The Mirror Empire, Paperback
4 out of 5 (5 ratings)

Description

On the eve of a recurring catastrophic event known to extinguish nations and reshape continents, a troubled orphan evades death and slavery to uncover her own bloody past - while a world goes to war with itself.

In the frozen kingdom of Saiduan, invaders from another realm are decimating whole cities, leaving behind nothing but ash and ruin.

As the dark star of the cataclysm rises, an illegitimate ruler is tasked with holding together a country fractured by civil war, a precocious young fighter is asked to betray his family and a half-Dhai general must choose between the eradication of her father's people or loyalty to her alien Empress.

Through tense alliances and devastating betrayal, the Dhai and their allies attempt to hold against a seemingly unstoppable force as enemy nations prepare for a coming together of worlds as old as the universe itself.

In the end, one world will rise - and many will perish.

Information

  • Format: Paperback
  • Publisher: Watkins Media
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Science fiction
  • ISBN: 9780857665553

£8.99

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Reviews

Showing 1 - 5 of 5 reviews.

Review by
2

I’d been sufficiently impressed by Hurley’s Bel Dame Apocrypha to overcome any reluctance I might have at reading a secondary-world fantasy. I’d also seen a lot of positivity for this book on social media. So it would not be unfair to say my expectations were reasonably high… And yet, as I read it, I just couldn’t get that excited. Partly, it was the casual brutality – in particular, a world in which a people have been enslaved for thousands of years and their masters are now slaughtering them like cattle. Fight-scenes, even battles, are one thing, but the systematic butchery in The Mirror Empire read more like an attempt to up the ante in grimdark’s brutality arms race, and I’ve yet to be convinced such a race is even a good thing. The much-touted five-genders – a neat idea – is only mentioned half a dozen times in passing, and matriarchal societies in epic fantasy are not actually all that new… But. The world-building was mostly done well, even if it does take a while to get the hang of things; and the characters were (relatively) sympathetic, although some were more successful than others. But the plot really does take a long time to get into gear, and you’re two-thirds through the book before any kind of shape becomes apparent. As epic fantasies go, The Mirror Empire is not as innovative as has been claimed, although it’s plainly a notable, if overly dark, example of the genre. More than anything, it put me in mind of Ricardo Pinto’s Stone Dance of the Chameleon trilogy, although they’re the better books. I don’t think I’ll be bothering with volume 2 of the Worldbreaker Saga. I will, however, give Hurley’s new sf series a go when that appears.

Review by
4

Very good opening for the series with interesting world-building and characters. The multiverse approach isn't one I have seen used in fantasy before. The sexual politics seem overdone and didn't really add to the story, but i will definitely be on the lookout for future volumes of the series and Ms.Hurley's other work.

Review by
4

So… I made the mistake of reading The Language of Knives (short story) at the same time as this. And the two paired just give a whole new meaning to bringing relatives to dinner. Okay, having said that, and having read the Bel Dame Apocrypha, I knew what I was getting into here: Hurley is a master (mistress?) of the creation of TRULY unique worlds with intricate worldbuilding, but also being able to delicately throw that information at the reader. I have absolutely zero doubt that she’s figured out plumbing for each of her cultures, but she has the grace not to explain it to the reader. I have to admit that most of her writing leaves me in the mind of China Mieville, who I consider the king of the New Weird genre, but honestly? I think she’s better at it. Unfortunately for me, I’m not a huge fan of New Weird, so while I enjoyed the uniqueness of the setting, it also had a tendency to get under my skin. THIS IS NOT TO SAY this is not an awesome book, because it is -- it is to say that I’m not one for this much complexity in my reading.

Review by
5

This was not an easy book to read. It's damned confusing, but it's also wildly imaginative and like nothing I've ever read before.

Review by
4

So… I made the mistake of reading The Language of Knives (short story) at the same time as this. And the two paired just give a whole new meaning to bringing relatives to dinner. Okay, having said that, and having read the Bel Dame Apocrypha, I knew what I was getting into here: Hurley is a master (mistress?) of the creation of TRULY unique worlds with intricate worldbuilding, but also being able to delicately throw that information at the reader. I have absolutely zero doubt that she’s figured out plumbing for each of her cultures, but she has the grace not to explain it to the reader. I have to admit that most of her writing leaves me in the mind of China Mieville, who I consider the king of the New Weird genre, but honestly? I think she’s better at it. Unfortunately for me, I’m not a huge fan of New Weird, so while I enjoyed the uniqueness of the setting, it also had a tendency to get under my skin. THIS IS NOT TO SAY this is not an awesome book, because it is -- it is to say that I’m not one for this much complexity in my reading.

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