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Oaths of Legacy

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Torn between loyalty and love, a young prince will learn how much he's willing to sacrifice as he tries to destroy the rebellion that threatens his throne in this exhilarating sequel to Bonds of Brass. Gal’s destiny has always been clear: complete his training at the military academy, prove his worth as a royal successor, and ascend to the galactic throne. When a failed as Torn between loyalty and love, a young prince will learn how much he's willing to sacrifice as he tries to destroy the rebellion that threatens his throne in this exhilarating sequel to Bonds of Brass. Gal’s destiny has always been clear: complete his training at the military academy, prove his worth as a royal successor, and ascend to the galactic throne. When a failed assassination plot against Gal sends him and Ettian—his infuriatingly enticing roommate—on a mad dash through the stars, Gal’s plans are momentarily disrupted. But he was born to rule the Umber Empire, and with Ettian by his side, nothing will stop him from returning home and crushing the growing insurgency threatening his family’s power. But nothing is ever that simple in war—or in love. Gal is captured by the rebellion during a skirmish and faces public execution, his grand fate cut short. To save Gal’s life, Ettian does the unthinkable: he reveals himself as the secret heir to the fallen Archon Empire and rightful leader of the rebellion . . . and, therefore, Gal’s sworn enemy. Now a political hostage in this newly-reignited conflict, Gal must use his limited resources to sabotage the rebellion from within, concoct an escape plan, and return to the empire he’s destined to lead. And if that means taking down the man he thought he loved? All the better.


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Torn between loyalty and love, a young prince will learn how much he's willing to sacrifice as he tries to destroy the rebellion that threatens his throne in this exhilarating sequel to Bonds of Brass. Gal’s destiny has always been clear: complete his training at the military academy, prove his worth as a royal successor, and ascend to the galactic throne. When a failed as Torn between loyalty and love, a young prince will learn how much he's willing to sacrifice as he tries to destroy the rebellion that threatens his throne in this exhilarating sequel to Bonds of Brass. Gal’s destiny has always been clear: complete his training at the military academy, prove his worth as a royal successor, and ascend to the galactic throne. When a failed assassination plot against Gal sends him and Ettian—his infuriatingly enticing roommate—on a mad dash through the stars, Gal’s plans are momentarily disrupted. But he was born to rule the Umber Empire, and with Ettian by his side, nothing will stop him from returning home and crushing the growing insurgency threatening his family’s power. But nothing is ever that simple in war—or in love. Gal is captured by the rebellion during a skirmish and faces public execution, his grand fate cut short. To save Gal’s life, Ettian does the unthinkable: he reveals himself as the secret heir to the fallen Archon Empire and rightful leader of the rebellion . . . and, therefore, Gal’s sworn enemy. Now a political hostage in this newly-reignited conflict, Gal must use his limited resources to sabotage the rebellion from within, concoct an escape plan, and return to the empire he’s destined to lead. And if that means taking down the man he thought he loved? All the better.

30 review for Oaths of Legacy

  1. 4 out of 5

    avaa

    besties i have set a reminder of my phone for this september 14th lets go

  2. 5 out of 5

    ;3

    NOBODY LIKES U GAL 👺 he is so whiny and full of himself. he’s a brat who thinks he’s the only one with a working brain and constantly undermines everyone else around him. i licherally cannot think of ONE redeeming quality about him. like how are you short AND obnoxious? pick a fucking struggle.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Justine

    3.5 stars A pretty good sequel to Bonds of Brass, although Gal's constant plotting for the first 3/4 of the book started to wear a little thin towards the end. The finish was solid though, and provided a strong setup for the final book, Vows of Empire. I do find Skrutskie's writing comfortable and entertaining, and this was a good choice for an audiobook. The story is easy to follow in that format, and the narrator does an excellent job. 3.5 stars A pretty good sequel to Bonds of Brass, although Gal's constant plotting for the first 3/4 of the book started to wear a little thin towards the end. The finish was solid though, and provided a strong setup for the final book, Vows of Empire. I do find Skrutskie's writing comfortable and entertaining, and this was a good choice for an audiobook. The story is easy to follow in that format, and the narrator does an excellent job.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I'm being a little generous on the rating of this one, because I do like the premise and the characters even if the story was a little lackluster this time. Oaths of Legacy starts off where the first novel ended. Ettian has reclaimed his birthright and Gal is his captive. Gal is furious at Ettian for his betrayal and determined to undermine Ettian's attempt to rebuild the Archon Empire. As anyone who has ever read a romance before will know, Gal is going to have a change of heart along the way. I'm being a little generous on the rating of this one, because I do like the premise and the characters even if the story was a little lackluster this time. Oaths of Legacy starts off where the first novel ended. Ettian has reclaimed his birthright and Gal is his captive. Gal is furious at Ettian for his betrayal and determined to undermine Ettian's attempt to rebuild the Archon Empire. As anyone who has ever read a romance before will know, Gal is going to have a change of heart along the way. I really enjoyed the interaction between Ettian and Gal in the previous book, which is why I was disappointed that it seemed so minimal in this one. The problem I had was that so much of the story was over-explained. (Let me explain). Gal constantly explained every interaction, the feelings of all the other characters, the meaning of their conversations, and the implications of every comment. The book seemed to leave nothing for the reader to intuit. I felt like I was being spoon fed too much of the story. The story had a fast moving plot with a condensed narrative and it clearly advanced the story, but... it didn't really grip me. The relationship between Ettian and Gal should have tugged at the heartstrings, but it left me feeling flat. I'm hoping the end of the trilogy will go out on a high note and I can really feel the bond between the characters again.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jesse Ruth (The best boyfriends are book boyfriends)

