Echoes and Empires (Echoes and Empires #1)

Content Overview

Overall Content



Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking


Intimacy, Sex, Immodesty


Violence, Weapons, Crime, Blood


Potentially Intense Themes


**As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 

Morgan Rhodes

A snarky seventeen-year-old must team up with an enigmatic criminal to cure herself of dangerous forbidden magic in the first book of a new fantasy duology from Morgan Rhodes, the New York Times bestselling author of the Falling Kingdoms series.

Josslyn Drake knows only three things about magic: it’s rare, illegal, and always deadly. So when she’s caught up in a robbery gone wrong at the Queen’s Gala and infected by a dangerous piece of magic—one that allows her to step into the memories of an infamously evil warlock—she finds herself living her worst nightmare. Joss needs the magic removed before it corrupts her soul and kills her. But in Ironport, the cost of doing magic is death, and seeking help might mean scheduling her own execution. There’s nobody she can trust.

Nobody, that is, except wanted criminal Jericho Nox, who offers her a deal: his help extracting the magic in exchange for the magic itself. And though she’s not thrilled to be working with a thief, especially one as infuriating (and infuriatingly handsome) as Jericho, Joss is desperate enough to accept.

But Jericho is nothing like Joss expects. The closer she grows with Jericho and the more she sees of the world outside her pampered life in the city, the more Joss begins to question the beliefs she’s always taken for granted—beliefs about right and wrong, about power and magic, and even about herself.

In an empire built on lies, the truth may be her greatest weapon.

-Excerpt taken from Goodreads.

Check Goodreads to see the book’s ratings.

My Opinion

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5) A sassy and privileged 17yo Josslyn lives with her friend’s family after her father is shot and killed. At a gala, magical art is stolen and Josslyn unknowingly interferes, accidentally releasing the magic onto herself.

She embarks on a journey to rid herself of this evil magic. Magic users are seen as corrupt and are imprisoned or killed. So when Jericho, the thief, promises her the release from the magic, she hesitantly agrees.

Ok, this is not an unusual story line, however, it was done well and was still unique. I’ve read Rhodes other book Fallen Kingdom and felt it had promise, but the writing fell flat. In this book, the writing is done well and I was entertained the entire time. The characters have better development and they’re easier to connect to. Along with an exciting story with great pacing, I was definitely impressed.

I loved Joss questioning what she had been taught BUT ALSO learning the truth for herself. I love a character with sass, growth and questions and Joss has it all. Throw in Jericho who is self-righteous, snarky and kind of a jerk, but for some reason I found him endearing. It’s a slow burn romance with enemies-to-lovers, banter and all sorts of adventure!

Content Summary: The language has a high number but note there are no F words so that is a win in my book. Any sort of intimacy is hardly existent, but there was drinking (underage) and getting drunk. The violence was there with a few details but nothing that I felt was out of hand. The one to most note is some torture but details were minimal.

Thank you to Penguin Teen for the gifted copy in exchange for an honest review.

The book releases January 4, 2021.

Detailed Content Review



H***- 62

S***- 9

A**- 7

B****- 5

D***- 46

Bas****- 2

Religious Cursing



G**- 26


Derogatory terms etc-


Alcohol, Drugs, Smoking

A young woman is given wine at a celebration. She finishes and grabs another, then another. Others drink wine and after her fourth wine, she starts to feel numb.

A man uses a dust to knock many people out. 

Many drink alcohol.

A young woman and woman drink homemade alcohol. 

A young woman and woman drink homemade alcohol. 

A man has many empty alcohol bottles and is slurring. 

A young woman goes to bed “buzzed” from homemade alcohol.

Many drink alcohol at a celebration. A man and young woman drink wine. She gets drunk. 

A young woman sips wine. A man is drunk. 

Intimacy, Sex, Immodesty
*Very minor LGBTQ+ aspects included* 

A woman admits to previously falling in love with a woman. They are in a current relationship. 

A young woman grabs a man and kisses him passionately. 

Violence, Weapons, Crime, Blood

A father has previously been shot and killed. 

Previously, a man used magic to send fire onto a building, killing many, including a teen son. 

A man fights many guards, knocking them out.

A young woman finds her friend and others unconscious on the floor. A man is standing nearby. She knees him in the groin. She later fights him when he tries to take her. 

In a vision, a man is held captive with his hands above his head, tied to the ceiling then he is punched in the gut.

A man holds a gun to a man.

A young woman is taken captive.

A man holds a gun to a man and steals his car.

A young woman remembers when her father was shot, blood covering his chest and her dress as he stumbled. 

A man’s hand has been cut off as a punishment.

A man shoots a man. Blood covers a young woman’s hands as she helps him. He falls to the ground as blood pools on the ground. 

A vision shows a man burning a building. Many died. 

A man remembers being impaled by a sword. 

Two men attack a man, he kicks one and breaks the other’s arm with a snap. 

A young man throws a man, knocking him out. A woman is standing then falls to the ground dying as a ”dried out husk.”. A young man grabs a man by the throat and leaves him dead like a husk also. 

In a vision, a man slices the throats of a man’s wife right in front of him. 

A prisoner has been beaten and claims broken ribs. A man punches him in the face, blood pouring from his mouth. He is hit again. 

A man tackles a man, knocking him out. He holds another against the wall. 

Potentially Intense Themes

A young woman deals with high social anxiety.

Previously a man died after a tragic fall. 

A building is on fire, many are scrambling to get out. 

A man’s parents were previously killed, orphaning him and his brother.

**Any quotes from the book may be taken from the advance copy and therefore may not be fully accurate or correctly compare to the final copy of the book.

**As an Amazon associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 


  1. Keeping a subject or storyline unique is important to me too. I read a lot of fantasy. A lot! So sometimes the story can start similar. I’m always happy when I can say,” OK. Didn’t see that coming.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.