Book Review

Empire’s Reckoning – Marian L Thorpe

When I heard that Marian L Thorpe was writing a follow up trilogy to Empire’s Legacy, I was over the moon, and I am delighted to be able to introduce it to you all today, as I join the blog tour for Empire’s Reckoning, the first book in the new series. Many thanks to Marian, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources, for inviting me to be a part of the tour, and for providing me with a copy of the book.

BLURB:

How many secrets does your family have?

For 13 years, Sorley has taught music alongside the man he loves, war and betrayal nearly forgotten. But behind their calm and ordered life, there are hidden truths. When a young girl’s question demands an answer, does he break the most important oath he has ever sworn by lying – or tell the truth, risking the destruction of both his family and a fragile political alliance?

Empire’s Reckoning asks if love – of country, of an individual, of family – can be enough to leave behind the expectations of history and culture, and to chart a way to peace.

BOOK ONE OF THE EMPIRE’S REPRISE SERIES

PURCHASE LINKS:

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Empires Reckoning front cover

REVIEW:

Let me start by saying if you haven’t already read the Empire’s Legacy trilogy, go away and do that now, and then come back to read this review. Although I think there is enough backstory in Empire’s Reckoning for it to make sense if you picked it up with reading the first trilogy, you will be missing out on a really wonderful series if you don’t read it, and it adds so much depth to this book too. I also thoroughly recommend reading the novella Oraiáphon in between the two trilogies. It is a wonderful book, and offers a deeply emotional insight into what happens immediately after the Battle of the Taiva at the end of Empire’s Exile. It also works as a really good way of easing you in to the narrator change that occurs for Empire’s Reckoning.

Getting back to Empire’s Reckoning, I am pleased to report that I loved this book just as much, if not more, than the Empire’s Legacy trilogy. It has a gentler, more emotional feel to it than the first trilogy, which I feel is reflective of the differences between Lena and Sorley’s personalities. Sorley has long been a favourite of mine and him picking up the narrative felt like the perfect way to move forward. Empire’s Reckoning is a tale of love and shared history, and could really only be told by a scaeli of Linrathe.

Picking up some years after the end of Empire’s Exile, Empire’s Reckoning offers a fascinating look at what happened next for some of the much loved characters, and gave an insight into how they had changed and grown in the intervening years. That said, as much as liked reading about where everyone was now, it was the slow unpeeling of the years between the two books that I really enjoyed, seeing how each of them got to the point they were now at, and unveiling the intricacies of their relationships and betrayals.

Often with fantasy and alternate world books, it is easy to completely separate them from the reality of the world that we live in, and I think it is testament to Marian L Thorpe’s writing skill that this book really made me stop and think about various prejudices that exist throughout the world, and how these can be set aside to create something better.

I could gush about this book for ages, but that would eat into valuable reading time for you, so instead I will let you head off to your favourite outlet for books so you can buy all five of the books set in this wonderfully rich world and settle down for a few happy days reading.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Empires Hostage AuthorNot content with two careers as a research scientist and an educator, Marian L Thorpe decided to go back to what she’d always wanted to do and be a writer. Author of the medieval trilogy Empire’s Legacy and the companion novella Oraiáphon, described as ‘historical fiction of another world’, Marian also has published short stories and poetry. Her life-long interest in Roman and post-Roman European history informs her novels, while her avocations of landscape archaeology and birding provide background to her settings. Empire’s Reckoning is the first of a planned trilogy, Empire’s Reprise.

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Make sure you visit the other blogs that make up the tour for this book.

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Book Review

Empire’s Exile – Marian L Thorpe

Today marks a sad day for me, as I reach the end of the Empire’s Legacy trilogy, and join the blog tour for the final instalment, Empire’s Exile. Many thanks to Marian for providing me with copies of all the books in this fantastic series, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to be a part of each of the blog tours.

BLURB:

“We cannot shape the circumstances to fit our lives, only our lives to fit the circumstances. What defines us, as men and women, is how we respond to those circumstances.”

