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The Mirror Empire: Worldbreaker Saga 1 Paperback – 26 Aug 2014

3.9 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Angry Robot (26 Aug. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0857665561
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857665560
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 3.7 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 695,139 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

""The Mirror Empire "is the most original fantasy I've read in a long time, set in a world full of new ideas, expanding the horizons of the genre. A complex and intricate book full of elegant ideas and finely-drawn characters."
- Adrian Tchaikovsky, Gemmel Legend Finalist and author of "The Shadows of the Apt" series

"With vividly inventive world building and a fast-paced plot, The Mirror Empire opens a smart, brutal, and ambitious epic fantasy series. Book two is already on my must-read list."
- Kate Elliott, author of the "Spiritwalker "Trilogy
"There's a powerful yet elegant brutality in "The Mirror Empire" that serves notice to traditional epic fantasy: move over, make way, an intoxicating new blend of storytelling has arrived. These are pages that will command your attention."
-Bradley P. Beaulieu, author of "The Lays of Anuskaya" trilogy
""The Mirror Empire "is the most original fantasy I've read in a long time, set in a world full of new ideas, expanding the horizons of the genre. A complex and intricate book full of elegant ideas and finely-drawn characters."
- Adrian Tchaikovsky, Gemmel Legend Finalist and author of "The Shadows of the Apt" series
"Taking epic fantasy down challenging and original paths. Thoughtful and thought-provoking with every twist and turn."
-Juliette E McKenna, author of the "Hadrumal Crisis "series
"For me it did all the things a fantasy should do -- holding our own societies up to the light by reflecting off worlds that are very different. Add in a magic system where the users are only powerful some of the time, and semi sentient vegetation that is possibly more of a threat than the magic users, and I happily sank into this book with a satisfied sigh."
-Francis Knight, author of "Fade to Black"
Praise for Kameron Hurley:
"Kameron Hurley is ferociously imaginative - with the emphasis on the ferocious. She writes novels that are smart, dark, visceral and wonderfully, hectically entertaining."
- Lauren Beukes, author of "Zoo City" and "The Shining Girls
"
"Kameron Hurley's writing is the most exciting thing I've seen on the genre page... What Hurley's writing has (and it's something not one in a dozen genre practitioners seems able to generate) is passion. It doesn't hurt thatb

"Hurley reuses old tropes to excellent effect, interweaving them with original elements to create a world that will fascinate and delight her established fans and appeal to newcomers. Readers will blaze through this opening installment and eagerly await the promised sequel."
- Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"This is a hugely ambitious work, bloody and violent, with interestingly gender-flipped politics and a host of factions to keep straight, as points of view switch often. Although it is a challenging read, the strong narrative thread in this new series from Hurley (God's War) pulls readers through the imaginative tangle of multiple worlds and histories colliding."
- Library Journal (Starred Review)
"With vividly inventive world building and a fast-paced plot, The Mirror Empire opens a smart, brutal, and ambitious epic fantasy series. Book two is already on my must-read list."
- Kate Elliott, author of the "Spiritwalker "Trilogy
"There's a powerful yet elegant brutality in "The Mirror Empire" that serves notice to traditional epic fantasy: move over, make way, an intoxicating new blend of storytelling has arrived. These are pages that will command your attention."
-Bradley P. Beaulieu, author of "The Lays of Anuskaya" trilogy
""The Mirror Empire "is the most original fantasy I've read in a long time, set in a world full of new ideas, expanding the horizons of the genre. A complex and intricate book full of elegant ideas and finely-drawn characters."
- Adrian Tchaikovsky, Gemmel Legend Finalist and author of "The Shadows of the Apt" series
"Taking epic fantasy down challenging and original paths. Thoughtful and thought-provoking with every twist and turn."
-Juliette E McKenna, author of the "Hadrumal Crisis "series
"For me it did all the things a fantasy should do -- holding our own societies up to the light by reflecting off worlds that are very different. Add in a magic system where the users are o

"Hurley reuses old tropes to excellent effect, interweaving them with original elements to create a world that will fascinate and delight her established fans and appeal to newcomers. Readers will blaze through this opening installment and eagerly await the promised sequel."
- Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)