    Thank you Netgalley (So much!!) for a copy of this sequel to Bonds of Brass! I loved Bonds of Brass so much and this sequel really supplies the reader with a completely different perspective by making Gal the MC and Narrator. I must admit, Gal can be so so frustrating. There is so much planning and manipulation he's doing as a prisoner under Ettian and even Wen, but there is also major vulnerability throughout all of this. This vulnerability was also clearly shown through the whole trio that I so Thank you Netgalley (So much!!) for a copy of this sequel to Bonds of Brass! I loved Bonds of Brass so much and this sequel really supplies the reader with a completely different perspective by making Gal the MC and Narrator. I must admit, Gal can be so so frustrating. There is so much planning and manipulation he's doing as a prisoner under Ettian and even Wen, but there is also major vulnerability throughout all of this. This vulnerability was also clearly shown through the whole trio that I so dearly love. This sequel had emotion, a lot of strategy and a whole bunch of galactic action. (And, The Cliffhanger!!!). I definitely recommend continuing this series for a good read and I'm looking forward to book 3!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Coe

    I NEED THIS IMMEDIATELY 8/17/20: comes out on May 4th huh? how'd you manage that Emily I NEED THIS IMMEDIATELY 8/17/20: comes out on May 4th huh? how'd you manage that Emily

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jacqueline

    Expected publication date: May 4, 2021 This was clearly planned 👀 Edit October 21, 2021: Published September 14th 2021 Seems there was a change of plans. . . . Like the end of book 1 😁 Reading soon! Edit November 6, 2021 (view spoiler)[ Okay, so I'm thinking that the next book will go in the direction of the trope where the main character tries to bring down their own empire from the inside. That said, I'm a little confused about why Gal seemed so convinced that him leaving would mean certain death fo Expected publication date: May 4, 2021 This was clearly planned 👀 Edit October 21, 2021: Published September 14th 2021 Seems there was a change of plans. . . . Like the end of book 1 😁 Reading soon! Edit November 6, 2021 (view spoiler)[ Okay, so I'm thinking that the next book will go in the direction of the trope where the main character tries to bring down their own empire from the inside. That said, I'm a little confused about why Gal seemed so convinced that him leaving would mean certain death for Ettian when he was crowned almost immediately upon returning home. Maybe because his people won't accept such a drastic change of heart? (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)]

  8. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    How does one distill the emotions felt upon reading this book into one little review with mere words to describe them? Listen. This book is intense and gut-wrenching, full to the brim with intrigue and manipulation, intuition and mistakes, impossible choices and magnificent victories. Gal's point of view as the rebellion's prisoner has us deep-diving into resentment, resilience, and the refusal to understand, building up webs of knotted artifice that you the reader know will crumble in the face How does one distill the emotions felt upon reading this book into one little review with mere words to describe them? Listen. This book is intense and gut-wrenching, full to the brim with intrigue and manipulation, intuition and mistakes, impossible choices and magnificent victories. Gal's point of view as the rebellion's prisoner has us deep-diving into resentment, resilience, and the refusal to understand, building up webs of knotted artifice that you the reader know will crumble in the face of friendship and love. Gal's struggles with panic are real and heart-wrenchingly relatable, and his desperate grasps at any kind of control are delicious to watch unfold. The last fifty pages had me literally screaming, and the last 6 pages had me flinging the book across the couch. You thought the emotional whiplash of a cliffhanger at the end of Bonds of Brass was wild? Brace yourself. I love this book for its space battles and sci-fi hijinks, for its deep look at friendship and love, for the love triangle that is partially platonic and absolutely consuming, for the way it gives a unique perspective on a galactic rebellion. I love this book. I love this book--if possible--more than the first one. I cannot wait to see how much I love the third one.

  9. 5 out of 5

    BON ☆

    This is...like a 3.3, generously rounded up to help the book succeed because I think the series has promise, given how fun book one was and what we can look forward to in the final book. Thanks to Netgalley for an advanced copy for review! I enjoy this series a lot, as it reads comfortably like the fanfic of a certain big space franchise that it basically is. That said, this entry in the series had huge “middle book energy”, something I confess I have never noticed in any series I’ve read before, This is...like a 3.3, generously rounded up to help the book succeed because I think the series has promise, given how fun book one was and what we can look forward to in the final book. Thanks to Netgalley for an advanced copy for review! I enjoy this series a lot, as it reads comfortably like the fanfic of a certain big space franchise that it basically is. That said, this entry in the series had huge “middle book energy”, something I confess I have never noticed in any series I’ve read before, at least while I was reading it. Alas, this book felt like a huge chunk of filler, without the emotional and shippy payoff that could have taken place while we were kind of between the big action. I went back and forth with liking and disliking things, so let me elaborate! This installment had less action and less romance and less a sense of Things Happening than the first book. What it did have was a lot, lot more political maneuvering, battle analysis, and strategy planning. As a politics major, sure, I can get down with that, but it was a lot, when I really wanted more romance – at least romantic tension that the first book nailed. The book has great, comfortable prose, even with us seeing through Gal’s POV for book two, so it was at least super readable and I read through really quickly. There was something deeply comforting and satisfying about the cockiest character in the cast having almost debilitating anxiety and panic attacks at the worst of times. It was entertaining at times to nod along with Gal’s takes on battle and government strategy, but it was also frustrating that we were trapped in his mind for this whole book, and he spent it convinced that he knew everything and was telling everyone so. Mansplaining at its worst, and there weren’t enough interactions with Ettian to balance out this half of the OTP. It was enjoyable to read through what action there was, mainly in the form of space battles; the terminology and the descriptions really showed there was thought and planning put into these parts of the writing. For example, there’s a point where a planet is so far away that the advance team gets to it, and then needs another ship between it and the main base as a relay point to pass communications because of signal loss; this is some interesting logistics that I feel like even Star Wars never really addressed. The realism was refreshing among the pew pew battle! All in all I think I feel kind of neutral about this book. I’m really looking forward to what the final book has to offer, after the inevitable cliffhangers and intrigues hauled out at the end of this one, but overall my dislikes and enjoyments all sort of balanced themselves out.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kogiopsis

