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Empress (Godspeaker, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – April 1, 2008
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In a family torn apart by poverty and violence, Hekat is no more than an unwanted mouth to feed, worth only a few coins from a passing slave trader.
But Hekat was not born to be a slave. For her, a different path has been chosen.
It is a path that will take her from stinking back alleys to the house of her God, from blood-drenched battlefields to the glittering palaces of Mijak.
This is the story of Hekat, precious and beautiful.
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You could easily cut out half of this book by cutting out repetitive conversations between and inner monologues by the characters. The god see you, Karen Miller. The god see you in its overbearing eye. The god sees you, Karen Miller. The god holds you in its much-spoken-of eye.
But the book (and its sequel) does have many redeeming qualities. Unlike some reviewers who were put off by Hekat, I quite enjoyed reading a fantasy novel with a "heroine" so different from the norm. Hekat isn't a heroine at all, she is simply a main character in the first book of what's basically an epic fantasy. It's pretty daring to to make your primary narrator your villain.
The best part of these books, really, is the confusing nature of divinity. I personally loathe fantasy that is over-reliant on divine intervention and prophecy. The Godspeaker trilogy is one such, BUT Karen Miller takes care to keep you wondering about the gods. Do gods, as such, really exist in this world? Or are the divine revelations guided by the self-interest of the characters and the magic evoked from less powerful supernatural forces? Every possibly divine manifestation is balanced by one attributed to god, but with an obviously human source.
However, it's a pain to wade through this many pages for so little action. Much like Karen Miller's gods, each interesting facet of the novel is buried by an annoyance with the novel; so that I personally can't call the books "bad", but I also can't call them "good."
I absolutely loved this book. The character development of Hekat was completely believable. I think the reason for most of the bad reviews was that a woman could be so focused, so dedicated, strong, and ruthless qualities usually found in a ambitious male. We as a society are attracted to such qualities in our entertainment and in a war situation, so what's the difference? Are there people out there who actually believe that a person born and raised in a very abusive environment will grow up to be a cute and cuddly doe eyed girl "I think not." These are the characteristics that allowed her to excel and become an effective Empress.
The description of the vastly different countries was wonderful and made me see it in my mind.
As far a religion goes, how many religions especially Christianity are without a violent history. I only wish that there was a religion that challenged and punished so-called speakers of God.
All the characters had a destiny to fulfill. Everything they endured helped to mold them and make them major players in the God final plans.
I hope that part two and three are even half as interesting and that Ms. Miller does not allow others to determine the course her female characters take.
I would give the rest of the series 4 stars. The only problem with it is the characters seem to have many of the same arguments again and again. And it is a bit more narrative driven then plot at times and that is not my preference. But overall the whole series was so enjoyable it made me get off my duff and write a review.
Most recent customer reviews
Empress takes us to the cruel world of Mijak. It's people are harsh and suffer under the bloodthirsty rule of a 'God' that...Read more