Another addition to the rich world of Tamora Pierce's latest creation, The Will of the Empress follows our young protagonists as they come together after traveling apart, only to realize they may have changed too much to be the family they once were. Growing older is not easy, especially when you've lived through a war, plague, murder, assassinations, and puberty. Pierce shows us a group of young people recovering from trauma and the trials of coming of age, set against the rich backdrop of Namornese politics. The world-building continues to expand, and the challenges of becoming adults are adroitly revealed. Struggles with identity define this book, and each is handled with compassion and dignity. This is an excellent read for any age and a worthy continuation of the Circle of Magic books.
For years the Empress of Namorn has pressed her young cousin, Lady Sandrilene fa Toren, to visit her vast lands within the Empire's borders, and at long last she agrees in what turns out to be quite the interesting visitation.