Loyalties are tested when worlds collide…
Every two thousand years, the dark star Oma appears in the sky, bringing with it a tide of death and destruction. And those who survive must contend with friends and enemies newly imbued with violent powers. The kingdom of Saiduan already lies in ruin, decimated by invaders from another world who share the faces of those they seek to destroy.
Now the nation of Dhai is under siege by the same force. Their only hope for survival lies in the hands of an illegitimate ruler and a scullery maid with a powerful – but unpredictable –magic. As the foreign Empire spreads across the world like a disease, one of their former allies takes up her Empress’s sword again to unseat them, and two enslaved scholars begin a treacherous journey home with a long-lost secret that they hope is the key to the Empire’s undoing.
But when the enemy shares your own face, who can be trusted?
In this devastating sequel to The Mirror Empire, Kameron Hurley transports us back to a land of blood mages and sentient plants, dark magic, and warfare on a scale that spans worlds.
File Under: Fantasy [ Empire on Fire | Duplicates at War | The Royal Exchange | All Will Fall ]
About the Author
Her essay on the history of women in conflict“We Have Always Fought” was the first blog post to win a Hugo Award. It was also nominated for Best Non-Fiction work by the British Fantasy Society.
Hurley is the author of God’s War, Infidel, and Rapture, a science-fantasy noir series which earned her the Sydney J. Bounds Award for Best Newcomer and the Kitschy Award for Best Debut Novel. Her latest novel, The Mirror Empire is published by Angry Robot Books. and the sequel, Empire Ascendant, will be out in October 2015. Her first space opera, The Stars are Legion, will be published from Simon and Schuster’s Saga imprint in fall of 2016.
She has won the Hugo Award twice, and been a finalist for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, Nebula Award, the Locus Award and the BSFA Award for Best Novel. Additionally, her work has been included on the Tiptree Award Honor List and been long-listed for the Gemmell Morningstar Award.
Hurley’s short fiction has appeared in magazines such as Lightspeed, EscapePod, and Strange Horizons, and anthologies such as The Lowest Heaven, The Mammoth Book of SF Stories by Women,Year’s Best SF and the upcoming Meeting Infinity. Her work has been translated into Romanian, Swedish, German, Hebrew, Chinese, Spanish and Russian. She is also a graduate of Clarion West, and writes regular columns for Locus Magazine.
In addition to her writing, Hurley has been a Stollee guest lecturer at Buena Vista University and taught copywriting at the School of Advertising Art. Hurley currently lives in Ohio, where she’s cultivating an urban homestead.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I gave it a four because the story simply doesn't engage me in anticipation. If I never learn the fate of these characters I will experience no loss. There is no one here is feel vested in, few are even likable. And yet what the author has done with gender roles and sexual dynamics is fascinating.
Things really got moving in this book and it had a lot of surprises . One thing I can say about this series....it is not predictable
Many series, trilogies in particular, seem to struggle with "second book syndrome," in which an audience doesn't necessarily follow the story past the first installment. I'll be astounded if Kameron Hurley's Worldbreaker Saga suffers that fate, and will go so far as to say that anyone who enjoyed THE MIRROR EMPIRE would be foolish not to pick up EMPIRE ASCENDANT. While I struggled at times to get through the heavy worldbuilding in THE MIRROR EMPIRE, only feeling like I had any idea what was going on after a second read, I had no such issues with EMPIRE ASCENDANT. Part of that was due to my existing familiarity with the setting and characters, but the rapid developments in the war across worlds contributed. Perhaps even more engaging for me were the few hints at the mechanism behind the splitting of worlds and a possible resolution to the impending catastrophe facing them all. As usual, Hurley's characters are fully three-dimensional with clear motivations; they are sometimes sympathetic, often dislikable, but always believable. They also end up in some of the most miserable situations in political, personal, and often physical terms. In other words, par for the course for a Hurley novel. The increasing horror of the worlds-wide situation can weigh nearly as heavily on the reader as on the players, but you're probably not reading Hurley to begin with if you only like your fiction light and fluffy. I found that going in knowing full well that a large number of characters wouldn't make it to the end of the book helped me be resigned, as most of them were, to their unpleasant fates. This is not a comfortable universe to visit, but it is an engaging one. The broad variety of cultures, social positions, and personalities make for a rich experience and a complex plot that draws the reader close before disemboweling them with a feral grin that says, "what were you expecting?" Now that I can see a vague shadow of the origin of the broken worlds looming in the background, ominous as Oma, I'm doubly eager to see who comes out the other side of the war, and who still recognizes themselves among the ashes. It's going to be so hard to wait until 2017 for the conclusion in THE BROKEN HEAVENS!
Loved every page.