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The Risen Empire Paperback – 3 Mar 2005


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The Risen Empire + Killing of Worlds: Succession Book 2
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Product details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; New edition edition (3 Mar 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841493716
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841493718
  • Product Dimensions: 15.1 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,627,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Scott Westerfeld's teen novels include the Uglies series, the Midnighters trilogy, The Last Days, an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and the sequel to Peeps. Scott was born in Texas, and alternates summers between Sydney, Australia, and New York City.

Product Description

Review

...this is SF as it should be: savvy, space-smart and fascinating, filled with dazzling concepts and a genuine sense of wonder. THE AUSTRALIAN ("Scott Westerfeld sets a stage half the size of the universe, yet tells a very intimate and personal tale. His scope ranges from the politics of a galactic empire to the essence of what it means to be human. One of the best space operas I have read in a)

Ingenious enough to call to mind Iain M. Banks (SFX)

Book Description

A cutting-edge space opera in which galactic cultures clash: human, inhuman and post-human.

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The five small craft passed from shadow, emerging with the suddenness of coins thrown into sunlight. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Randall Richmond on 6 Mar 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The only reason that I can see that this work did not win either the CLARKE or HUGO awards, is because it was split into two seperate novels when first published. What a shame, because this is one of the best science fiction books written this decade! The science, pacing, and drama all are superior. I understand why publishers make the decision to split a book up, but artisticly this book will never get the recognition it deserves unless enough people buy this edition. A pity.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By K. Charlton on 31 Oct 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I dug around a bit and discovered that 'The Risen Empire' and the 'Killing of Worlds' was one manuscript but was chopped in half because the publisher didn't think a Sci-Fi book that long from a relative unknown would sell for the higher price a larger book costs.
Or so is claimed.
A bit of a shame really because like other reviewers I think this book deserved at least a mention in the big awards.
I will review both books here.
A very original story line winds through a well thought out and well fleshed out universe that the author has taken time to make quite believable. Different political parties, a Senate, an Emperor all help the story to rise above the standard Space Opera, and make the reader believe there is a functioning Universe within the pages of this book.
Characters are well detailed with even bit players not feeling superficial or shallow. There are even different classes of people all with their own agendas or in the case of the risen, dark secrets.
The high tech military hardware and operations blend nicely with the Senatorial episodes and the love interests between Captain and politician, Captain and Exec and a data analyst and a cyborg/gestalt being are important subplots rather than just an 'interest'
The highlight of the whole book has to be the space battle between the outclassed latest Imperial prototype and an advanced sentient gestalt type race. It is a fantastic bit of story telling with heavy yet understandable science and engineering underpinning the combat. Its probably one of the best examples of what space warfare might be like I have read.
Well worth a read, just remember if you just get the first book it will cut off in the midst of the action and you will kick yourself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kuma on 23 Oct 2007
Format: Paperback
The saga of Laurent Zai and the Risen Empire has really impressed me as a well thought out and enjoyable space opera. It captures so many themes of classic sci-fi and deals with them in new ways, it tackles the issue of isolation (nods to the time thief a sly homage to "the forever war") that is a preoccupation of sci-fi as charcaters feel distant both in distance and emotionally. It also uses science to great effect inventing a space age "class war" not based so much on wealth as the technological advancement that allows the dead (or "risen") to dominate an empire of living people. However what really makes the work stand out is its adroit use of technology (especially nano technology), what dates the majority of early sci-fi is it's lack of understanding of computers, something Mr Westerfield compensates for with Gusto. The compound mind of the rix and the principals of the rix cult serve as a fantastic foil to the humans of the Risen Empire, where as humano-centric sci-fi is lonely, one that looks at life from a computers perspective is full of interaction and networking - the book challenges in a fundametal way the human cultural imperialism that is a thread thropugh all other Sci Fi. The only exception to this is the conciousness of "the house" - I won't say too much but felt like a weak emulation of Iain M. Banks.

That said, in terms of literary style, the book gets better the further you read into it. The opening section is a tidal wave of detail on a canvass you haven't seen and is a little overwhelming, indeed Westerfield's love of scientific detail can phase a lay reader of sci-fi and it is only later in the text that he tempers this with better story telling.

All in all a great read, highly recommended.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. Dingwall on 7 April 2005
Format: Paperback
An interesting take on the cultural struggle between the living, and those enhanced with longer life " the Risen". Unfortunately to be enhanced they have to kill you first.... Space Navy and Imperial politics mingle through the book, as the Emperor's sister is held as a hostage by the cybernetic Rix. Clear your calendar and make time to read this. I'm sure there will be more of this universe in future books
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R Young on 5 Nov 2010
Format: Paperback
There seems to be two versions of the Risen Empire?
The 2006 Orbit publication (ISBN-10: 1841493724), at 720 pages, has both Succession books in it: (i) The Risen Empire, and (ii) The Killing of Worlds.
The 2008 Tor publication (ISBN-10: 0765319985 ), at 352 pages, has (i) The Risen Empire only.
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Format: Paperback
I missed these novels when they originally came out. As a single story this is a fat novel, but its well written and actually hard to see where the publishers split the book up when originally published.

This would probably be classified as hard SciFi and it has a number of ideas regarding future warfare that I haven't seen elsewhere. What holds this novel together is the characters, who grow on you, as they unwind a story of betyral that is 1600 years old but still impacts them all today. At the end of the book their worlds will never be the same.

A lengthy, but excellent read.
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