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Daughter of the Empire by Raymond E. Feist
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2,661362,240 (4.1)93
Recently added byRazinha, jcrben, raema, littleread, Nova_Mortem, private library, NoahDMoore, Wasabiishot, rns1963_2
  1. 10
    The Killing Moon by N. K. Jemisin (hindins)
    hindins: Another strong young female character, diplomacy and intrigue, amazing world-building and a non-european culture.
  2. 00
    Diplomacy of Wolves by Holly Lisle (kaydern)
    kaydern: Awesome female lead character, similar genre.
  3. 00
    The Man of Gold by Muhammad Abd-al-Rahman Barker (sandstone78)
    sandstone78: Feist and Wurts' setting of Kelewan is highly derivative of Barker's Tekumel; fans of the original looking for more may enjoy the Empire trilogy and fans of the Empire trilogy interested in the source material may enjoy the Tekumel books.

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Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
For my Year of Feist. I was having a hard time remembering this book, but early into it I realized that was because I had never read it, or never read very far. I thought I had, and it presented the same challenges I do remember...but this time I persevered. Moving on to the second in the Empire sub-series... ( )
  Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
FANTASTIC! I was expecting a trilogy about the Keshian Empire on Midkemia. Instead, we get a novel about Kelewan. How cool is that? Anyway, a family is betrayed, all members killed in battle on Midkemia, except one 16 year old girl. She becomes the head of her house, which is down to under 40 warriors, and has to play the Game of the Council to survive. It was written very well, with characters being alive and real and each success, or defeat, made you want to shout or groan. I think this is a great trilogy to stand by the Riftwar Saga. Characterizations, machinations, world building, all were done superbly and I look forward greatly [!:] to the next 2 novels. ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
Hmmm. So this is a bit of a classic, but I've never read it before. So I'm not really coloured by a bunch of fond memories, and I think I would have liked this book a lot more as a teenager.

For: A smart and capable female protagonist to add to my pile of books for the kids to read. Albeit one not above using sex to get her way. In fact, quite ruthlessly. She's smart and kind to the downtrodden, the poor and the disenfranchised, ensuring their loyalty, but she's calculating and cruel to her peers. Actually that may be an against. She's smart enough to use and trust her employees and advisors to their best capability, something that is the downfall of so so many characters, in so so many books.

Against: Really just one thing: She's so damn lucky. It's deus ex fluke after fluke. She ought to take up poker or something. Every bluff works, every feint, every huge gamble with her life and that of her entire clan, pays off. Each one in turn is well written, and fun, but in total it's a little overwhelming just how damn lucky Mara is.

So, a 3.5, if there were half stars, but down a little, because the luck factor doesn't work right for me.

It's still a ripping good read, and I can be a little harsh on my scores, and it's a really good example of co-writing at it's best, the writing is seamless and the voice is united, there's no sign who wrote what and no jarring transitions between authors. So take the 3 as what it says: I liked it. ( )
  krazykiwi | Aug 22, 2016 |
This is the first book I've read by either Feist or Wurts. It came highly recommended, and I was not disappointed. The story unfolds at a fast pace, and there are no loose ends left dangling. The political machinations of Mara are both interesting and clever. The world of the Tsuranni Empire is alien, but familiar in a medieval Asian sort of way. Mara is a likeable character in spite of her merciless motivation. Raised as an aristocrat in a society where class hierarchy is strictly defined and adhered to, she seems loveless and inhumane at times, but her humanity shows through without any need of overt explanation. She is grudgingly willing to risk the lives of others for her cause, but unlike her enemies, she would not wantonly send servants and slaves on kamikaze missions.

It seemed that almost every one of Mara's brilliant manipulations depends upon some law of honor which, at times, is just too convenient for the circumstances. The theme of honorable suicide became somewhat overused. I will refrain from citing examples (that would spoil the plot), but the society of the Tsuranni seems to exaggerate the limits of human honor. Would every single person in any given Empire -- good guys and bad guys -- be completely willing to commit ritual suicide at the drop of a word? Lives are as expendable as candy. Death sentences in general (and murder) are so common that I would think that every citizen of the Empire except for the Emperor and the Warlord would live in constant fear.

Character development and introduction are my other complaint. I realize that this trilogy takes place in a world already defined by a previous series of books, but the authors don't seem to take new readers into account. Aliens and magicians are dropped into the story at random places without warning. Magic plays a major part in the grand finale, but up until that point, I wasn't even aware that magic might exist in Mara's world. The alien species of the cho-ja were introduced just as abruptly, and then whisked away as inconsequential pieces of the plot, although their presence in the background was continuous. Perhaps they'll play a role in the sequel?

I hate to gripe about poor character development. An unfortunate trend in the genres of SF & Fantasy is that characters are often wooden stereotypes, or archetypes with too little personality. Mara of the Acoma has more courage and personality than most heroines in the genre, but the other characters were predictable and hard to like. I never really bonded with Mara. She seems a lonely individual without any expression of that loneliness; intelligent but not fully understanding of the worth of human life, and too willing to put other people through misery to get what she wants. Her servants and her enemies had less personality than that. Although I remained interested in the plot of Daughter of the Empire (what will happen next?), never once was I saddened by a death. And there were plenty of those!

This is a good, fun, quick read, but it's not anything hugely out of the ordinary.

This review was originally published on my website. ( )
  Abby_Goldsmith | Feb 10, 2016 |
Source: Personal Copy
Original Review: Dragons, Heroes and Wizards

Looking for a change from your typical European Medieval setting? How about a new world with a strong eastern style culture. A world where honor is everything and disgrace means falling on your sword. A world where the game of politics determines which Great Houses survive and which are destroyed forever.