    Oh boy. I don't really know how to write a coherent review for this book, especially without spoilers for Bonds of Brass - and if you haven't read Bonds of Brass, do me a real big favor and do NOT read the synopsis for this one, okay? I feel like saying that it was good, and queer, and emotionally complex, and full of twists - all that goes without saying. It's Emily Skrutskie; she's been serving up all of the above since day one. So just take all of that as a given going in. The least-spoilery as Oh boy. I don't really know how to write a coherent review for this book, especially without spoilers for Bonds of Brass - and if you haven't read Bonds of Brass, do me a real big favor and do NOT read the synopsis for this one, okay? I feel like saying that it was good, and queer, and emotionally complex, and full of twists - all that goes without saying. It's Emily Skrutskie; she's been serving up all of the above since day one. So just take all of that as a given going in. The least-spoilery aspect I can talk about here is the decision to switch away from Ettian's perspective and tell this book through Gal's eyes. It pays off in a lot of ways, the biggest of which is a kind of slow examination of the concepts of empire and bloodright. Gal as we see him in the first book believes wholly in his right to take his mother's throne, but wants to be a different kind of ruler. Gal in his own head makes it clear that despite that, he still hasn't questioned the essential assumptions which underlie Iva-emp-Umber's brutality: that some lives are worth more than others; that lineage makes people better suited to ruling and command; that rigid, centrally controlled hierarchy is the only path to social order. It's clear that he's wrong, but the process of unlearning it is long, especially since he doesn't want to question these assumptions. I'm still waiting for a greater deconstruction of these ideas, but this is good progress. I also absolutely love Wen's involvement in this book, as she tries to figure out a) where she fits as an outsider in a war between interstellar empires and b) how to deal with the two emotionally constipated boys who both want to be her best friend (though for wildly different reasons). Skrutskie has described this as "a love triangle that's two-thirds platonic" and boy, is that real and DELIGHTFUL. The ending, as expected, was a roller-coaster ride, with a final chapter that pretty much walloped me upside the head. I have no idea what's going to happen next and I am trying not to think about how long it'll be until I get to find out. BoB spoilers: (view spoiler)[I really like the way Skrutskie engages with the idea of two people who were romantically involved dealing with being suddenly diametrically opposed. That was the core of The Edge of the Abyss and it's very much also the heart of things here. How do you deal with the clash of two incredibly strong emotions, and with the simultaneity of caring deeply for someone and hating something they've done? It's a big, messy question and the way she explores it is fascinating. (hide spoiler)] OoL spoilers: (view spoiler)[The moment when Gal realized he wanted Ettian to be safely on his throne, even if it meant giving up his own goals... the parallel to Ettian deciding in BoB that he would see Gal to his ascension as Umber Emperor no matter how much it felt like betraying Archon... POETIC CINEMA. (hide spoiler)]

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    WELL DAYYUMMM! LOOK AT THAT FREAKING AMAZING COVER, PEOPLE!!!! *Dying* to read thissss!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sophia

    A galaxy-wide rebellion is in the offing when a conquered Archon Empire rises from the ashes to challenge the mighty machine of the reigning Umber Empire. And, caught up in it all are three young people who are at the helm of destiny while still coming into their own. The first book, Bonds of Brass, left off on a stunning note and Oaths of Legacy carries things forward. It is at this point that I’ll caution readers that if you plan to read the series then don’t read the blurb or the rest of my re A galaxy-wide rebellion is in the offing when a conquered Archon Empire rises from the ashes to challenge the mighty machine of the reigning Umber Empire. And, caught up in it all are three young people who are at the helm of destiny while still coming into their own. The first book, Bonds of Brass, left off on a stunning note and Oaths of Legacy carries things forward. It is at this point that I’ll caution readers that if you plan to read the series then don’t read the blurb or the rest of my review. Too late, right? Oh well, there are still lots of twists and turns to come so I’ll keep those to myself. At the end of Bonds of Brass, Gal who was on the run when an assassination attempt was tried while he was attending academy, ends up captured by the Archon rebellion and thinks his number is going to be punched until his academy roomie, escape partner, and blossoming romance interest steps forward and reveals his true identity as a lost last Archon royal and he wants Gal kept as a political prisoner rather than executed. Oaths of Legacy switches from Ettian’s to be told all from Gal’s perspective. I was glad to have the chance at both their points of view after really enjoying the first book told by Ettian. But, I have to admit that Gal was in a lousy mood learning his best friend is now his sworn enemy since he’s his prisoner now and all. It was grueling at times when he was near Ettian the way he picked and prodded at the guy to provoke him. But worse, Gal was a true Umber in his calculated thinking of hating Ettian and stirring up as much trouble as he could to undermine him and ultimately see his new reign topple. Gal never saw himself as cold and cruel like his mother, but he struggles to come to terms with the fact that he shares his bloodline’s pride and belief in their right to rule and that he knows better than anyone else how to rule. He spends a great deal of this story trying to lead from the jail cell and believing that he knows better than anyone else. It wasn’t easy to read this, but it was necessary to see his progression to respecting that Ettian might think and do differently, but he isn’t necessarily wrong. The odd friendship that formed up between Ettian, Gal, and the rascally former street ganger, Wen, continues forward. Wen remains both their friend even though she has taken a role in the Archon rebellion. She latches on to the legend of the Archon Knights of old and takes the piratical commodore as her mentor in her Knight training. She is also the security who keeps an eye on Gal so he works hard to influence her into helping him escape even while he works to keep Ettian from doing something stupid enough to die. Meanwhile, Ettian never had the proper training to rule his people and is forced to learn on the fly. His instincts are good even when his heart leads him to listen to Gal and he lets his feelings for Gal show and are a vulnerable spot for him. As the middle book in a trilogy, Oaths of Legacy did the job of bringing the story along over the bridge to set up for the crisis point of the final book. There were exciting action moments, political intrigue, and a stormy relationship. It has a huge climax battle and then just when the reader starts to get complacent, a shocker twist happens. Okay, I confess that I was expecting something to happen to get people moved to where they are, but I didn’t expect a certain person to be the means. So, we paused at a good place that leaves the reader anticipating the third part of the trilogy. I still haven’t established if this is YA or Adult LGBT Sci-fi, but perhaps a bit of both. Definitely a series I would recommend. I rec’d an eARC of this book through Net Galley to read in exchange for an honest review.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Carlee

