Review: Bonds of Brass by Emily Skrutski

Posted June 17, 2020 by Lola in Review, Romance, Sci-Fi / 6 Comments

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Bonds of BrassBonds of Brass (The Bloodright Trilogy #1)
by Emily Skrutskie
Narrated by James Fouhey

My Rating: 4 stars

Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Age Category: Young Adult
Type of romance: MM

A young pilot risks everything to save his best friend–the man he trusts most and might even love–only to learn that he’s secretly the heir to a brutal galactic empire.

Ettian Nassun’s life was shattered when the merciless Umber Empire invaded. He’s spent seven years putting himself back together under its rule, joining an Umber military academy and becoming the best pilot in his class. Even better, he’s met Gal Veres–his exasperating and infuriatingly enticing roommate who’s made the Academy feel like a new home.

But when dozens of classmates spring an assassination plot on Gal, a devastating secret comes to light: Gal is the heir to the Umber Empire. Ettian barely manages to save his best friend and flee the compromised Academy unscathed, rattled both that Gal stands to inherit the empire that broke him and that there are still people willing to fight back against Umber rule. As they piece together a way to deliver Gal safely to his throne, Ettian finds himself torn in half by an impossible choice. Does he save the man who’s won his heart and trust that Gal’s goodness could transform the empire? Or does he throw his lot in with the brewing rebellion and fight to take back what’s rightfully theirs?

My Review

After reading a review for this book by one of my blogger friends I knew I had to read this one. It sounded exactly like the type of book I would enjoy. After listening to the sample I decided to get the audio format and I am so glad I did as this book was a joy to listen to. And one of the first male narrators I listened to that really worked for me.

Bonds of Brass jumps right into the action, after a short introduction scene you get thrown right into an explosive action scene and I was immediately pulled into the story. The rest of the story continues in a similar feel, some calmer scenes and plenty of action. The story captivated me and the role of these two boys who would do anything for each other in the middle of a galaxy wide conflict. The ending was awesome, while I shortly before predicted the twist I did enjoy the direction the story took, but at the same time I have no idea where this series will go next and I can’t wait to see how the author handles it.

I love how this series mingles the romance storyline with the action and the more political tinted storyline in this galaxy with different empires. And ofcourse the two main characters are at the center of it all. Add in a totally reckless and adorable female side character. And this was one awesome listen. There are plenty of twists and reveals, a lot of action and great characters.

I really liked main character Ettian, in the first chapter you already get a good feel for him. how loyal he is to his friend Gal and how much he cares about him. But that is only the start. Throughout the book you really get to know him and how conflicted he feels over the whole situation. He loves Gal, but when something he never dared wish for is in his path he struggles deciding what to do. I really liked his character and enjoyed following his story. The flight scenes were amazing, you could really feel his love for flying and see how capable he was at it as well.

I love a good sci-fi romance book and this book handled the romance really well, especially amidst the whole big galaxy spanning political plot line. I really liked Gal and Ettian together. They started out as friends and the author did a good job giving that vibe that they were good friends already and that slowly turns into more. It was clear how much they cared for one another. But they also have some struggles to go through. Gal is a prince and Ettian a nobody and they could never make this work, but at the same time trying to stay apart is hurting them. And I liked how early on it becomes clear they both feel the same about the other. It’s not a question of whether their feelings are reciprocated, but more of whether they are willing to go that way if they know it can’t last. And when they finally do grow closer it’s amazing and also sad at the same time as you know what is waiting for them. And that ending was beautiful and so heartbreaking. I can’t wait to see what happens to their romance in book 2. I hope we get to see more of them together as there wasn’t nearly enough of that in this book.

One thing that did bother me is how much Ettian gives up for Gal and while I loved seeing how deep his feeling were and how much he was willing to do for him. I also would’ve loved to see some of that dedication from Gal’s side as well. I wanted Gal to show Ettian how much he meant to him as well. I would’ve liked to get a bit more insight into Gal’s personality. I liked the glimpses we got, but I would’ve liked to know more, maybe that will come in the future books.

I liked the world building in this book. You get a good feel for the 3 mayor factions/ empires in this part of the galaxy. There is enough about the political situation and how Umber gained power to get an insight in how things work. I liked how this was worked out and throughout the book you learn more. The story takes place in space and two different planets so you also get to see a bit of the galaxy. I liked the sci-fi spacy feel mixed in with the political plotlines of the Umber empire and the rebellion

I am really glad I picked up the audio version of this one. The narrator did a great job with the narration. I liked his voice for Ettian and it was pleasant to listen to. He did the other voices and even the female ones pretty well too. I especially liked his voice for Gal and Wen. I also liked how you could hear the emotion in his voice in some scenes, like when Ettian was happy or angry. It really came across in the narration, which was really well done. I definitely plan on listening to the rest of the series as well.

To summarize: I really enjoyed this action packed sci-fi book with a great romance. There is plenty of action, twists and turns. The plot gripped me from the start and I liked seeing where the story went. Ettian made for a great main character and I liked getting to know him. He was so loyal to his friends and I liked how deep his feeling for Gal went and how much he was willing to do for him. But it was also clear how conflicted he was later during the story. I liked their romance and how much they care for one another. Although I would’ve liked to get to know Gal a bit better and see how much he was willing to do for Ettian as now it felt like Ettian sacrificed so much more for Gal. The scifi world was well done with how we get a good feel for the political situation and how it impacts the galaxy. There are some great space and flying scenes as well. The narrator did a great job with this one. His voice was pleasant to listen to and I liked how he did the different voices. All in all I would definitely recommend this one to those who like action packed scifi stories with a MM romance.

4 Stars


You can also read my review on Goodreads and Bookbub.

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6 responses to “Review: Bonds of Brass by Emily Skrutski

  1. Now you make me wish I listened to it. Haha!

    Yes, I wanted to know Gal better, too. I’m hoping the next book switches and gives his POV. So exciting!

    • It really was good in audio. I hope I can listen to the rest of the series too. I have such a hard time finding male narrators that really work for me, but I would definitely listen to more books by this narrator.

      I hope we get more of Gal in future books. That would be interesting if the next book would be form his POV, after that ending I really want to know what’s going through his head.

      I am really happy I spotted this one on your blog and decided to give it a try 🙂

    • The cover is what caught my eye as well. It’s a great story, if you want to know more about it, just ask :). I hope you’ll can get the audiobook from your library. Let me know what you think if you get the chance to listen to it!

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