"This is a hugely ambitious work, bloody and violent, with interestingly gender-flipped politics and a host of factions to keep straight, as points of view switch often. Although it is a challenging read, the strong narrative thread in this new series from Hurley (God's War) pulls readers through the imaginative tangle of multiple worlds and histories colliding."
- Library Journal (Starred Review)
"With vividly inventive world building and a fast-paced plot, The Mirror Empire opens a smart, brutal, and ambitious epic fantasy series. Book two is already on my must-read list."
- Kate Elliott, author of the "Spiritwalker "Trilogy
"There's a powerful yet elegant brutality in "The Mirror Empire" that serves notice to traditional epic fantasy: move over, make way, an intoxicating new blend of storytelling has arrived. These are pages that will command your attention."
-Bradley P. Beaulieu, author of "The Lays of Anuskaya" trilogy
""The Mirror Empire "is the most original fantasy I've read in a long time, set in a world full of new ideas, expanding the horizons of the genre. A complex and intricate book full of elegant ideas and finely-drawn characters."
- Adrian Tchaikovsky, Gemmel Legend Finalist and author of "The Shadows of the Apt" series
"Taking epic fantasy down challenging and original paths. Thoughtful and thought-provoking with every twist and turn."
-Juliette E McKenna, author of the "Hadrumal Crisis "series
"For me it did all the things a fantasy should do -- holding our own societies up to the light by reflecting off worlds that are very different. Add in a magic system where the users are only powerful some of the time, and semi sentient vegetation that is possibly more of a threat than the magic users, and I happily sank into this book with a satisfied sigh."
-Francis Knight, author of "Fade to Black
"
Praise for Kameron Hurley:
"Kameron Hurley is ferociously imaginative - with the emphasis on the ferocious. She writes novels that are smart, dark, visceral and wonderfully, hectically entertaining."
- Lauren Beukes, author of "Zoo City" and "The Shining Girls
"
"Kameron Hurley's writing is the most exciting thing I've seen on the genre page... What Hurley's writing has (and it's something not one in a dozen genre practitioners seems able to generate) is passion. It doesn't hurt that there's also a rare freshness to the material, and a heady dash of high octane noir worked into the mix."
- Richard K. Morgan, author of "The Steel Remains" and the Takeshi Kovacs novels
..".where some writers might focus on high-tech weapons or explosive battles in space, Hurley brings things down to a personal level, recalling more the toughminded realism of Chris Moriarty's "Spin State.".."
- "New York Review of Science Fiction
"
""God's War" was part slow burn, part explosive action... in the end the novel was utterly compelling."
- Tor.com
"Hurley's world-building is phenomenal... (she) smoothly handles tricky themes such as race, class, religion, and gender without sacrificing action."
- "Publishers Weekly
"
"The ostensibly ground-breaking, jaw-dropping ultra-progressive newness of "God's War" is important because it isn't important. "God's War" is remarkable not because it pushes the boundaries of science fiction, but because it is a novel in which those boundaries are already gone."
- Jared Shurin, Pornokitsch

"Hurleyreuses old tropes to excellent effect, interweaving them with original elements to create a world that will fascinate and delight her established fans and appeal to newcomers. Readers will blaze through this opening installment and eagerly await the promised sequel."
- Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)


"This is a hugely ambitious work, bloody and violent, with interestingly gender-flipped politics and a host of factions to keep straight, as points of view switch often. Although it is a challenging read, the strong narrative thread in this new series from Hurley (God's War) pulls readers through the imaginative tangle of multiple worlds and histories colliding."
-Library Journal (Starred Review)
"With vividly inventive world building and a fast-paced plot, The Mirror Empire opens a smart, brutal, and ambitious epic fantasy series. Book two is already on my must-read list."
- Kate Elliott, author of the "Spiritwalker "Trilogy
"There's a powerful yet elegant brutality in "The Mirror Empire" that serves notice to traditional epic fantasy: move over, make way, an intoxicating new blend of storytelling has arrived. These are pages that will command your attention."
-Bradley P. Beaulieu, author of "The Lays of Anuskaya" trilogy
""The Mirror Empire"isthe most original fantasy I ve read in a long time, set in a world full of new ideas, expanding the horizons of the genre. A complex and intricate book full of elegant ideas and finely-drawn characters."
-Adrian Tchaikovsky, Gemmel Legend Finalist and author of"The Shadows of the Apt"series
Taking epic fantasy down challenging and original paths. Thoughtful and thought-provoking with every twist and turn.
-Juliette E McKenna, author of the "Hadrumal Crisis "series
"For me it did all the things a fantasy should do -- holding our own societies up to the light by reflecting off worlds that are very different. Add in a magic system where the users are only powerful some of the time, and semi sentient vegetation that is possibly more of a threat than the magic users, and I happily sank into this book with a satisfied sigh."
-Francis Knight, author of "Fade to Black
"
Praise for Kameron Hurley:
Kameron Hurley is ferociously imaginative with the emphasis on the ferocious. She writes novels that are smart, dark, visceral and wonderfully, hectically entertaining.
-Lauren Beukes, author of"Zoo City"and"The Shining Girls
"
Kameron Hurley s writing is the most exciting thing I ve seen on the genre page What Hurley s writing has (and it s something not one in a dozen genre practitioners seems able to generate) is passion. It doesn t hurt that there s also a rare freshness to the material, and a heady dash of high octane noir worked into the mix.
-Richard K. Morgan, author of"The Steel Remains"and the Takeshi Kovacs novels
where some writers might focus on high-tech weapons or explosive battles in space, Hurley brings things down to a personal level, recalling more the toughminded realism of Chris Moriarty s"Spin State"
-"New York Review of Science Fiction
"
"God s War"was part slow burn, part explosive action in the end the novel was utterly compelling.
- Tor.com
Hurley s world-building is phenomenal (she) smoothly handles tricky themes such as race, class, religion, and gender without sacrificing action.
-"Publishers Weekly
"
The ostensibly ground-breaking, jaw-dropping ultra-progressive newness of"God s War"is important because it isn t important."God s War"is remarkable not because it pushes the boundaries of science fiction, but because it is a novel in which those boundaries are already gone.
Jared Shurin, Pornokitsch"

