Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Review: The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley

The Mirror Empire
(Worldbreaker Saga #1)
Kameron Hurley
 Release: August 26, 2014
Reviewer: Rose Red
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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.

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.
Review by Rose Red:
--> If you belong to the SFF community, I bet you’ve heard of The Mirror Empire since it has been promoted like no other. If you are part of the community and haven’t heard of it, what rock have you been hiding under?

I will admit that writing this review was not an easy task. Mainly that’s because I read this book slowly, like forty pages a day slowly. This book is definitely different and it was challenging in places. It’s really dark, guys. For the most part, this book blew me away. It's really intense. Kameron Hurley definitely deserves a slow clap for how imaginative this is and for the role gender plays in the story. I really haven’t read anything quite like it before.

This is a brilliant epic fantasy and it explores some interesting ideas on gender, roles, and relationships. It made me a little uncomfortable at times, but that’s a good thing. The Mirror Empire is definitely an amazing book that promises to be the start of an incredible series.

As much as I enjoyed this book, I would recommend picking it up blind. And by blind, I mean with no knowledge other than what was in the synopsis. Trust me, you just want to go into this book with no preconceived ideas on how the plot is going to go. So this post is going to be mostly a “ZOMG! GO READ THIS BOOK!” recommendation as well as a small discussion about how Hurley’s take on gender impressed me to no end.

So that being said, this isn’t going to be like most of my reviews. I’m not going to go into the plot or character development. I will say that this book reminds me of why I fell in love with this genre and why I continue to fall in love with it. The world building yielded an imaginative and fantastical world that is unrelenting and more than a bit frightening.

The storyline is a little confusing and it’s meant to be that way. Hurley is in full and complete control and you're just along for one hell of a ride. It’s engaging and the pacing is phenomenal! But what made this book for me was the use of gender in each of the different cultures in this world. For most of them, women are the dominant leaders in society. In some of the cultures, women are in complete control and men are just property. In others, women are the leaders but men have a more equal footing.

This book was amazing because this wasn’t just a gender flip. The female characters have jobs in every walk of life and are not just one type. And the male characters have diversified roles as well. I can’t wait to see what Hurley does with some of the characters.

Even though I read this slowly, I was fully immersed in the world. It was fantastic and it has haunted my thoughts since I finished. I will definitely be picking up the next book! With how dark this book is, I would recommend picking up a light book to read after this one.

**I received an eARC of this book from Angry Robot Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.**

 4 / 5 stars

1 comment:

  1. I've seen a lot of mixed reviews for this. I think I like yours the best ;-) I purchased this book a couple of days after it released and plan on reading it soon. Really looking forward to it. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


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