    YES YES YES YES YES! There's no feeling quite like the elation of realizing that your favorite new series of 2020 is just as strong, if not stronger, in its second installment. Note: I received this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinions. Gal, Ettian, and Wen (Wen! My girl!) are back in book 2 of the Bloodright trilogy, and the "friends to lovers to enemies to... ?" trope is in full swing. Considering the big revelation about a certain charact YES YES YES YES YES! There's no feeling quite like the elation of realizing that your favorite new series of 2020 is just as strong, if not stronger, in its second installment. Note: I received this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my opinions. Gal, Ettian, and Wen (Wen! My girl!) are back in book 2 of the Bloodright trilogy, and the "friends to lovers to enemies to... ?" trope is in full swing. Considering the big revelation about a certain character at the end of Bonds of Brass, and the change of narrator from Ettian to Gal, this book feels like a totally different beast, in a good way. The characters are the same people we know and love, and the tone and the humor are still there, but enough about Oaths of Legacy is fresh and intriguing to--in my opinion--save this book from falling into the trap of a second book slump. Even better, we get to know Gal and Wen more deeply than we ever did in book 1. As interesting as it is to see the charming and sneaky Gal from Ettian's POV, seeing the inner workings of his mind and his decision making process is perhaps even more fascinating. I'm so excited to see what happens when both boys get to narrate in book 3, considering the events of book 2 (which I won't be spoiling). Of course, as much as I could gush about this book, I also want to write a fair and honest review, so there are a few things about this book that COULD have potentially dropped it to a 4 star book (but ultimately didn't). -Because of Gal's POV and the circumstances of Gal's presence in Archon in this book (anyone who read the end of book 1 should know what I mean), we see a ton of Gal and even a solid amount of Wen, but there are some sections with very little Ettian. And also, going from being completely in Ettian's head in book 1 to not being in it at all in this book made him kind of hard to read sometimes. We barely got his POV after book 1's big revelation, and I still feel like I don't fully understand exactly where his mind is at and what he wants. -Sometimes Gal's "plans" to protect himself and/or get home felt a little all over the place. Like he was constantly changing his strategy and sometimes his new strategy would actively undermine his previous one, so that would confuse me a bit. Of course, it doesn't help that both Gal and Ettian are known unreliable narrators who like to keep some secrets from the readers (as book 1 clearly indicated!) -NOTE: Some people might think the middle is a little slow, but I was never bored! I actually think book 1 had more "lagging" scenes than book 2 did, but that is purely my opinion and probably based off of the fact that I'm almost never bored in Gal's messy little brain. My parting thought is: BOOK 3 WHEN? PLEASE EMILY I NEED ANSWERS. PLEASE I'M DYING. YOU CAN'T WRITE A BOOK THIS GOOD AND THEN LEAVE ME HANGING FOR WHO KNOWS HOW LONG UNTIL BOOK 3. I WILL GIVE YOU THIRTY DOLLARS AND MY ETERNAL DEVOTION. PLEASE.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mariam

    The characters and world-building continue to remain underdeveloped, only this time around, my tolerance has diminished as we are now past the halfway point of The Bloodright Trilogy. The first half of the book is slow as Gal, who serves as the narrator, is not directly involved in much of the action. This results in very passive storytelling, in addition to his already confusing internal conflict. It was times like these that I yearned for Ettian's point of view. Furthermore, I appreciated the The characters and world-building continue to remain underdeveloped, only this time around, my tolerance has diminished as we are now past the halfway point of The Bloodright Trilogy. The first half of the book is slow as Gal, who serves as the narrator, is not directly involved in much of the action. This results in very passive storytelling, in addition to his already confusing internal conflict. It was times like these that I yearned for Ettian's point of view. Furthermore, I appreciated the attempt to dissect Wen's character, but it only lasted a short time and was done in a very dull way. Despite everything, the action remains top-notch and I wish it was not saved for the final pages. I think this is a strong point in Skrutskie's writing and continues to impress. Additionally, I adore Ettian and Gal's slow-burn relationship which is not only captivating but is the main reason these books are so addicting. ARC provided by NetGalley

  15. 4 out of 5

    Lara

    I‘d sell my love deprived soul to get my hands on an arc of this, just saying... *slowly slips 5$ over the table while maintaining intense eye contact* Bonds of Brass - 5/5⭐ I‘d sell my love deprived soul to get my hands on an arc of this, just saying... *slowly slips 5$ over the table while maintaining intense eye contact* Bonds of Brass - 5/5⭐

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kayla (krakentoagoodbook)