Nominated for the Locus Award for Best Fantasy
Shorlisted for the Gemmell Morningstar Award
STARRED REVIEW: This is a hugely ambitious work, bloody and violent, with interestingly gender-flipped politics and a host of factions to keep straight, as points of view switch often. Although it is a challenging read, the strong narrative thread in this new series from Hurley (God s War) pulls readers through the imaginative tangle of multiple worlds and histories colliding.
"Library Journal
"
STARRED REVIEW: Hurley ("Rapture") reuses old tropes to excellent effect, interweaving them with original elements to create a world that will fascinate and delight her established fans and appeal to newcomers. Readers will blaze through this opening instalment and eagerly await the promised sequel.
"Publishers Weekly
"
"The""Mirror Empire"is an extraordinary novel. The scale and invention here makes it essential reading but the characters make it remarkable. None of them are heroes and none of them have the comforting sense of having read the book they re in. They re all flawed, terrified people doing what they can to survive. Seeing them struggle even as the stakes are raised makes for a reading experience as packed as it is tense. Book 2 can t get here fast enough.
Alasdair Stuart
Taking epic fantasy down challenging and original paths. Thoughtful and thought-provoking with every twist and turn.
Juliet E. McKenna
Hurley intelligently tackles issues of culture and gender, while also throwing in plenty of bloodthirsty action and well-rounded characters. This is a fresh, exciting fantasy epic that s looking to the future and asking important questions. 4****/5
"SFX"magazine
The novel achieves what the most important fantasy strives for: it gives us a world the like of which we have never quite seen before, but that offers us some often unpleasant and provocative shocks of recognition.
Gary K. Wolfe, for"Locus"magazine
"The Mirror Empire"is a fresh, vigorous, and gripping entrant into the epic fantasy genre, able to stand toe-to-toe with any of the heavyweight series out there.I cannot recommend this novel highly enough.
SF Revu
With vividly inventive world building and a fast-paced plot, The Mirror Empireopens a smart, brutal, and ambitious epic fantasy series. Book two is already on my must-read list.
Kate Elliott, author of the"Spiritwalker"series
For me ["The Mirror Empire"]did all the things a fantasy should do holding our own societies up to the light by reflecting off worlds that are very different. Add in a magic system where the users are only powerful some of the time, and semi sentient vegetation that is possibly more of a threat than the magic users, and I happily sank into this book with a satisfied sigh.
Francis Knight, author of"Fade to Black
"
Bold, merciless, and wildly inventive, Kameron Hurley s"The Mirror Empire"begins an epic tale of worlds at war that will linger long in readers imaginations. If you re looking for original and challenging fantasy, this is definitely the series for you.
Courtney Schafer, author of"The Whitefire Crossing
"
There s a powerful yet elegant brutality in"The Mirror Empire"that serves notice to traditional epic fantasy: move over, make way, an intoxicating new blend of storytelling has arrived. These are pages that will command your attention.
Bradley Beaulieu, author of"The Lays of Anuskaya"trilogy
Hurley has bitten off an awful lot with her ambitious"The""Mirror Empire." And for those of us who are bored with a linear and predictable narrative, this is a very good thing. Hurley seems determined to supplant nearly every fantasy troupe, even down to her five-gendered social structure with group marriage and funerary cannibalism. These bold rejections of what we take for granted in our own society are illuminating in Hurley s hands.
Sword & Laser
In the two worlds ofThe Mirror Empire, we get Deadly Plants, Blood Magic, and yes, Brutal Women.The Mirror Empireis both a chance for fantasy fans to get to know Hurley s writing, and for previous fans of her work to see what she can do in a new vein. And for readers new to her work, this is in many ways the best place to start. 4.5****/5.
Paul Weimer, SF Signal
The Mirror Empiretakes look at epic fantasy patriarchy & gives it a firm kick in the balls [it] will be the most important book you read this year.
Alex Ristea, Ristea s Reads
With her new epic fantasy series, Hurley has shown that she is no one trick pony.The Mirror Empireis a fresh, vigorous, and gripping entrant into the epic fantasy genre, able to stand toe-to-toe with any of the heavyweight series out there.
SF Revu"

