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Empire Ascendant (The Worldbreaker Saga) Paperback – October 6, 2015

4.3 out of 5 stars 44 ratings
Book 2 of 3: Worldbreaker Saga

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“It’s epic in the truest sense of the world, and fantastic in a completely original and inventive way…I read all 400-odd pages in about 12 hours, ignoring all else. My guess is you will too.”
– Ysabeau Wilce for Locus

“Kameron Hurley warned us all on twitter that Terrible Things would befall the characters introduced in The Mirror Empire, and she did not lie. But she also didn’t give the whole truth. Empire Ascendant is a deeply complicated book. Yes, it is dark and brutal. But it is also almost bizarrely hopeful.”
– B R Sanders, Clatter and Clank

Empire Ascendant is a masterful addition to the epic fantasy genre.”
– Borrowed Worlds

“Hurley is clearly genius.”
– Joe’s Geek Fest

“Recommended for fans of Game of Thrones and The Emperor’s Blades.  Intricate, unforgiving, and fascinating.”
 Libromancer’s Apprentice

“Hurley has put together something very special. There are complex characters. There’s a believable, if broken world. There’s a plot which will absolutely knock your socks off, if you’re prepared to let it. But it’s also a book willing to explore more deeply, to challenge reader preconceptions and expectations, to ask the reader to invest themselves, and willing to repay that investment in a mixture of enlightenment and blood. That depth, and that narrative bravery, makes Empire Ascendant not just a very good fantasy novel, but a great one – and one very highly recommended.”
– SF and F Reviews

“[Kameron Hurley] stated on twitter that this is to the first book what Empire Strikes Back is toStar Wars, but I feel she sells herself short. This book, in how it grows the themes of The Mirror Empire and builds them to dizzying, breathtaking heights is more of a Godfather Part II. Everything about it is better, greater, grander than what came before.”
– View from Ascraeus

“This series just keeps getting better. It’s one of the most complex sci-fi series I’ve read yet I quickly got back into its worlds. Should you read it? If you love digging deep into worlds and relationships among divergent people, as well as exploring what makes people tick, then I think you’ll really like this series.”
– Popcorn Reads

“There is something about picking up the second in a series. You already know you like the concept or you wouldn’t bother to continue, but this time it’s different. The story has to hold up not only to its internal standard but to your memories of the first book and it takes a skilled author to manage that. Luckily Kameron Hurley counts as a skilled author and in Empire Ascendant she unravels the story into something even bigger without once dropping the thread.”
– Nerd Underground

“Although this is a second (or middle) book, things actually happen here. With the world, the scenario, and the characters already established, Hurley is free to focus on the action – and she delivers that in spades. This is a fast-paced tale that carries a sense of urgency from page one.”
– The Speculative Herald

“This is epic fantasy at its best! Every fantasy reader should read this series!”
– Bull Spec

“Read this book. Well, start with book one The Mirror Empire and then once you’ve been sucked into this ‘verse go read this one…I was totally immersed in this story.”
– Susan Hated Literature

“With the world, the scenario, and the characters already established, Hurley is free to focus on the action – and she delivers that in spades. This is a fast-paced tale that carries a sense of urgency from page one. You can feel the tension oozing off the page as the characters clash, cultures collide, and worlds approach an end. The plot develops as much, if not more so, than in the first book – and not always in ways you’d expect. There are twists and turns to the tale that even the most jaded readers won’t see coming, as the story careens downhill towards an uncomfortable precipice.”
– Beauty in Ruins

“If you’re a fan of intense fantasy with an impressive death toll, Empire Ascendant by Kameron Hurley is the book for you.”
– Knitter Nerd

“I have become a Kameron Hurley… fangirl? Devotee? Acolyte? I’ll say this to those who already read The Mirror Empire: Yes, you want to read this too,  and no, you will not be disappointed.”
– Fat Robot


Praise for the Worldbreaker Saga:

"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

"Yes, it’s dark, and yes, it can be a difficult, layered, complex read (call it graduate-level fantasy). But it’s so unlike a lot of epic fantasy out there. Heck, it’s unlike a lot of grimdark out there too. I mean, how many grimdark novels do you know deal with issues of gender fluidity and consent? For some readers, this review may add up to a catalog of reasons not to read this series. And I realize that many readers might bounce off this book. But they would be missing out on some of the most ambitious, original fantasy I’ve read in a long time."
-Eric Christensen, Fantasy Faction