    This felt very much like a second book where nothing really happened to progress the overall plot forward. The pacing was alright overall - it took a little bit to get into the story, and the beginning was a bit slower since it focused more on political schemes. However, the end definitely picked up the pace! There were some nice action scenes with battles and assassination attempts. Generally though, I did struggle to focus at times because I wasn't sure where the overall story arc was headed, This felt very much like a second book where nothing really happened to progress the overall plot forward. The pacing was alright overall - it took a little bit to get into the story, and the beginning was a bit slower since it focused more on political schemes. However, the end definitely picked up the pace! There were some nice action scenes with battles and assassination attempts. Generally though, I did struggle to focus at times because I wasn't sure where the overall story arc was headed, and I just wasn't as invested as I was in the first book. I also think I probably didn't enjoy this as much because it's "Gal's book." I don't find him nearly as interesting or likeable as Ettian, so this may have hampered my enjoyment (especially compared to the first book). Gal tends to be more whiny and entitled, and he often thinks he knows best. He's conflicted on what to do because he's torn between family loyalty (and inheriting an empire) and his feelings for Ettian. This does cause him to flip flop on his actions and beliefs quite a bit, and while it's understandable, it just doesn't always make for the most fun reading experience. Thankfully, we do get to see Ettian again here as he's trying to step into the role he claimed in Bonds of Brass. He's not super respected yet, but I think he'll get there! He's still by far the most interesting character to me, and I'm a little bummed that we didn't get to see him more. We also just don't get to see him interact a ton with Gal, and I certainly would have preferred more of this. Wen is back, and I have to say, I'm rather mixed on her. She seems almost manic at times, but I do like the role she's stepped into here. However, she makes some very dumb, poor decisions. Granted, she doesn't really have the training to strategize and ends up just jumping into things. This sometimes causes disasters because she really needed to think things through more. Overall, this was a weaker installment of the series for me. I do still think it's an interesting world and plot, so I think I'd like to continue on (especially if we don't follow Gal in the next book). I'd still recommend this series overall to those who want some fun sci-fi! I received a copy of this for review from the publisher via NetGalley - thank you! All opinions are my own.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jadon Mann

    How is it that this series just keeps getting better with every book? BONDS OF BRASS was a fantastic novel in its own right, with tons of action-packed dogfights in space and underdogs accomplishing incredible things and a tense, harrowing will-they-won't-they relationship built on secrets at the center of it all. But OATHS OF LEGACY ups the ante. A relationship that seemed fairly straightforward and heartwarming takes a drastic, politically charged spin; Gal and Ettian's interactions in this book How is it that this series just keeps getting better with every book? BONDS OF BRASS was a fantastic novel in its own right, with tons of action-packed dogfights in space and underdogs accomplishing incredible things and a tense, harrowing will-they-won't-they relationship built on secrets at the center of it all. But OATHS OF LEGACY ups the ante. A relationship that seemed fairly straightforward and heartwarming takes a drastic, politically charged spin; Gal and Ettian's interactions in this book are nauseatingly stressful and frustrating in all the best ways. Before, when Gal and Ettian went up against the rest of the known universe, it was as a pair, fighting from within the cockpit of a small craft with nothing but the clothes on their backs and each other to keep them from falling apart. Now, in OATHS OF LEGACY, Gal has to struggle with the realities of what it means to be a galactic emperor - from the perspective of someone else that's several steps ahead of him. He has to come to terms with the fact he was betrayed, but betrayed out of a selfishness on Ettian's behalf to keep him alive. He has to learn what he really wants for himself, whether that's galactic domination at the cost of Ettian's empire's defeat, or if he wants something else. Does he want something else? And he has to do it alone. Gal's character arc in OATHS OF LEGACY is a master class in internal conflict. He really cemented himself as my favorite character in this series, and that's saying something, considering how much I love Ettian to death. Wen, the street rat they save at the end of the first book, really grew on me as well, as she began to take on more of an active role in the story and in Gal and Ettian's lives. OATHS OF LEGACY is a beautiful story about a beautiful mess. It takes all the best bits of the first installment in the trilogy and dials the tension up to eleven. I am already clinging to the edge of my seat waiting for the third book, and if it's even a tenth as fantastic as OATHS OF LEGACY was, this trilogy will cement itself as something truly incredible. (Many thanks to the ruttin' fantastic folks over at Del Rey and PRH for the NetGalley ARC!)

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kayla

    I wish...I wish I loved this. I was so excited as Bonds of Brass pulled me out of the dark depths of quarantine and I fell in love with these characters. It was a long road waiting for this book to come out, and yet as the publish date approached and I didn't hear a lot about it from anyone, especially Emily, I started getting nervous. After the book arrived, I dived in as I expected and was met with the single most excruciating experience: beings stuck in Gal's head for 200+ pages. I don't part I wish...I wish I loved this. I was so excited as Bonds of Brass pulled me out of the dark depths of quarantine and I fell in love with these characters. It was a long road waiting for this book to come out, and yet as the publish date approached and I didn't hear a lot about it from anyone, especially Emily, I started getting nervous. After the book arrived, I dived in as I expected and was met with the single most excruciating experience: beings stuck in Gal's head for 200+ pages. I don't particularly have a problem with the plot of this book or what ends up happening by the end, but having to listen to someone born and raised to be King behave so wildly and consistently jumping from anger to spite and back again was a nightmare. A boy I loved so much in book one turned out to be what I consider a whiny teenager by the second book. I guess what we saw in book one was the rose-colored depiction of Gal through Ettian's eyes, but surely this is not really the person that he fell in love with? I get the idea of being locked away and betrayed by someone who trusted you, sure, but did Gal forget he also lied to Ettian the whole time they lived together? And the fact that Ettian was constantly trying to protect him and uphold his position in front of his community so that they could all be saved. Meanwhile, Gal is just crying about his Mom coming to save him? Honestly, devastated. I get the nuance of a situation and changing feelings and opinions but for a boy who wanted to rule with pride and a gentle hand, he sure flipped a 180 in this book and not even in a menacing way, just in a "please god don't let that boy have power" way. Will I read the 3rd book? Absolutely.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sherron

    The saga continues, and although it is getting better, it’s by a very small degree. This story takes place from the perspective of the prince who is captive. Full of angst, anger, scorn, rage, desire, pain, and, and, and you get the picture. It’s pages and pages of purple prose, which I think is actually quite well done. The flow and syncopation match and augment the feelings expressed. Although it’s well-done, it doesn’t mean I’m enjoying this any more than I would like being plunked down on a The saga continues, and although it is getting better, it’s by a very small degree. This story takes place from the perspective of the prince who is captive. Full of angst, anger, scorn, rage, desire, pain, and, and, and you get the picture. It’s pages and pages of purple prose, which I think is actually quite well done. The flow and syncopation match and augment the feelings expressed. Although it’s well-done, it doesn’t mean I’m enjoying this any more than I would like being plunked down on a sofa in front of a TV to watch hours of an emotionally gripping soap opera. But I think the biggest problems are that this extended monologue just drags on too long and that the plot feels more like diary pages ripped out the middle of a journal rather than a bona fide story with a beginning, middle, and end. I’m curious how part three will resolve this three-way frenemy power struggle. There are a lot of messy ends to straighten out!

