary of the Last Emperor of Astandalas, the Lord of Rising Stars, the Lord Magus of Zunidh, the Sun-on-Earth, the god.
He has spent more time with the Emperor of Astandalas than any other person.
He has never once touched his lord.
He has never called him by name.
He has never initiated a conversation.

One day Cliopher invites the Sun-on-Earth home to the proverbially remote Vangavaye-ve for a holiday.

The mere invitation could have seen Cliopher executed for blasphemy.
The acceptance upends the world.

My Take

Who would have thought a book about middle-aged men doing their jobs could be so charming and engrossing? It’s tone reminded me of the The Goblin Emperor: warm and understated. Besides a great cast of characters to hang out with, there’s a whole new world here to explore and interesting ideas. A focus on fixing things rather than moaning about how terrible things are. The experience of being an immigrant; of being the person who left home. Assimilation, and sacrificing yourself for your career, for doing good. I am happy to see there are many other books about this world. I will be back.