The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley
(Description nicked from B&N.com.)
“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.”
Oh, you guys, this book. This book. It has been a burr under my saddle for months now. I’ve heard tons of praise for it. I even got an in-person recommendation for it from John Scalzi when I want to one of his signings a couple of months back. And yet, this book and I did not get along.
Oh, I tried to warm up to it. I cracked it open (metaphorically, since I got it as an e-ARC) when I first got it, buoyed by all the good things I’d heard. I didn’t make it very far before turning to other books. So I tried again, a month or so later. I got a bit further, but again, the lure of other, shinier books was too much. I figured, “Third time’s the charm,” so I gave it one more try. I got about a third of the way through and finally, reluctantly, gave up.
Please understand, I’m not saying that this book is bad, or poorly written, or sloppily plotted. I didn’t get the sense of any of that; rather, I got the sense that this particular book just wasn’t appealing to me at this time, for whatever reason. Like I said, I’ve heard some sincere praise of this novel, and I think that, to the right reader, this would be an amazing acquisition. That reader just isn’t me.
I don’t usually review books that I don’t finish, but I wanted to touch on this one, since I tried it a few times without success. Check out the synopsis above and give a thought to this one, because, who knows?… this may be your next great read.
Series: The Worldbreaker Saga
Publisher: Angry Robot
Page Count: 544
Publication Date: August 26, 2014
Acquired: Provided by the publisher as an e-ARC through NetGalley