The Mirror Empire

The Mirror Empire

eBook - 2014
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"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. At the heart of this war lie the pacifistic Dhai people, once enslaved by the Saiduan and now courted by their former masters to provide aid against the encroaching enemy. Stretching from desolate tundra to steamy, semi-tropical climes seething with sentient plant life, this is an epic tale of blood mages and mercenaries, emperors and priestly assassins who must unite to save a world on the brink of 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 to save his skin; 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."--from publisher's description.
Publisher: Nottingham : Osprey Publishing Ltd, 2014
ISBN: 9780857665577
085766557X
Branch Call Number: eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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sophiegirl15
Jun 17, 2016

I've gotta say this one really grew on me; seemed like a reshuffling of age-old writing styles and ideas, but- out of nowhere- I was suddenly enthralled at the enormity, the scope, of the undertaking.

Refreshing to see some creative use for the gender-androgynity dealio goin on these days.

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gendeg
Sep 30, 2014

If there's one thing that can be said about Kameron Hurley, she is today's dominatrix spinner of yarns pushing the boundaries of genre fantasy. With The Mirror Empire (the debut book in her new Worldbreaker Saga series), she practically pokes out the eyes of the genre itself. Concept-wise, the book is just brilliant: There are two planes of existence, connected through a portal that one side is building. But there are terms and conditions (which I won't reveal here), which causes confusion, chaos, and mayhem. The themes of parallel identities and perspectives are rich ore for any writer of any genre to mine, and I admire Hurley's nerve. In The Mirror Empire, Hurley gives us a world where one people are the conquerors; in its counterpart, the same people are scattered pacifist tribes. Instant conflict. Hurley sets up the idea … and yet something falls flat.

The constant switching from character to character, even within chapters was abrupt and jarring. With two worlds, and potentially two of each character, I didn't trust my characters as I was reading them. "Which world am I in?" I kept asking myself.

Dark and imaginative, but ultimately in need of content editing and tightening, The Mirror Empire is a challenging read. But it's a worthy read just for the way it has enthusiastically defied so many fantasy conventions. Despite my reservations, I am eagerly anticipating Book 2.

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