♦ My Thoughts. This story has always been one of my all time favorites; worthy of the occasional reread. When I saw it mentioned on a blog recently, I knew instantly it was time to visit with Mara again.

One important thing to note. There are some who say you really should read the Riftwar Saga first. I have but it was eons ago and I remember very little. I also can't find the books in my book pile. Likely I loaned them out or I would have reviewed those first, but...

I don't really believe reading those first is vital. Helpful, yes, vital? No. This is a totally different story in a completely new viewpoint. The main thing you need to know is that there are magical rifts between two worlds. On one side is the Empire of Kelewan, where this story takes place. On the other is side is Midkemia which the Empire is trying, without much success, to subjugate.

But the war itself plays but a bit part in this drama. The main story here is about a young 17 year old girl, only seconds from dedicating her life to a temple, who suddenly finds herself a Ruling Lady. On her tiny shoulders rests the responsibility of both her family name and its very survival.

♦ What I Liked. This book is a prime example of backstabbing politics. Fortunes rise and houses fall, all depending on a House's ability to play the Great Game. There are allies and enemies, blood feuds and annihilation. There are black magicians who are a law unto themselves. At the top of the food chain sits a merciless Warlord. And from behind the scenes the god-chosen Emperor rules them all.

To classify Mara, Ruling Lady of the Acoma, as a reluctant heroine would be understating things. Snatched from her life in a peaceful temple and thrust into the responsibilities of saving her House from total annihilation, any other girl would have curled up in a ball and wept.

But not our Mara! This poor girl, because of the strict traditions defining honor, is not even allowed to weep over the loss of her beloved father and brother. To do so would be to show weakness. So for a solid week she must show no emotion, no pain, no fear. Only once she arrives home and performs the funeral rites can she give into her grief. Talk about hooking the reader!

Unfortunately, her one show of emotion is cut short and the untried young girl must immediately dive head first into the churning waters of murky politics and an uncertain future. And she does just that. I read on in awe as she makes mistakes, recovers and finds ways to turn her misfortunes into triumphs.

It was a joy to watch.

I could continue babbling about flawless pacing, rich worldbuilding, thorough character development, incredible detail and deep immersion. But, I'll spare you. Suffice it to say there are reasons why I have read this series over and over again.

♦ What I didn't like. Normally I would use this space to discuss what I disliked about the book. However, this time I have nothing to say. The book is as close to flawless as anything I have ever read.

So, I'll discuss what I didn't like about this world and its inhabitants!

I hated Mara's future husband. As was intended.

I was fascinated and yet repelled by the system of honor. To die with honor was always preferred over living in shame. I abhorred the practices of servitude and slavery. Especially slavery. In this world slaves have NO options.

This is a society that believes in reincarnation. If you are a slave, you earned it by living a shameful previous life. Once a slave, always a slave. To rise above that station would offend the gods.

Same with servants, though they can rise to positions of responsibility. However, they can never rise above their station.

And yet, regardless of their stations, any member of a House, from the lowest to the highest, will willingly give up their lives --without hesitation-- for their Master/Mistress. Believing that to do so insures they are reborn in a higher position on the wheel of life.

Told you the culture was rich and full of detail!

♦ Conclusion. There was a unique phenomenon which occurred each day as it came time to pick up the book and start reading. I would grin and say (to myself of course) "Yes! It is time to spend some time with Mara." It was literally the highlight of my day. It has also engineered a desire in me to replace and read the Riftwar Saga. Not because I need to in order to enjoy this trilogy, but because I know that that series is just as good.

Now if you'll forgive me; it is time for me to go spend some more quality time with Mara! ( )
  Mulluane | Feb 5, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Raymond E. Feistprimary authorall editionscalculated
Wurts, Jannymain authorall editionsconfirmed
Maitz, DonCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wurts, JannyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Wat men maar niet wil inzien, is dat fantasy de schatkamer is van alles wat de mens in de loop der eeuwen aan dromen, verhalen, mythen, sagen en sprookjes heeft verzameld. En dat is niet niks, dat is een geestelijk erfgoed dat gekoesterd dient te worden. Elke tijd voegt daar nieuwe elementen aan toe en zo ontstaat een reusachtig, laten we zeggen 'bezinksel' dat het onderbewuste van de mens van nu van kleur voorziet, dat hoop en vertrouwen in de toekomst geeft. - Raymond E. Feist
This book is dedicated to Harold Matson with deep appreciation, respect and affection.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 055327211X, Mass Market Paperback)

Magic and murder engulf the realm of Kelewan.  Fierce warlords ignite a bitter blood feud to enslave the empire of Tsuranuanni.  While in the opulent Imperial courts, assassins and spy-master plot cunning and devious intrigues against the rightful heir.  Now Mara, a young, untested Ruling lady, is called upon to lead her people in a heroic struggle for survival.  But first she must rally an army of rebel warriors, form a pact with the alien cho-ja, and marry the son of a hated enemy.  Only then can Mara face her most dangerous foe of all--in his own impregnable stronghold.  An epic tale of adventure and intrigue.  Daughter of the Empire is fantasy of the highest order by two of the most talented writers in the field today.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:03 -0400)

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Mara, a young, untested Ruling Lady of Kelewan, is called upon to lead her people in a heroic stuggle for survival. But first she must rally an army of rebel warriors, form a pact with the alien cho-ja and marry the son of a hated enemy. Queen Mara of Acoma vows to avenge the deaths of her brother and father, even if it means killing her own husband.… (more)

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