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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Empire's Daughter, the first volume of a projected fantasy series from Australian author Simon Brown, chronicles the adventures of exiled prince Maddyn Kevleren, as he and a company of outcasts and refugees set out on a perilous quest to start a new colony across the Deepening Sea.
The Hamilay Empire, the greatest power the realm has ever known, is ruled by the Kevleren, an extended family with the ability to utilize Sefid (magic) through blood sacrifice, known as Wielding. The greater the sacrifice -- a beloved servant, for example -- the more powerful the Wielding. General Maddyn Kevleren is one of the few royal family members who cannot Wield, and when a torrid love affair with a frighteningly powerful second cousin goes bad, he is forced into exile to escape her vengeance.
But Maddyn's destination, Kydan, is not exactly a sanctuary. Having just experienced its own bloody revolution two years earlier, Kydan is a trade-rich country coveted by two warring empires, Hamilay and Rivald. When Maddyn and his contingent finally reach Kydan, they find that political intrigue, betrayal, greed -- and one scorned woman's revenge -- have followed them around the world.
Fans of Brown's Keys of Power trilogy (Inheritance, Fire and Sword, and Sovereign) should make it a point to seek out the first installment of this exciting new series, which is reminiscent of Raymond E. Feist's Midkemia chronicles and Mercedes Lackey's Valdemar novels -- action-packed sagas powered by compelling characters and masterfully intricate plotlines. Paul Goat Allen