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Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite
P.J. Keyworth has created a fantasy story full of intrigue and adventure in The Edict (The Emrilion Trilogy Book 1). High Councilor Garesh forges the king’s signature, giving him the power to rule until the young prince Trevisian marries. Garesh believes Reluwyn is superior to all other races and publishes edicts restricting them. Trevisian doesn’t want to rule and is often away from the palace. Disguised as a highwayman, Trevisian steals from the Imperial carriages. One day, he encounters another thief who is attempting to rob the same carriage. This is Kiara, a Laowyn, who has gone on the run following the Edict of Maidens. She has disguised herself as a boy after being chosen to be part of the prince’s harem. The two face off against each other, but their fight leads to the Imperial Guard capturing them. They don’t realize that this will not be their only encounter.
P.J. Keyworth made this a slow-burn romance that I couldn’t stop reading. The racial prejudice featured in the plot is apparent among both the Reluwyn and Laowyn people. Zeb, an elf from the Laowyn Resistance, points out how both sides are wrong in the manner that they treat others. I was stunned by how Ikara refuses to accept females into the resistance despite being a woman herself. Following the dialog between Kiara and Trevisian added intrigue to the plot, as their choices could lead them in any direction. I understood why Kiara felt that her uncle betrayed the Laowyn people because he followed every Reluwyn law, despite opposing them. The transitions between the perspectives of the characters are clear. There is exceptional detail in describing the surroundings, which makes them easy to envision. Each character exhibited a distinct personality that matched their actions. The Edict will appeal to fantasy readers who enjoy action-filled stories that address common social issues.