The Empire’s Ghost by Isabelle Steiger – Review

Posted May 23, 2020 by Tina in Book Review, Books / 0 Comments

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The Empire’s Ghost by Isabelle Steiger – ReviewThe Empire's Ghost
Series: Paths of Lantistyne #1
by Isabelle Steiger
Find the Author: Website, Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon
Published by Macmillan
on May 16, 2017
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Epic, General
Amazon / KABO / BookShop / IndieBound / BWBooks
Source: Purchased

The Empire’s Ghost by Isabelle Steiger is the first book in the Paths of Lantistyne series. An epic fantasy with returning magic, power-hungry rulers, and mysterious events.

The Empire’s Ghost Summary

This is a super oversimplified summary. But there is so much that it will explain the gist of what sets everything in motion.

Elgar is a very ambitious man and wants to unite the whole continent under one ruler. He has taken Valyanrend, Aurnis, and Lanvaldis under his rule. He just needs Reglay, Esthrades, and Issamira.

It’s been 3 years since Elgar took Lanvaldis. It took a lot more supplies and men to take Lanvaldis then originally anticipated. But now both are rested up and replenished. It is time to strike Reglay and Esthrades. But there are rumors that the new ruler in Esthrades can weld magic, so battle plans need to be perfect. But the ruler of Esthrades isn’t the only rumor of magic. Elgar thinks he could get the upper hand if he would find and possess a possible magical item. If this item is what he thinks it to be he could easily unseat Esthrades.

Until he gets Esthrades, Issamire with be impossible to overtake. So he turns his focus on finding this magical item and battle plans for Reglay. But like all wars, not everything goes as planned.

The Empire’s Ghost Review


The characters were kind of all over the board. There were some I really cared about. Like Seth, Seren, Lucius, and Roger kinda. Roger gets annoying but I think that is intended. Then there were some I had no idea why they were in the book. Like Monkey, Monkey’s sister, at this point but I’m sure he has a big part to play later Shinsei. Kel at first I did not care about a all. But at the coronation, he changed and became an interesting one to watch. There are a lot of characters. It got to the point where I was logging the characters to tract them. Then halfway through it started introducing a whole new set of characters, I was like forget it because it was to much work.

Atmosphere: This is where the book shined. The world-building was well thought out. Each area and people were unique to one another. You felt sad when someone would talk about a fallen city and lost culture that is now under Elgar’s rule. Especially with Lucius who was from Aurnis. I found his culture super interesting.


The story is told from several different points of view. It jumps from person to person often, picking up where you left off but sometimes not. It can be hard to keep track of. There are also subplots that don’t make sense to me at all. I’m assuming they will be explained in the coming books.

I don’t feel like the book ended. I don’t feel like there was a strong enough conclusion. So if you just follow the storyline of Elgar figuring out who he will attack next then yes he does attack and then there was a result but that was kind of it for me. I don’t need a nice neat ending where everything is explained but I do like more then what this book gave me.

It is really slow to action for the first 60 something pages. I was pretty annoyed that there was a big build-up to a fight scene and then it cut to the end of the fight scene. If felt kind of gypped, for over 50 pages we are strung along with an adventure, and then we get to the end of it. Then she cuts to after the fight happens. I wanted to see what happened. How did they accomplish what they were set out to do? Nope, just the bloody mess after. That was super irritating.

The Empire's Ghost by Isabelle Steiger Book Cover

It wasn’t until the coronation that I got super sucked in. Then a lot of characters got together. There was a good dialog. There was posturing, power plays, mysterious things started to be revealed. I would say this is where the story came alive.


I did enjoy parts of this book. the second half much more than the first half. I also enjoyed reading it will the audiobook. I’m interest to see what the second book brings. I hope that it answers most of the questions I still have.

Reading Diary

My thoughts while reading the book. I would not recommend reading this section if you have not read the book yet! There are SPOILERS!

I have started to make a chart of the characters. Page 45

Valaren’s inner monolog is my favorite.
“My Lord you are being– Petulant or childish would try Elgar’s patience needlessly, and even deliberately combative wasn’t safe enough to risk.”

Varalen wasn’t sure whether to laugh or to bang his head against the table, but he wisely decided against both.

I herd this book was slow but man! Chapter 5

Finally we get some action! Jail Break P 67

Sneaky there Elgar. Sending Lucius and crew on a quest for a vaguely explain item that he doesn’t trust his own guards to get. But holding their friend’s hostage so they can steal it for there get out of jail free card. Finally some action!!!!! Page 90

Page 100 there are storylines that are still kind of stagnant and I don’t yet understand. For example Kel has only whined about his sister having to marry a prince in another country to form an alliance. And so far that is his whole plotline. Shinsei has a mental episode but nothing is explained. Arianrod Margarine who is ruling Esthrades is super feared but we have only met her in the prologue.

Totally digging Almsay. Seth’s innocence is sweet!

“I’d rather live the way I choose, without leaving anything I want undone because I’m too weak or scrupulous to accomplish it” Seren

I’m wondering how Morgan and Broddock got unchained? Oh I get it nevermind.

She skips over the shrine action and just skips to the conversation after? There better be a good reason for this. A little irritated but still digging Seren Almsay. p146

We are finally taken to Esthrades on p165

Seren was not entirely convinced. “When was the last time you held a blade?” Arianrod laughed. “Why, several hours ago, when I cut my cheese. It was a valiant battle, but I assure you the cheese came out the worse for it.” p 176 Arianrod Margarine is great.

More characters? How many more can this book have? I just got used to the first set of characters now there seems to be a whole new cast.

Loving the coronation! Kel is holding his own! Elgar and Arianrod’s posturing is comical!


“No hair in the soup that indeed is true wisdom” hahahaha

Gravis your a bad Mama Gama!!!!

About Isabelle Steiger

Isabelle Steiger read her first novel at age five: THE BOXCAR CHILDREN, discovered on a shelf in her kindergarten classroom. By about page twenty, she’d decided upon two things: This is my favorite thing I’ve ever done, and When I grow up, I’m going to make these. She stands by those decisions to this day.

Posted May 23, 2020 by Tina in Book Review, Books / 0 Comments