Exiled from the Empire as a traitor, Casyn’s words echo in Lena’s mind. Determined to find Casil, the legendary city of beauty and learning, she travels into long-unknown lands. Her experiences in the first winter leave her scarred and afraid, but resolving to heal, and supported by an unexpected love, she continues her search. A chance meeting with envoys from the Empire and Linrathe, desperately seeking help from Casil, forces her to a difficult decision. Struggling to keep faith with her choices, facing the almost-certain destruction of her land and her people, Lena’s journey takes her to a deeper understanding of loyalty, sacrifice, and the dimensions of love.

You can purchase your copy of the book here.

Empires_Exile_Cover_for_Kindle

REVIEW:

As many of you will already know, I enjoyed the first two books of the Empire’s Legacy trilogy, Empire’s Daughter and Empire’s Hostage, enormously, so it is no small thing for me to announce that Empire’s Exile is my runaway favourite of all three. The familiarity of the characters combined with their being in entirely alien circumstances meant that I could enjoy the comfort of being amongst old friends, whilst being swept away on a brand new adventure.

I loved witnessing the slow development of Lena and Cillian’s friendship and found myself desperate to speed ahead to see if they get the ending that I hoped for. Seeing their interactions with the communities they encountered over the course of their exile, and how they were changed by the new relationships that were forged made for absolutely fascinating reading, as once again Marian succeeds in creating numerous unique societies each with their own rules and customs.

As the story progressed and the characters I have grown to love were forced to take separate pathways, I found myself torn between being entirely engrossed by the book, and the nagging sensation of needing to know just what was going on with the other characters. At times, it was quite torturous not knowing if I would ever see them again.

Empire’s Exile draws the trilogy to a close beautifully, although I do feel that I need to have words with Marian about the heart-stopping conclusion! I may never be the same again!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Empires Hostage AuthorNot content with two careers as a research scientist and an educator, Marian L Thorpe decided to go back to what she’d always wanted to do and be a writer. Author of the alternative world medieval trilogy Empire’s Legacy, Marian also has published short stories and poetry. Her life-long interest in Roman and post-Roman European history informs her novels, while her avocations of landscape archaeology and birding provide background to her settings.

 

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Twitter

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GIVEAWAY:

Win a Paperback copy of Empire’s Legacy, the complete trilogy (Open Internationally)

Empires Legacy ebook

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter link below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.

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Make sure you visit the other blogs taking part in this tour to read more about this great book.

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Book Review

Empire’s Hostage – Marian L Thorpe

Today marks the return of Marian L Thorpe, with Empire’s Hostage, book two in her Empire’s Legacy series. Many thanks to Marian, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources, for inviting me to take part in the blog tour, and for providing me with a copy of the book. You can read my review of Empire’s Daughter, book one in the trilogy here.

BLURB:

For fifteen months, the Empire and the northern people have been at war, but a truce is finally at hand. As part of this treaty, Lena, now a Guardswoman on the Wall, is asked to stand as a hostage, to go north to live and learn among the people of Linrathe. But not everyone there will welcome her. As Lena learns more of the history of both her land and the north, a new threat emerges, one that will test her loyalty to its limits, and in the end, demand a price she could not have envisioned.

PURCHASE LINKS:

Purchase here

Hostage ebook cover

REVIEW:

As Lena’s adventures take her north of the Wall, as a hostage to the people of Linrathe, Empire’s Hostage becomes a voyage of discovery through the history of the Empire, Linrathe and beyond. Whilst this could easily have become a dry information dump, Marian Thorpe weaves the story in such a way that instead it becomes a fascinating history lesson. I loved learning the customs of people of Linrathe and uncovering the secrets of the Eastern Empire. Lena’s dramatic learning curve that began in Empire’s Daughter continues, and it feels like you are riding right along with her. I enjoyed the little touches that I recognised from our own history, such as the song about the rash caused by the Eastern Fever, and the Celtic and Scandinavian influences on the ways and language of the people of Linrathe and Marai respectively. The whole book just made my inner historian dance with glee.

I warmed instantly to the students and teachers of the Ti’ach na Perras, so welcoming to their hostage. It felt like a safe, restful place to be, a stark contrast to the conflict of Empire’s Daughter, and the drama that Lena was yet to face.