  20. 4 out of 5

    aryam margarita vélez

    Oh snap, Gal is piiiiiiiiissed. This is gonna be so good!!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jennrin

    Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me an eARC in exchange for an honest review! Seriously. THANK YOU. I've been literally stalking the NetGalley site for this ARC. <3 I love Emily Skrutskie's brand of sci-fi. Lots of flashy action scenes, friendships and couples that are easy to root for, and just so much damn heart poured into every single moment. But mostly I love how messy and tangled everything gets from page one. Every time. <3 I loved the first book in this trilogy and Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me an eARC in exchange for an honest review! Seriously. THANK YOU. I've been literally stalking the NetGalley site for this ARC. <3 I love Emily Skrutskie's brand of sci-fi. Lots of flashy action scenes, friendships and couples that are easy to root for, and just so much damn heart poured into every single moment. But mostly I love how messy and tangled everything gets from page one. Every time. <3 I loved the first book in this trilogy and was so hyped for what was built up for the sequel, and book two does not disappoint. Gal's perspective is fresh and feels very different from our boy Ettian in book one (I'm an absolute sucker for a snarky prince with a tortured soul give 'em here). Relationships that were established in the first iteration are shown in different lights, changed, mangled, and just absolutely turned on their heads. We have plot twists, we have scheming, we have new friendships, we have betrayals, we have makeout scenesssssss. Ugh. Loved it. And just like before, the ending has me salivating for the next book. My only complaints are that it felt too short - like stuff went DOWN, but scenes moved really fast. And my dreaded fantasy curse word was back. Just let them say 'fuck', please, Emily. I cringe every time they utter the word 'rut'. Like a piece of my soul shrivels and dies a little.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Michael Tenner

    I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley. I cannot express just how I was excited to receive an early version of this book. While I hated Bonds of Brass' ending and the twist there, I was excited and hopeful that Oaths of Legacy would take steps to remedy that. And it did... partially. I'd love to say the story grabbed that twist and twisted it further and created something amazing but it didn't. It did almost exactly what I predicted last year after finishing Bonds of Brass. But hey! Th I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley. I cannot express just how I was excited to receive an early version of this book. While I hated Bonds of Brass' ending and the twist there, I was excited and hopeful that Oaths of Legacy would take steps to remedy that. And it did... partially. I'd love to say the story grabbed that twist and twisted it further and created something amazing but it didn't. It did almost exactly what I predicted last year after finishing Bonds of Brass. But hey! That's fine. I don't mind predictable. There are two things about Oaths of Legacy that I disliked. The first is feeble and weak while the other is a major gripe that made me stop reading for almost a month. Nothing happens. The story just continue but from start to finish, very little happens. There's so much talking amongst seasoned military command making the stupidest choices imaginable. Gal is the prisoner and POV here yet he's just allowed to wander around. I get why narratively and if I try very hard my suspension of disbelief can pretend everybody drank Amnesia Water (TM) and forgot their years of training. Also the attempts at intrigue and "politics" fall flat. I much prefer the spectacularly written space battles. This has been the weaker negative. What I truly hated about Oaths of Legacy was Wen. I liked Wen in Bonds of Brass. She was a fine, fun character. A strong woman with streetsmarts. You know how I mentioned this book is from Gal's POV? It should have been from Wen's! She goes through a wince-worthy character change to become THE FLAME KNIGHT completely 'off-screen'. Everybody is just so impressed with her and she survives the most ludicrous situations. Even when the narrative is begging for her to make some sort of sacrifice for her utter stupidity, there are no consequences. This lead me to think of her as Wen Sue. If she were the POV for Oaths of Legacy, I think it'd get 4 stars from me. Wen is a fantastic character ruined by the focus being Gal's story where very little happens (see the previous paragraph). The ending was actually quite good. It was unexpected and while it was not at all foreshadowed, it was cool. It could have been longer. The whole book should have been to be honest. 29 chapters (+ Epilogue) as opposed to Bonds of Brass' 31. For a second book in a trilogy I'd expect at least a couple of chapters more. I'd love to give it 4 stars but I can't. There's just too much that I disliked to warrant that. I hope Book 3 will give this trilogy a proper conclusion at which point I might change my rating for the first two books.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    Thank you to Del Rey and NetGalley for providing an eARC of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This was definitely one of my most anticipated reads of the year, and it has me even more hyped for the third book than I was before. That said, I was also looking for a bit more from this book than I got. There will not be any spoilers for the this or the first book in this review. This book takes off just a bit after the earth shattering events of book one. But, this time the main narrat Thank you to Del Rey and NetGalley for providing an eARC of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This was definitely one of my most anticipated reads of the year, and it has me even more hyped for the third book than I was before. That said, I was also looking for a bit more from this book than I got. There will not be any spoilers for the this or the first book in this review. This book takes off just a bit after the earth shattering events of book one. But, this time the main narrator is Gal instead of Ettian. From what I could see in other reviews, a lot of people preferred Ettian's narration, but I actually loved having Gal's perspective. Gal is an idiot. That is true. However, he also struggles with severe anxiety and panic attacks, and as the heir to a throne, has some major trust issues. Due to recent events, these issues have gotten worse, and its honestly really refreshing and relatable to see a character struggle so much over his own thoughts. He questions every little thing he does, and I've come to really love him. The one thing about the narration change that I didn't love is how little we see of Ettian in this book. We get no insight into his thoughts, and he kind of loses a bit of personality in this book (in my opinion). This is mostly do to the lack of scenes we actually get with him, especially towards the beginning. On that note, my biggest issue with this book is the lack of romance compared to the first one. There is romance here, don't get me wrong, but there is much less romantic tension, and I don't know if the few scenes we get in the beginning between Gal and Ettian were executed that well. This book had a lot of politics and strategy. I love what we got, but there needed to be a bit more plot and character growth. I just think a lot of the characterization we did get was overshadowed by the sheer amount of politics. Now that my complaints are out of the way, I still adored this book. The story is fun and unique, and I really care a lot about the mcs. Also my gosh the PLOT TWISTS. The ending for me wasn't quite as shocking as the end of book one, but my gosh it was still crazy. I loved the romance that we did get, and I think the third book has soooooo much potential if there is a bit more actual plot points and romanceeeeee. I also really hope that we get dual POV instead of just Gal or Ettian for the last book. Basically Vows of Empire is now my big goal for arc approvals. Content Warnings: anxiety, panic attacks, betrayal, hostage, torture (mention), executions (mention), genocidal empire

