The Empress Game

The Empress Game, Book #1

By Rhonda Mason

ISBN: 9781783295241

Author’s Website:


The Empress GameBrought to you by OBS reviewer Caro


One seat on the intergalactic Sakien Empire’s supreme ruling body, the Council of Seven, remains unfilled, that of the Empress Apparent. The seat isn’t won by votes or marriage. It’s won in a tournament of ritualized combat in the ancient tradition. Now that tournament, the Empress Game, has been called and the females of the empire will stop at nothing to secure political domination for their homeworlds. Kayla Reinumon, a supreme fighter, is called by a mysterious stranger to battle it out in the arena.

With the empire wracked by a rising nanovirus plague and stretched thin by an ill-advised planet-wide occupation, everything rests on the woman who rises to the top.


As the story begins, we are introduced to Kayla, a Blood pit warrior by the name of Shadow Panthe, whose goal is to win a every match she can in order to provide for her and her young brother, Corinth, who hasn’t been able to talk after the devastating attack to their home planet, Ordoch. What no one knows is that Shadow Panthe is, in fact, one of the last remaining members of the royal family in hiding.

“Shadow Panthe, in whose honor do you fight this eve?”

“I fight only for myself.”

Then we have agent Malkor, whose mission is to find a body double capable enough to win the Empress Game for his princess, Isonde, in order for her to gain a place in the Council of Seven, and in some way, free Kayla’s home planet. His best option, Shadow Panthe, an Ordochian. From this point on, Kayla embarks on a space adventure, not only to save Ordoch but to find the truth behind the people who killed her family.

The Empress Game is a thrilling story. As you read through every chapter, the book just keeps getting more and more interesting. I don’t think there was any part that had me taking a break from it. If there was the need to put the book down, it was probably to go back to my mundane life out of Wyrd space and the Empire.

The characters are unique in their own way. Kayla is our warrior princess ready to do anything for Corinth and their safety. Corinth is a kid whose character grows from shy to a great ally for Kayla. He demonstrates that he can fight, too. Malkor is another character that transforms throughout the story. We see him from following every IDC order to following his own will and heart. The octet is another set of characters that I just loved. They are the ones that I hope we get to learn more about in future books. Especially one or two.

All in all, the Empress Game is the book of the summer! I quote a fellow OBS reviewer, if I could give the book more than five stars, I would. Empress Game is the new space adventure science fiction fans should give a chance. It is written in a way that every event told catches the reader’s attention. It has action, fight scenes, space, empires, fierce warrior women, and more. And after that cliffhanger that author Rhonda Mason left us with, I can’t wait for the next book. Meanwhile I’ll wait in Wyrd space.

“What you’re about to see is classified.”

“Did you really just use that line on me?”