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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 13 March 2011
This trilogy is one of those rare gems that pops out almost from nowhere and grips you hard until you have exhausted the supply of books/chapters in the series. I did not feel in the mood for a story about swords and aliens when I finally put it on my Kindle. I was then blown away within the first couple of chapters as I started to get into the story. However, the initial chapters are but a scene setter to the rest of the first book - which is by far the best of the three.

Essentially the Product Description for the Omnibus Edition, here, contains the outline for the first book. Under the first book In Her Name: Empire there is not quite so much of a description (which is a good thing) as if I were buying it as a standalone book then I would be a bit annoyed at having been given the whole story before buying it.

There are three distinct parts to the omnibus: Resa with the Kreela and setting up of the main characters; Resa and his life after the Kreela and meeting up with those from the first book; the resolution of the war between the Kreela and humans.

I found that within Book1 and as a story in itself, it hung together really well, and my reading 'sympathy' went always with Resa. However, his loyalties in the first book changed as he understood the way of the Kreela and lived among them for many years. But I had to question myself about how as an observer I felt about these changes of loyalty - while I agreed with them in the book; would I feel the same way to the race that had killed my parents?

The second, the longest, starts to bring together Reza within the human world and starts off the spark that brings the humans and Kreela together in their last big conflict. Here, the love story pulls at the heart strings as the characters interact with each other; where forbidden love has to be turned into friendship.

The third is relatively quick, again having tremendous love undertones and where two hearts are ripped apart.

Like many science fiction books, the engineering or technology side is usually discounted (eg Faster Than Light travel, artificial gravity, how to get into and out of orbit) within this story; this does not detract from the book as part of this book is written as a fantasy. Some of the Kreela have `special powers' that are handed down to them - within the story this is believable and is kept consistent. The descriptions of the Kreelan technology are fascinating, as it the mythology behind the Kreelans' current situation (which is very much written about in the prequels).

For me, the ending was really the only way forward given the differences between the two cultures - one based on keeping one's life and the other based on the honour one must bring to the Empress through conflict. How could it end, given that one culture was so many thousands of years in advance of the other?

The standard of writing and presentation is really high. All characters are described in detail and they are definitely not 2D, but rich and expanding descriptions unfolding additional layers during the conflicts.

These books have also clearly been proof read and edited professionally, producing a product that flows easily with nothing to interrupt the reader.

I would suggest to anyone who wishes to read this story, that they start from the prequels as these give a better insight into the Kreelan manner; although if you just wish to read the Omnibus version you will still be able to get their culture in all of its peculiarities (to western though?).
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on 8 April 2011
This turned out to be a great journey of discovering compasion, love and friendship.

Reza life is turned upside down by the alien who destory his world. The only thing he know is that he has to survive. When he is giving to Esah-Zhurah as a slave he trys to prove that he is so much more that a mere animal.

Slow Esah-Zhurah is stunned by her animal and as they grow together and he opens upto her before he takes the challenge she discovers that she actually love him. To save him she risks her one express how much they grow and learn to love each other.... Everthing ends when Reza informs the empress he can not destroy his fellow humans as he can not. As he is seperate from his soul mate he goes back to his own kind to be hated as a half breed.

I would have love to have read more about Esah-Zhurah feeling as she is torn away from the only person she has every loved.... Reza feeling for her never change and his seperation totally make you feel his pain.

Written beautifully....
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on 17 November 2011
I bought it to read on my Kindle as I wanted something a bit different from my normal Sci Fi, Trek, Disc World, Vampire Diaries, Myth and legend, dragons etc. I must admit I thought that it wasn't expensive and I had seen the writer posting on Twitter so I thought I would give it a go. I have to admit that I loved it. I am going to buy the rest of the series of books. It was different, interesting and fabulous. I blame the author Michael R Hicks for creating these books that have a lot to answer for. Many late nights of reading as I could not put it down. The end was not a disappointment either. Buy it, try it and be prepared to love it!
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on 1 February 2013
On the whole, very good. I came to this after having read the 'Final War' trilogy and was looking forward to it - set 100 years after 'First Contact', it catalogues the continuing struggle of the Humans and Kreelans through the eyes of Reza Gard, an orphan from a human colony wiped out by Kreelan attack.
I'm not going to comment in detail on the plot as that's covered elsewhere by other reviews, other than to say Part One is by far the best of the three books, with the third and final part being the weakest. But overall the set works well.

