The world on the other side of the rift: Kelewan, a land seething with political intrigue and deadly conspiracies. Following the opulent panoply of Daughter Of The Empire and the dazzling pageantry of Servant Of The Empire comes the resounding conclusion to the Empire trilogy.
Besieged by spies and rival houses, stalked by a secret and merciless brotherhood of assassins, the brilliant Lady Mara of the Acoma faces the most deadly challenge she has ever known. The fearsome Black Robes see Mara as the ultimate threat to their ancient power. In search of allies who will join her against them, Mara must travel beyond civilization’s borders and even into the hives of the alien cho-ja. As those near and dear to her fall victim to many enemies, Mara cries out for vengeance. Drawing on all of her courage and guile she prepares to fight her greatest battle of all–for her life, her home, and the Empire itself.
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐
Overall this is one of my favourite series of all time. The breadth and scale of the story, the world and customs and characters is amazing. However, this is a disappointing final installment. It’s reasonably good and taking Mara out of the empire and bringing her to the brink of annihilation is inspired storytelling. Add in the changes in her relationships with her servants and the traditions of the empire mixed with a showdown between her and the Assembly backed up by the Cho-Ja and you have all the elements for an epic story.
However, it gets terribly bogged down in detail, becomes incredibly slow moving and is far too long. For the first 25% virtually nothing happens. However, it is definitely worth reading and it does bring a satisfying and complete conclusion to the trilogy.
Overall the collaboration between these two authors has resulted in the best of both and therefore better than either on their own. I’m glad I went back and revisited this series and it has inspired me to go back to others I read when I was much younger.
Second in Feist & Wurts’ wonderful epic trilogy — one of the most successful fantasy collaborations of all time THE EMPIRE TRILOGY: BOOK II Nobody knows how to play the Game of the Council better than Mara of the Acoma. But when you’re surrounded by deadly rivals intent on toppling you at every turn, you need to be the best simply to survive!
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I very much enjoyed returning to this series when I read the first installment back in February. It was hugely enjoyable but despite the 5star review I felt there was something missing and that I had enjoyed it more when I read it years ago. I put it down to a combination of rose-tinted glasses and changing tastes over the years.
However, picking up this book again made it clear to me that this series improves as you go through it. This is an epic story. The setting, the characters and the storylines are all amazing. It’s a perfect example of two authors collaborating to bring out the absolute best in each other.
No matter what I say I won’t be able to describe how good this book is or how much I enjoyed it. Just go and read it but make sure that you start at the beginning.
Magic and murder engulf the realm of Kelewan. Fierce warlords ignite a bitter blood feud to enslave the empire of Tsuranuanni. While in the opulent Imperial courts, assassins and spy-master plot cunning and devious intrigues against the rightful heir. Now Mara, a young, untested Ruling lady, is called upon to lead her people in a heroic struggle for survival. But first she must rally an army of rebel warriors, form a pact with the alien cho-ja, and marry the son of a hated enemy. Only then can Mara face her most dangerous foe of all–in his own impregnable stronghold. An epic tale of adventure and intrigue. Daughter of the Empire is fantasy of the highest order by two of the most talented writers in the field today.
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
On my review of the final Liveship Traders book I said that it was one of the series of books that I read a long time ago but have always stuck with me. This is one of the others. I’d say this is definitely the third but possibly the fourth time I’ve read this brilliant series.
I’m a big fan of Feist and I’ve also enjoyed a couple of Wurts‘ books. This collaboration takes the best of both authors and combines them into a very original and fantastically complex story.
The story is completely set on the Tsurani world of Kelewan first introduced by Feist in the first Riftwar Saga Magician and runs at approximately the same timeline. The Tsurani live in a society dominated by honour and magic with families constantly in conflict in the political and deadly Game of the Council. The society and customs are clearly influenced by the eastern cultures of ancient Japan and China but with enough originality to make it feel alien.
This first book of the series builds the foundation of Mara as leader of one of the oldest families and how her life is turned upside down by the betrayal and murder of her father and brother. She is forced to turn her back on the religious life and take control of the family to prevent its total destruction by their enemies.
It is a refreshing change to see a strong female character at the heart of an old fantasy story. Feist has been criticised for his treatment of women during the Riftwar Saga but he very much overcomes that with the Empire Trilogy with obvious influences from Wurts.
The first novel in the The Circle of Fire trilogy. As a new plot threatens mankind’s survival, three children stand at the crux. All possess extraordinary talents, but each of them is flawed. In need of all their help is the Stormwarden, last Vaere-trained sorcerer, condemned now and trapped in a desperate quandry.
My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟
This is the second book that I’ve read by Janny Wurts that she has written on her own. I’ve been determined to like her as an author as she co-authored one of my favourite all time series of books with Raymond E. Feist – The Empire Trilogy.
The previous book was To Ride Hell’s Chasm and although this is a very different story, the two of them are based around sorcery and a conflict between demons and humanity.
I’m not sure if it was me that found this book hard to get into or if it’s the style of her writing but I found it hard work. The characters of Taen, Emien and Jaric have all the potential of many classic fantasy characters as do supporting characters Tathagres and Telemark but bringing the elements together felt formulaic and forced. The whole mind training of Taen and the concept of the Vaere felt wrong. This blending of fantasy and science fiction has worked really well for other authors (Anne McCaffrey in particular) but not for me this time.
I think I’ll read at least one more book in the series as it has potential and it may just have been the wrong time for me to read this book.