About the Author

Kameron Hurley is the author of the novels "God's War," "Infidel," and "Rapture, "a science-fantasy noir series which earned her the Sydney J. Bounds Award for Best Newcomer and the Kitschy Award for Best Debut Novel.
She is a two-time Hugo Award winner (Best Fan Writer and Best Related Work) and she has been a finalist for the Nebula Award and the Locus Award. Her latest novel, "The Mirror Empire," will be published by Angry Robot Books in September 2014."


Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The familiar fantasy format of several characters in different locations and on different sides of a brewing war is used here but there’s far more urgency than you usually see in stories like this. These attacks are secretive and have been going on for long before the book starts. We get flashes of another world through one of the lead characters’ memories, hints of a vast conspiracy from another. All of them are fragments of a larger story and all of them are connected to these organized, brutal and apparently motiveless assaults. An engine is stirring beneath the surface of the world and it drives desperate people to make increasingly desperate choices. Something unprecedented is rewriting the world and Hurley’s characters do that thing all great characters, and real people, do. Hide from it as long as possible even as every choice is defined by that change. The attacks are the start of a war but the effects of that war are felt far beyond the battlefront.
That scope allows Hurley to explore the numerous cultures in the book. This, if anywhere, is where she throws you in at the deep end. One culture has five genders, another has three and all of them approach daily life in ways that take around fifty pages to get into. But once you do, you see just how far down Hurley has built this world and just how elegantly designed it is. There’s no wasted space here. Each idea is explored from multiple angles and perspectives and in doing so, each idea pushes the individual and main plots forward at ever increasing speed.
Hurley’s magic system is a perfect example. There are different schools of magic tied to whichever of the planetary moons is in ascendance. The schools of magic’s status and power are both dependent on their Moon rising.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The first thing you notice about the book is its style, in particular the way nothing is clearly explained so you discover what is happening in fits and starts. After a while though it began to grate and felt like a bit of silly trick, where a lack of any real depth in the story is made up for by keeping the reader ignorant. It also left me feeling like all the really interesting stuff was happening elsewhere.

The story is also covered from four different characters viewpoints, that creates a problem as we don't really get to know any of the characters. That stopped me really getting into events but it also didn't help that two of them, and in particular Lilia, were so unlikable and selfish. Lilia was particularly annoying as her behavior didn't add up, in particular given she's originally supposed to be kind and innocent she's awfully quick to kill people if it suits her.

Without interesting characters its just one grim pointless event after another, with the characters showing no charm or humor to lighten it up a little.

Its still decent but I did find I liked it less and less the further I got through which isn't really what you are looking for. In actual fact by 80% through I'd completely lost interest so I just skim read the later sections and I won't be bothering continuing with the series.
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Format: Paperback
Much can be said about the author of The Mirror Empire, Kameron Hurley. She's a two-time Hugo Winner for her non-fiction essays, she's sometimes the angry woman on the internet, and her views on the business of writing and on the SFF community are fascinating. However, most importantly she's the acclaimed author of The God's War trilogy. I've not yet read this series, because in first instance the bugpunk label put me off as creepy crawlies give me the heebie-jeebies, but it is now on my to read pile awaiting its turn. But I've heard nothing but praise for Hurley's writing, so when Angry Robot announced they'd acquired Hurley's new series, an epic fantasy series no less, I was determined I wouldn't miss out on this one. And it's a good thing I didn't, because The Mirror Empire is one of the most exciting fantasy books I've read this year and looks fair to make it into my top ten for 2014.

The Mirror Empire is not an easy read, by which I mean it's a book that requires you to work and to engage with it--there is no leaning back and simply consuming with this one. The narrative is complex and it took me a while to find my footing within the setting, to get a clear enough idea of the political situation and the societal setup that I'd have to stop and think every other page to remember how something fit into that.

The book contains four distinct cultures, one of which is also mirrored in the titular Mirror Empire. And these cultures are quite different from our own. The clearest difference is the way Hurley positions gender. There are five different genders, female assertive, female passive, male assertive, male passive, and ungendered. The way these genders interact and how they influence the structure of the different cultures is fascinating.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Hard work. Hurleys imagination is quite special but her style sometimes fails to bring the story to life because nothing is explained. Its a great book in many ways but you know what? I read the third Bel Damme novel right after it a few weeks ago and I can't remember the story of this book but I can remember the bel damme one really well. If you do like the bel damme novels and want to get more of her amazing mind you should read it. Grit your teeth though.
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