samedi 20 septembre 2014

The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley

When the dark star rises, worlds will collide and nations will be extinguished. Thrown through a portal when she was only a child, a troubled orphan struggles to learn the truth about her own past, while a new ruler fights to hold his country together in the face of a civil war. Invaders from another realm are decimating whole cities, while a general is called upon to eradicate her father’s people. In the end, the truth about the invasion will come to light as many worlds face destruction…

The Mirror Empire has been one of the most highly anticipated novels so far in SFF circles, mentioned, hyped and reviewed on most of the biggest blogs. I read the first book in Hurley’s sci-fi trilogy a couple of years ago and enjoyed it, so I was looking forward to this one, especially after hearing how imaginative the world building was. While I definitely enjoyed that aspect of the novel, I struggled with some of the rest of it, notably the character work. Outside the main characters, I found it difficult to keep a track of who was who, not a problem I generally have despite reading a lot of epic fantasy. I think what irritates me the most is that I can’t put my finger on exactly why I had such difficulty keeping the various characters straight in my mind. Also, I did not feel any sense of urgency while reading – this is nowhere near being a novel that kept me reading far into the night. On the positive side, the breadth of imagination on display is awe-inspiring, from living trees to huge mirrors that allow passage between worlds. And Hurley is definitely a talented writer whose prose is a joy to read. The story itself just failed to gel with me, unfortunately.
I gave The Mirror Empire 3 stars.

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