"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

“Hurley has put together something very special. There are complex characters. There’s a believable, if broken world. There’s a plot which will absolutely knock your socks off, if you’re prepared to let it. But it’s also a book willing to explore more deeply, to challenge reader preconceptions and expectations, to ask the reader to invest themselves, and willing to repay that investment in a mixture of enlightenment and blood. That depth, and that narrative bravery, makes Empire Ascendant not just a very good fantasy novel, but a great one – and one very highly recommended.”
– SF and F Reviews

“[Kameron Hurley] stated on twitter that this is to the first book what Empire Strikes Back is toStar Wars, but I feel she sells herself short. This book, in how it grows the themes of The Mirror Empire and builds them to dizzying, breathtaking heights is more of a Godfather Part II. Everything about it is better, greater, grander than what came before.”
– View from Ascraeus

“There is something about picking up the second in a series. You already know you like the concept or you wouldn’t bother to continue, but this time it’s different. The story has to hold up not only to its internal standard but to your memories of the first book and it takes a skilled author to manage that. Luckily Kameron Hurley counts as a skilled author and in Empire Ascendant she unravels the story into something even bigger without once dropping the thread.”
– Nerd Underground

“Although this is a second (or middle) book, things actually happen here. With the world, the scenario, and the characters already established, Hurley is free to focus on the action – and she delivers that in spades. This is a fast-paced tale that carries a sense of urgency from page one.”
– The Speculative Herald 

“Read this book. Well, start with book one The Mirror Empire and then once you’ve been sucked into this ‘verse go read this one…I was totally immersed in this story.”
– Susan Hated Literature

“My most anticipated novel of the year. I’ll go ahead and say outright that it was both worth the wait and satisfied my expectations.”
– The Dinglehopper

“This is one of those books that tears your heart out, takes a big bite out of it, and then smushes it back into place and hopes you can recover. Gory image? Well, you’d better get used to it if you want to take on this series! I’m usually terrified of gore and avoid books that are really bloody because I can’t stomach it, but there is just something about this series that keeps me fascinated and glued to the pages even when I am internally running away screaming.”
– Snowflakes and Spider Silk


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

“Hurley’s world-building is phenomenal… (she) smoothly handles tricky themes such as race, class, religion, and gender without sacrificing action.”
Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Kameron Hurley is an award-winning author and advertising copywriter.  Hurley grew up in Washington State, and has lived in Fairbanks, Alaska; Durban, South Africa; and Chicago. She has a degree in historical studies from the University of Alaska and a Master’s in History from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, specializing in the history of South African resistance movements.

Her essay on the history of women in conflict“We Have Always Fought” was the first blog post to win a Hugo Award. It was also nominated for Best Non-Fiction work by the British Fantasy Society.

Hurley is the author of God’s WarInfidel, 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. Her latest novel, The Mirror Empire is published by Angry Robot Books. and the sequel, Empire Ascendant, will be out in October 2015. Her first space opera, The Stars are Legion, will be published from Simon and Schuster’s Saga imprint in fall of 2016.

She has won the Hugo Award twice, and been a finalist for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, Nebula Award, the Locus Award and the BSFA Award for Best Novel. Additionally, her work has been included on the Tiptree Award Honor List and been long-listed for the Gemmell Morningstar Award.

Hurley’s short fiction has appeared in magazines such as LightspeedEscapePod, and Strange Horizons, and anthologies such as The Lowest Heaven, The Mammoth Book of SF Stories by Women,Year’s Best SF and the upcoming Meeting Infinity. Her work has been translated into Romanian, Swedish, German, Hebrew, Chinese, Spanish and Russian. She is also a graduate of Clarion West, and writes regular columns for Locus Magazine.

In addition to her writing, Hurley has been a Stollee guest lecturer at Buena Vista University and taught copywriting at the School of Advertising Art. Hurley currently lives in Ohio, where she’s cultivating an urban homestead.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 1 pounds
  • Paperback : 464 pages
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0857665591
  • Product dimensions : 5.42 x 1.2 x 8.49 inches
  • Publisher : Angry Robot (October 6, 2015)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 44 ratings

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
44 global ratings
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Juno
4.0 out of 5 stars A complex world
Reviewed in Canada on August 21, 2017
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in Canada on March 14, 2016
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