Hope and Red (Empire of Storms Trilogy #1) by Jon Skovron

Published June 30th 2016 by Orbit Books

The book blurb;


HOPE, the lone survivor of a village massacred by the emperor’s forces, is secretly trained as a warrior and instrument of vengeance.

RED, an orphan adopted by a notorious matriarch of the criminal underworld, learns to be an expert thief and con artist.

Together they will take down an empire.’


*I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*


This novel tell the story of Hope, a young girl who must find her way and who is lost in the world, her village has been massacred and she is now lost and alone. And Red, a young boy who suddenly find himself and orphan and who must seek to make a life for himself with the help of a few colourful characters.

This book, quite simply, is fantastic, and I will do my very best to ensure that this review covers the ups (there are many) and downs (if I can find them) of the story and the writing used.

This story finds itself blending many different genres; fantasy, YA, science, piracy, romance; you name it, the author has it covered.

There are lots of characters within the story and each one has their own history and role to play, there is no room for those that aren’t needed. I found that each character I was introduced to, I had a feeling for, whether this be love or hate, and I couldn’t have been happier!

Red is a character that does a lot of growing up in the novel and you are on this journey with him, from pathetic orphan to true hero. He is a character that I found myself wanting to read more and more of, he is naïve yet honest and arrogant yet brave. Red’s character is one that each reader will be able to identify with; when it gets tough, you put on a brave face, do something stupid and curse loudly.

Hope brings a sense of honour to proceedings. She is on a path of vengeance that takes her to new places and meeting with new characters.  Her skill set is something that I bought into instantly, she is a true warrior, fierce and brave, with a super interesting, mystical weapon.

The minor characters, as I mentioned earlier, are equally important, and what the author has done well is to ensure that they each have a significant impact on the two main characters. ‘Nettles’ is just pure brilliance, she is spiteful, smart, and bloody funny, she is a character that I could just keep on reading – and keep this quiet but, she reminds me a little of my wife :/

The world, oh my, the world! I’m not exaggerating when I say that the world created by Jon Skovron jumps off the page, it really does draw you in and makes you a vital part of it. It is cruel in places and fancy in others but it is so vividly brought to life, you are transported there. I can’t speak highly enough of this.

There are a few things that may turn some readers off, even if they didn’t bother me. The romance within the story is a little ‘so-so’, it doesn’t really spawn from anything and I struggled to properly buy into these romantic relationships and didn’t really believe in them. If you are looking for a story with real romance then I don’t think you’ll find it here. Also, the language may be an issue for some people. Now, don’t get me wrong, it is not over abundant within ‘Hope and Red’ but if you don’t like the ‘c-bomb’ you may find yourself grimacing in certain parts.

That being said, I loved this book. The action is at break-neck speed and will have your heart racing. It is also multi-dimensional (especially when the ‘biomancers’ get involved) and each fight could be the end of any character and once it has you, it doesn’t let go.


‘Hope and Red’ is perfect for any fantasy reader that wants a world that will jump off the page, grab you by the ears and swing you around until you’re left wondering where the time went. If you like being kept up until 3 am then you’ll love this. I found that once I had started reading, I found it really hard to stop, I mean, what more could you ask for?! I would highly recommend this book and I’m sure you’ll love it.


I haven’t given a book a ‘5’ yet but I feel very, very sure that this is as close as I’ll get! 4.9999999999/5. Loved it!

Where to find Hope and Red




Where to find Jon Skovron

Website: jonskovron.com

Twitter: @jonnyskov

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jonskovron/


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