Empire’s Hostage is a beautifully crafted book, easing you gently along as it lulls you into a false sense of security before reaching it’s dramatic climax.

Empire’s Hostage has left me eager to find out more about the mysterious Eastern Empire and the fever that led to it being lost to history, and I can’t wait to read the final book in the trilogy.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Empires Hostage AuthorNot content with two careers as a research scientist and an educator, Marian L Thorpe decided to go back to what she’d always wanted to do and be a writer. Author of the alternative world medieval trilogy Empire’s Legacy, Marian also has published short stories and poetry. Her life-long interest in Roman and post-Roman European history informs her novels, while her avocations of landscape archaeology and birding provide background to her settings.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Twitter

Facebook

Website

GIVEAWAY:

Win a Paperback copy of Empire’s Legacy, the complete trilogy (Open Internationally)

Empires Legacy ebook

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

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Don’t forget to pay a visit to the other blogs taking part in the tour for more information about this book.

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Book Review

Empire’s Daughter – Marian L Thorpe

If you are a fan of trilogies like me, you will like today’s book. The alternative universe medieval adventure Empire’s Daughter, by Marian L Thorpe, is book one in the Empire’s Legacy trilogy, and although it can be read as a standalone, I know I won’t be the only one heading off to read the remaining books. I am delighted to be joining the blog tour for Empire’s Daughter today. My thanks go to Marian, and to Rachel at Rachel’s Random Resources, for inviting me to take part in the tour and for providing me with a copy of the book.

BLURB:

For twenty generations, the men and women of The Empire have lived separately, the women farming and fishing, the men fighting wars. But in the spring of Lena’s seventeenth year, an officer rides into her village with an unprecedented request. The Empire is threatened by invasion, and to defend it successfully, women will need to fight.

When the village votes in favour, Lena and her partner Maya are torn apart. Maya chooses exile rather than battle, Lena chooses to fight. As Lena learns the skills of warfare and leadership, she discovers that choices have consequences that cannot be foreseen, and that her role in her country’s future is greater than she could have dreamed.

You can purchase your copy of this book HERE

Empires Daughter ebook cover

REVIEW:

I had a feeling that Empire’s Daughter was a book that I was going to enjoy from the moment I started reading and discovered not only a character list but a map, two things that always put a smile on my face. It is one of the downsides of reading on a Kindle that I can’t flick back and forth as easily as I would like, but that’s a conversation for another day.

Empire’s Daughter presents the fascinating premise of a society segregated by duty, only reuniting twice a year, until everything that they believe in is shaken to its foundations. As if it wasn’t sad enough that boys of seven leave their homes, unlikely to return, the further divisions between loved ones tugs even harder on the heartstrings. As the women of the Empire discover skills they never dreamt they had and forge new relationships, I was utterly gripped by the story.

While a lot of books from this genre save an epic battle as the story’s climax, Empire’s Daughter goes deeper than that, and whilst the the battle may be over by halfway through the book, the lives of so many people are changed forever. It is these changes that really caught my attention and will keep me coming back for the rest of the trilogy. There were so many characters that I fell in lovely and I am eager to find out what the future holds for each of them.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Empires author photo

Writer of historical fantasy and urban fantasy for adults. The Empire’s Legacy series explores gender expectations, the conflicts between personal belief and societal norms, and how, within a society where sexuality is fluid, personal definitions of love and loyalty change with growth and experience.

The world of Empire’s Legacy was inspired by my interest in the history of Britain in the years when it was a province of the Roman Empire called Britannia, and then in the aftermath of the fall of the Roman Empire. In another life, I would have been a landscape archaeologist, and landscape is an important metaphor in the Empire’s Legacy trilogy and in all my writing, fiction and non-fiction.

I live in Canada for most of the year, England for the rest, have one cat, a husband, and when I’m not writing or editing, I’m birding.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

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GIVEAWAY:

Win all 3 paperbacks of the Empire’s Legacy trilogy (Open INT)

Empires Giveaway Prize

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter link below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

ENTER HERE

Make sure you pay a visit to the other blogs taking part on this tour.

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