My main disappointment concerns the main character in the later novels... Despite having almost superhuman strength and cognitive powers, including the ability to 'feel' the presence of others around him and walk through solid walls, the 'hero' still manages to blunder into some fairly easy-to-avoid traps (such as failing to realise one of his intended targets is a hologram, for example) which would have tidied things up a lot sooner and would have prevented the deaths of a number of key characters.
Also - if you had an entire planet set aside for Marine Basic Training, would you really only run one cadre at a time in one camp? If casualties are running as high as we are led to believe, then several cadres at different camps running concurrently would be more likely, pushing out thousands of marines after each training-cycle, rather than the few hundred mentioned in the book.
Aside from minor niggles like that though, I was able to keep my disbelief cheerfully suspended.

I've also downloaded the next book in the series which goes back 10,000 years into the past to where it all began...

To be honest, for the price, it doesn't get much better.
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on 3 October 2015
Believe me I won't be getting into plot lines or character reviews, this is purely my thoughts on this trilogy. Having picked up the first book of this trilogy as a ‘freebie’, for something to read whilst on holiday having read some rave reviews about it, I couldn’t put it down it’s an absolute ‘page turner’. Post holiday off I went to find the other two in the series; luckily I found that the three were published as an anthology and worked out cheaper (every little counts!).
Although it’s 'book 8', it’s the beginning of the saga with The Last War (In her Name book 4) making an excellent conclusion to the journey. An excellent roller-coaster of emotions all wrapped up in one series – believe me it’s not ‘mushy’ or an absolute ‘gore fest’, just sets the scene very well. All in all totally engrossing, a superb read. My recommendation - buy it now!
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on 28 January 2013
I was lucky, as Michael Hicks wrote this trilogy first, and the 'In Her Name: The Last War' trilogy second, but I read the Last War trilogy before coming to devour this one. This trilogy is set 100 years after the first, and so I got to read them in story chronological order, not that that matters, although I would say it is a must within each trilogy.

Another fantastic story, deftly woven, with more of the Kreelan culture explained than in 'The Last War' trilogy, via the training of a young human Reza, into the Kreelan "Way". The change of heart, mind and soul of Reza over the years is believable and real, as is the cross-species love story. The human politics going on, in human space, with truly venal baddies is also believeable and gripping. The fact that you get all three books together in one is fabulous, as you don't have to faff around to buy the next book, you just keep on reading, which is what you want to do.

My advice - start this book, in the morning, at the weekend - when you have no plans to go out, that day or that night. Ensure you have supplies in already. Why? Because once you start, you won't want to put it down, until you have read all the way through to the very last word. And then you'll wish it hadn't finished. Yes, it really is that good.
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on 15 September 2012
What can I say? The author sneakily gives the first book away (free of charge) to hook you and then you end up buying the whole trilogy. Before long, you cease to need sleep because you're that desperate to finish the whole trilogy in one night. No matter how fast you skim through the pages, you end up groggily functioning on about 3 hours sleep the next day. And then you have to re-read the whole thing because you read it too fast the first time. Voila: addiction has formed. You download the prequel trilogy next and do exactly the same thing with that one. If the author wrote any faster, you wouldn't spend any time eating, sleeping or washing.

Okay, perhaps I am exaggerating a trifle. And perhaps the author has a trace of conceit about him. And, yes, perhaps you can see influences from various fantasy/sci-fi books and films. (I'm thinking: Star Wars, LotR, Stargate, etc.) But it is very much in the high style and you can see these stories enduring, Asimov-fashion, for years to come. Were it not for the hideous spectre of potential special effects, this is the first book in a long time that I've thought: "When ARE they going to turn this into a film? It would be SO epic!"

It impacts on so many levels. Tragedy. Violence. Humanity. Courage. And a love that transcends culture, species and religion. Reza and Esah-Zhurah will break your heart. ;) There are casualties along the way but at least it ends well for those two. (As they are the two lead characters, I think I can say that much without spoiling the story.) If I could give more than 5 stars, I would. Finally, for parents, please note that there are some adult themes in this trilogy - the most obvious being violence and rape.
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on 20 April 2015
This is a very different storyline with not a few twists and turns. Very readable, and it does leave you with the urge to read more to find out how it all developes . I have read one or two of the earlier books just for the pleasure of knowing the story over again. Would recommend this even if you are not a sci-fi fan. I most certainly am not, but still thoroughly enjoyed the whole series.
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on 3 March 2011
Reading Margaret Lake's recommendation on the forum, I decided to try out In Her Name, and accidentally bought the Omnibus rather than the three single books - but actually that just saved me a couple of transactions later on as I would definitely have wanted to buy all three.