  24. 4 out of 5

    H. Taylor

    So far being two thirds of the way through this trilogy it’s a solid three star series for me at the moment. I will say that I think I like to book 2 more than the first book, so this is probably more of a 3.25 or 3.5 star read and the first one was a solid three star for me. I liked Gal’s perspective and I really did enjoy his political manoeuvring and his character growth in this one. still lots of questionable decisions and I wasn’t super keen on all of the mass detail around the political move So far being two thirds of the way through this trilogy it’s a solid three star series for me at the moment. I will say that I think I like to book 2 more than the first book, so this is probably more of a 3.25 or 3.5 star read and the first one was a solid three star for me. I liked Gal’s perspective and I really did enjoy his political manoeuvring and his character growth in this one. still lots of questionable decisions and I wasn’t super keen on all of the mass detail around the political movements and like the specific war machine stuff, like to me it was just a bit boring and not necessarily what I love from my sci-fi, but I can understand that there will be people who really enjoy that type of sci-fi but I am more character focused I think in general so I was hanging on for our character interactions and that’s what really made the book enjoyable for me. Hopes for book 3: I am still really excited for book 3 - I’m hoping we get a duel perspective and I’m also just hoping that we get more of a middle ground between acknowledging war being this awful massive thing where there are no real winners that there’s not really this good side and bad side, it’s just all shades of grey and I really think I want more of that to come through and for us not just to have gal continuously undermine his own rule as Emperor I guess which is what I can see happening. I think that would be really unsatisfying and I’m hoping that we get them working towards a treaty of some kind or peace in some instances or some sort of middle ground amongst all of this perspective around who needs to win sort of thing…I don’t know, I think it’ll be interesting but I do just have specific hopes that they’re not gonna take it in certain directions…that I think would really diminish the growth we’ve had from these characters…

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    This and more reviews at superstardrifter.com!~ This is the continuing story of Gal and Ettian – whose story from Bonds of Brass I won’t spoil for you, but suffice to say that there are feels to be had. The end of Bonds of Brass had events that lead to much hard feelings between the two, and this one continues that story from Gal’s POV (Book 1 was from Ettian’s POV). He is a political prisoner, more bored than anything else, and is trying to come up with escape plans. One plan results in him bein This and more reviews at superstardrifter.com!~ This is the continuing story of Gal and Ettian – whose story from Bonds of Brass I won’t spoil for you, but suffice to say that there are feels to be had. The end of Bonds of Brass had events that lead to much hard feelings between the two, and this one continues that story from Gal’s POV (Book 1 was from Ettian’s POV). He is a political prisoner, more bored than anything else, and is trying to come up with escape plans. One plan results in him being dragged to the warfront with Ettian, and from there, many shenanigans are had. I really liked seeing this one from Gal’s point of view. It was interesting seeing how a lifetime of training makes him think about situations he finds himself in. It seems almost second nature for him to try and manipulate the people around him, even the people that he likes, to get what he wants. We also see a lot of Wen Iffan in this one, as she has become rather a central character in the grand scheme of things. It was fantastically written and easy to sit down with for hours at a time. The last quarter or so was action-packed, and hard to put down. I didn’t love it quite as much as I loved Bonds of Brass, however the story that it sets up to tell in the third volume in the series is certain to be entertaining, and so it left me eagerly awaiting the next in the series. Thanks to the author, as well as Del Rey via NetGalley for the review copy!~

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mattie

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I was excited for Gals perspective, until I realized what a moronic little bitch he was. Constantly thinking he’s manipulating everyone around him without their knowledge of it 🙄 and lying to himself about not only his feelings but Ettians. It got to the point that it was almost a chore to read it because I wanted to punch him. His inner monologue sheesh talk about unbearable. The bright points were definitely Ettian coming into his own as a ruler and showing Gal a beautiful example of not being I was excited for Gals perspective, until I realized what a moronic little bitch he was. Constantly thinking he’s manipulating everyone around him without their knowledge of it 🙄 and lying to himself about not only his feelings but Ettians. It got to the point that it was almost a chore to read it because I wanted to punch him. His inner monologue sheesh talk about unbearable. The bright points were definitely Ettian coming into his own as a ruler and showing Gal a beautiful example of not being a shithead like Gals mom. Another fave was Wen, man is she a fabulous badass. Becoming the flame knight just amplified her natural talents and showed the universe that she is a truly capable loyal soul. Her bond cultivated with Gal made him a bit more bearable and helped him get out of his head in which his mothers terrible voice kept trying to dictate his actions. After the first book I truly thought she was dead and tbh I’m disappointed she’s still around. Meh. I’ll definitely read the next one though, and here’s hoping we get more of Ettians perspective, I’d even take switching between both of them but please not just Gals. I can’t take that anymore.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tessa

