Title: Dawn of an Empire
Author: Emma Slate
Publisher/Year: Tabula Rosa Publishing 3/3/21
Length: 158 Pages
Series: Sins #4
How does a man become a villain?
Igor Dolinsky knows violence.
It’s his past, present, and future.
When he meets Maryruth, a fearless, beautiful woman who puts him in his place, Igor dares to hope for something different.
Determined to leave the world he was born into, he wants nothing more than to marry the girl and live happily ever after.
But empires are built on bloodlines.
When you’re heir to the Russian mob, walking away isn’t an option.
But Igor is a lion.
They have no idea what they’ve just done…
I love a good side novella and this one really gave us some color and context that we never got from the big series. We are focused on Igor Dolinsky – the head of the Russian Mafia and how he kidnaps Barrett and some how manages to make her develop some weird emotions towards him. Its through Igor that we met Sasha as well and we see what their relationship was as well.
There’s so much more to Igor than we got from the first book, and the story that made the man into who he became was one that makes you wish that things were different. We knew that he played the viola and in this novella we get the story how it was passed down from his great great grandfather and how on his mother’s deathbed, he played for her and it was their bond. There are strong memories that are brought up each time he plays and that shows us that how he felt towards Barrett was real and not based on revenge.
Throughout this story, we see that Igor was put into a position that he wasn’t happy about and that he actually wanted to change the way things were done. He had more support than his farther who ran the mafia, and he had a vision on how to make things better. He was more sensitive than hard, yet he knew how to play that game. When his father pushed him against walls, he found ways to push back.
It took falling in love with a woman who wasn’t available to make change really take shape. He no longer accepted the arranged marriage put in front of him and he no longer accepted that he could wait until the right moment to over throw his father. He needed to take a stand at that moment.
His father has eyes everywhere and sought out ways to hurt and embarrass Igor.
His father has more power than Igor gave him credit for, and used those who Igor felt were allies to hurt him and bring him to his knees.
His father therefore underestimated the end result, and that’s where our story leaves us.
The side bit about Sahsa though – is that we learn that he and Igor knew each other from a young age and truly were the best of friends. We saw how in the first installments, Sasha had Igors back until he couldn’t support Barrett’s treatment and then helped Barrett overthrow him. So there’s definitely redeeming qualities that stemmed from even before Barrett and i’m excited to see his story take shape in Ember – the next novella installment. Enjoy!