Book Reviews

The Last Emperor by Kari Gregg

Genre Gay / Paranormal / Shifters / MPreg / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Christy Duke on 22-February-2018

Book Blurb

The tribes were his to lose…and theirs to regain.

History taught that rebels executed the imperial family, including young Prince Nika Marisek, and hid the bodies in an unmarked grave. History was wrong.

Decades later, yarn shop owner Nick Goode reclaimed his identity to see his long-dead family decently buried. He’ll do whatever he must to persuade elders who now rule the tribes…even offer to abdicate. Some, however, seek to capitalize on Nick’s survival. Who better to drag the tribes from corruption into freedoms the rebellion had promised if not the prince who became one of the peasantry in exile?

Arit hates politics. When Elder Benjic, his estranged sire, shows up with the celebrity prince to fulfill a pre-war mating pact, Arit refuses. He craves strength on strength, the challenge of an alpha mating another alpha. A damaged omega who knits won’t do. Arit will guide them on an adventure tour exploring their wolf instincts; that’s his job. But that’s all he’ll do.

Except Nick isn’t an omega. He isn’t damaged. And if he seduces Arit to win Benjic’s support, Nick won’t give up his throne, either. He’ll risk everything to realize the ideals of the rebellion…and end his fate as the tribes’ last emperor.

CONTENT WARNING: palace intrigues, mpreg themes, shifter knotting, and two stubborn alphas who must learn to work together to save an empire

Book Review

The description for ‘The Last Emperor’ seemed to indicate an interesting mix of shifters, humans, politics, treachery, betrayal, and a love story between two very strong men both determined to eliminate the evil in their government, and return their world to what it should be. I looked forward to the worldbuilding to see if the promise of the blurb could, and would, play out.

I was mildly fascinated at the world description in the prologue as it appeared to directly mimic the fall of the Romanov dynasty and Czar Nicholas II’s abdication during the February Revolution of Russia in 1917. In fact, the author’s plot line imitated the story of Anastasia Romanov throughout the novel. The main difference, of course, lying in the paranormal aspect of ‘The Last Emperor’ with shifters referred to as tribes and humans looked down upon.

Nick has been raised in the land of men, aka humans, whose borders between their lands and the tribes were closed after the revolution ended. He has spent a considerable amount of time researching his birth parents and the causes of the revolution, and in no way is Nick unaware of the plight of his people - all of his people. He has made his plans to return to the tribes and expose himself as the sole remaining emperor and attempt to lead his people in the way that benefits all.

“Instead of freeing the people to grow and explore their respective roles and positions, the rebellion constricted what each of us are permitted to do and be. The tragedy was never that the peasantry rose up against us. Even my parents believed more needed to be done for the people. No, the tragedy wasn’t that the revolution happened—it was that the revolution failed.” … “The tribes have lost touch with who they are.”

In this world shifters who live in the capitol primarily remain in human form so many of them have never shifted, nor do they retain any basic knowledge about being a shifter. Arit and his dad own Shifter Frontiers up in the mountains where they take groups of capitol shifters and teach them about their shifter heritage. Arit is definitely not pleased to have the mating heat consume him when he first sets eyes upon Nick and he’s beyond furious when he discovers his sire has accompanied the group to Shifter Frontiers. Elder Benjic is a tribe leader who managed to retain a position of power and authority within the capitol even after the rebels took control. He sired a son, Arit, whom he abandoned in the Ural Mountains with Arit’s dad, before heading to the capital to make his way up the political ladder and amassing considerable power. It’s pretty safe to say that Arit has significant daddy issues.

“He wasn’t sure about a lot. Worry balled his gut. Fear shook him, but still, the desire to be a part of it, joining Nick in some mad quest to change their world, superseded Arit’s concerns and misgivings. Nick could succeed. Arit wanted it more than he wanted his simple life in the Urals, more than the satisfaction of defying his sire, more than anything. If Nick fought for them.”

As much as parts of the worldbuilding held my interest, there was much in this story which did not. There was a lot of repetition of descriptions, characters, and details that often became highly distracting. There were large gaps, in my opinion, of the worldbuilding which led me to have to guess, causing some frustration. There were a couple of good secondary characters but I truly didn’t care for Nick’s human best friend, Lydia. I felt as if the author had taken a strong female and made her a parody, making her every vocalization highly exaggerated. I did, however, really like Nick’s adopted brother, Rolan. These are only my opinions and I’m sure many would disagree with me.

Taken as a whole ‘The Last Emperor’ is a unique blend of paranormal, high fantasy, and urban fantasy. I was disappointed that I didn’t really get a feel for Nick or Arit, yet the ending left me thinking the author might write another book. I certainly hope she does as I think Nick and Arit have a lot more story to tell. I certainly would be interested in seeing the direction the tribes head in with Nick as their leader. Regardless, I liked both of the main characters and would love to see more of their romance and mating.

Overall, I believe the author is headed down a road that has the potential to be a very fascinating world. I definitely would enjoy seeing more.





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Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length , 206 pages/63369 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 27-December-2017
Price $4.99 ebook, $9.99 paperback
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