    ⭐⭐⭐ Oaths of Legacy came fierce and quick with Skrutskie's near-legendary ability to write action, but it also suffers a bit from second-book-in-a-series syndrome. I fell in love with Gal and Ettian in Bonds of Brass like so many others. The tension, the best-friends-to-lovers, and finally the reveal of Gal's true identity and all the complications that caused were really amazing to see unfold and the twist at the end left for a JUICY sequel just waiting to be written. And while so much of this b ⭐⭐⭐ Oaths of Legacy came fierce and quick with Skrutskie's near-legendary ability to write action, but it also suffers a bit from second-book-in-a-series syndrome. I fell in love with Gal and Ettian in Bonds of Brass like so many others. The tension, the best-friends-to-lovers, and finally the reveal of Gal's true identity and all the complications that caused were really amazing to see unfold and the twist at the end left for a JUICY sequel just waiting to be written. And while so much of this book was great, Gal's POV dragged. It wasn't just his constantly conflicted emotions, which were are completely understandable, but also the sheer amount of boring military speak was just too much for me to get through as someone who is simply not a fan of that type of writing. I can't really blame the author for that, it's a preference thing, but even without that bias I could tell that there was A Lot of it and it really dragged the pacing down. I wanted more of Wen, but what I got of Wen, I wasn't sure what to do with. I adore her and how she is fearless and slightly insane but one can only escape death so many times before it starts to become a little hard to suspend disbelief. I didn't feel like any of the three *grew* as much as I would have wanted in this book. I know second books are hard and that they are essentially one big middle in themselves and need time to build to the end, but this one just left me craving all of the silliness and adventure and love that we had in the first book. I'll definitely be here for book three though. I'm hopeful for a strong ending. XX *My thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for gifting me with this ARC in exchange for my honest review.*

  28. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I just…have no words. This was the best “the one after they get together” I’ve ever read 🤣 I don’t even know how to adequately express what I’m feeling. I LOVED Gal’s POV. Gal emp-Umber is a bitch and I love him so much 🤣 (I wonder if the third book is going to cycle between Gal’s and Ettian’s POVs. You know. Since they’re SEPARATED NOW.) Anyway. This was so good!!!!! Gal’s journey was just…so well done. From trying to sabotage and manipulate Ettian and Wen to realizing he loves them and wants to do I just…have no words. This was the best “the one after they get together” I’ve ever read 🤣 I don’t even know how to adequately express what I’m feeling. I LOVED Gal’s POV. Gal emp-Umber is a bitch and I love him so much 🤣 (I wonder if the third book is going to cycle between Gal’s and Ettian’s POVs. You know. Since they’re SEPARATED NOW.) Anyway. This was so good!!!!! Gal’s journey was just…so well done. From trying to sabotage and manipulate Ettian and Wen to realizing he loves them and wants to do what HE feels right? *chef’s kiss* Wen is a badass and I LOVED👏🏼HER👏🏼 I missed Ettian. I missed Ettian a lot. My son. He’s an emperor now 😭 But he’s also still a boy in love and just that balance was just such good fucking food. I honestly had no idea how this was going to go. And just when I thought I had the ending figured out WHAM. The whole book was just shot after shot after shot. Gods, the FEELS. Fucking bringing back “No empire is worth having if I don’t have you too”???? Who gave you the RIGHT. Ugh, this book was everything I wanted and sometimes I regret reading books so fast because now I have to WAIT until MAY to see what HAPPENS. (They were happy 😭 For five fucking pages they were HAPPY DAMMIT 😭😭😭😭😭😭)

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Thank you edelweiss and Random house for an arc in exchange for review. This is (a little bit) like one of those middle books which is there to set-up the third and final book. Which isn't always bad but I did wish more happened (it certainly picked up towards the end). Other than that, I'm still really enjoying the world and the Finn/Poe story we never got because Disney is crap at queer relationships. With Oaths of Legacy, we have a different perspective by making Gal the MC and narrator. It als Thank you edelweiss and Random house for an arc in exchange for review. This is (a little bit) like one of those middle books which is there to set-up the third and final book. Which isn't always bad but I did wish more happened (it certainly picked up towards the end). Other than that, I'm still really enjoying the world and the Finn/Poe story we never got because Disney is crap at queer relationships. With Oaths of Legacy, we have a different perspective by making Gal the MC and narrator. It also looks like we'll be getting both narrators in the last book... Very excited to see what happens next with that cliffhanger.

  30. 4 out of 5

    C.M. Jones

    Agsgdkflalkskgl LETS GO This book's told in Gal's pov instead of Ettian's and I'm so bloody happy. They hate each other but love each other and it's the BEST. It's addictive, and amazing, and I want the next book so bad! Anyway Gal is Ettian's prisoner. Gal 'hates' Ettian. They absolutely do not make out in the closet 60 pages in Nope. Gal suggest Ettian go to the front of the war effort to prove he's a competent leader. (And also so Ettian might die there) Ettian drags Gal with him. Gal is unde Agsgdkflalkskgl LETS GO This book's told in Gal's pov instead of Ettian's and I'm so bloody happy. They hate each other but love each other and it's the BEST. It's addictive, and amazing, and I want the next book so bad! Anyway Gal is Ettian's prisoner. Gal 'hates' Ettian. They absolutely do not make out in the closet 60 pages in Nope. Gal suggest Ettian go to the front of the war effort to prove he's a competent leader. (And also so Ettian might die there) Ettian drags Gal with him. Gal is understandablely upset about this. Gal tries to act like a slytherin. Chaos and fun and angst. Boom I really need to next book because I and DYING.

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