The first book explores the retraining of a human boy captured by the Kreelans, a race of warrior females whose males are little more than creatures that mate once and die. They consider Reza, the protagonist, an animal who has no soul and he must prove himself first to Esah-Zhurah, the warrior with whom he has been paired, and then to the rest of the Kreelan race. This book is superb; there is no sense that the Kreelans are badly-disguised humans, as there is in some sci-fi; their priorities and way of thinking are very "other", and the description of their world is intriguing and beautiful. I started off thinking that the book was what I had hoped Avatar would be (and wasn't), but actually that's not fair as IHN is tremendous in its own right and has its own distinct identity, so the similarity is purely cosmetic.

***I should warn you that talking about subsequent books will by definition give away a couple of plot-points from the first, so if you don't want to know, don't read on!***

The second book covers Reza's re-introduction into humanity, to whom he seems shockingly Kreelan and is viewed with massive suspicion given that they are in the middle of a war with the Kreelans. This book had some interesting things to say about being an outsider and the ways in which people strive for superiority; it also contrasts the mores and priorities of humankind to those adopted by Reza in his Kreelan upbringing. I found this book gripping and was interested to see how the two storylines intertwined.

In the third book (and again, plotpoint follows) mankind launches an attach against the Kreelan homeworld which is already reeling due to what for brevity's sake I will call a crisis of faith (this is inaccurate but would need reams of explanation). The bad guys we meet in book 2 have got into power, and all sorts of plots and conspiracies are launched. It's a very complex book, and quite exciting; but I was disappointed by the ending. I have only given four stars because the ending was thrown off-key for me - and it is a subjective call - by one scene whose detail went way over my squeamish-threshold and into distasteful(Thorella vs Eustus and Jodi).

I guess the purpose was to deliberately underline the extremeness of the bad guy, but by the culmination of that storyline I was left feeling that the bad guy got off far more lightly than the good guys, to which I objected strongly. (The other point about that scene is that I think there would have been backlash from the Empress on the perpetrator; but that's putting human reactions onto a Kreelan.) To have such a well-balanced story thrown off right in the last few pages was a pity - but do bear in mind that if you are less squeamish than I (and from the look of it most of the other reviewers are) you'd probably not find it problematic.

As far as concerns formatting, though for the most part the book is impeccably formatted and proofed, there is a problem where special characters- letters with accents or sedillas - are coming up as gobbledygook. It may be that this is to do with the Kindle conversion software, as they do suggest you don't use complex characters in Kindle books; but when you have French speakers you do need to use the special characters, so am not sure how to get round that if that is the case. However, the author is already aware of this and by all accounts is looking into it at the moment.

I did enjoy the books and found them compulsive reading - right up until the end I was envisaging a series of several books as the Kreelans and the humans have to engage in diplomacy and work out how to co-exist. I wanted to know much more about the internal structure of the Kreelan society and how an all-female race would cope with having to interact with functioning, intelligent males, and how they would react to the perceived inferiority of strength of females to males and the abuses of it. I was interested to see how the changes at the end of the book would affect the Kreelans, and to see if the "bloodsong" could be communicated across humanity, etc etc etc - it seemed SUCH a rich seam to mine - so I was a bit disappointed by the finality of the ending and the way it then closed off all these potential other books.

That said, when the thing you object to in a series of books is that it ends too soon, it's probably not a terribly biting criticism! I thought the Kreelan world and the Kreelans themselves were incredibly well-written and fascinating, so would have liked more of it. I notice that there are prequels now available, so will have a look at the subject-matter as if there is more to be read about that world I'll buy them on the spot.

So: should you buy this book / these books? Undoubtedly, yes; if you are squeamish then skim the scene I objected to (you will know it when you get there) in book 3, but the rest, especially the first book, is a well-written, exciting and compelling read. My compliments, Mr Hicks!
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on 2 April 2013
NO SPOILERS - I read the first volume with low expectations, but after the opening chapters was hooked - in Reza I found a character I wanted to follow.

The story takes him through three stages of his life torn between two cultures and having to decide where his loyalties lie at several periods in his life. I didn't find his decisions unrealistic - in fact I thought them admirable - the difficulty of trying to remain true to both cultures came across very clearly.

At the end of the trilogy I only had one minor quibble about the fate of a supporting character, and that only because I am too soft hearted and wanted a happier ending for that person than they got.

Check the prices of individual volumes v the trilogy combined as the prices seem to vary a bit. Vol 1 free on Amazon currently (March 2013) if you want to try before you buy or read online or download via Smashwords website "Empire (In Her Name: Redemption, Book 1)"
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