Empress by Karen Miller
First she was an unwanted daughter who was sold into slavery and then she became a warrior and then the Empress. Hekat started life knowing nothing but pain and anger but as she grew up she knew that she was special, she was godtouched. No matter what anyone tells her Hekat knew she was special.
Also godtouched is Vortka, fellow slave turned Godspeaker who tries his hardest to appease the god but sometimes finds it difficult to attend sacrifices. He hides it well and tries to stay out of the way of the high Godspeaker Nagarak but it appears that he is destined for great things as the god and Hekat give him instructions that will lead to him being one of the most powerful men in Mijak and the only man who is able to control Hekat.
Empress is by far one of the best books that I have read in a long time. Hekat is frustratingly single-minded and commands the attention of all those around her. She knows what she is doing and nothing is going to stop her from achieving what she must to bring her god’s goals to fruition. If you have ever had the opportunity to encounter religious zealots it is easy to know exactly the type of person Hekat is.
The point of view switches between Hekat, Vortka, Warlord Raklion, Nagarak and later Zandakar. They all have distinctly different personalities that you come to love and hate. What I particularly love about this book is that Miller is able to show these characters personalities in the narration, describing the world as these characters see it. The characters are all interesting and most of the time fierce but I did sometimes get impatient at having to read through Raklion and Nagarak’s storylines as I often wanted to get back to Hekat and her single-minded goal of bringing the world to heel.
Empress is such a well written. Not only does Karen Miller fix the world firmly in your mind but she narrates the book in the style that the characters speak. When the characters are happy you are happy and when they are frustrated so are you. It is difficult to say clearly who in this story is supposed to be the villain or the hero as with each character you start to think as that character and believe that the other characters are working against you.
You can easily believe that a world such as this exists as Miller describes the world so well that it becomes as clear in your mind as the world as Harry Potter. The book can be quite violent but while some scenes of murder and sex can be surprisingly in depth Miller does not bore the reader with endless battle and fight scenes, choosing only to describe fights that are integral to the storyline.
Anyone who liked Kingmaker and Kingbreaker will love this book. It is a very hefty read at 688 pages but it rarely felt like a chore, which can happen sometimes with long books. The only complaint I would make is that sometimes Hekat’s single-mindedness can get a little but annoying but that is a minor complaint compared to the quality of the book and story. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys reading this sort of fantasy.
This Empress book review was written by Anna Sheldrick
All reviews for: Godspeaker
Godspeaker: Book 1
First she was an unwanted daughter who was sold into slavery and then she became a warrior and then the Empress. Hekat started life knowing nothing but pain and anger but a...
The Riven Kingdom
Godspeaker: Book 2
The King of Ethrea is dying and has left no one as his successor except his daughter Princess Rhian, who is not yet old enough to take up the throne in her own right unless...
Hammer of God
Godspeaker: Book 3
Mijak is getting close to dominating not only the deserts but now the seas. Ethrea is just a short sail away but the wind refuses to cooperate and Hekat is getting frustrat...
Have you read Empress?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Empress reader reviews
Sarah from West Midlands
I'm sorry to say it, but the more I read of Miller's writing the more it annoys me. I was a little irritated by the King Maker, King Breaker series and over all enjoyed it enough to read it through to the end, but this one - life is too short. It really takes the cake. I accidentally bought the 3rd and it has gone in the bin too - unopened.
Shell from Winchester
An intriguing series - but not as strong as her earlier books.
6.7/10 from 3 reviews
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
At the Convent of Sweet Mercy young girls are raised to be killers. In a few the old bloods show, gifting talents rarely seen since the tribes beached their ships on Abeth....
The Legend of Eli Monpress
With the pressure on after his success in Gaol, Eli Monpress, professional thief and degenerate, decides it's time to lie low for a bit. Taking up residence in a tiny s...
Matthew Woodring Stover
Renowned throughout the land of Ankhana as the Blade of Tyshalle, Caine has killed his share of monarchs and commoners, villains and heroes. He is relentless, unstoppable, ...
To find the Sword, unearth the Barrow. To unearth the Barrow, follow the Map. When a small crew of scoundrels, would-be heroes, deviants, and ruffians discover a map that t...
Age of Assassins
Girton Club-Foot, apprentice to the land's best assassin, still has much to learn about the art of taking lives. But their latest mission tasks him and his master with ...
Where Loyalties Lie
Rob J Hayes
Everybody knows Captain Drake Morass is only out for himself. As the fires of a dying city burn on a distant shore, Drake sees an opportunity to unite the other pirate Capt...
A Dance of Cloaks
The Underworld rules the city of Veldaren. Thieves, smugglers, assassins... they fear only one man. Thren Felhorn is the greatest assassin of his time. All the thieves'...
George RR Martin
A collection of twenty-one original stories by a list of contributors including a new A Game of Thrones story by George R. R. Martin. Follow along with the likes of Gillian...
The Scroll Thief
Malachy and his sister rely on his talents as a thief to survive the dangerous streets of Klathport, former capital of the once-great kingdom of Ithian. Stealing a few pape...
Saddened because they have left one of their number in a grave in the wilderness, Harold and his companions continue their journey to the dreaded underground palace of Hrad...
Treachery and corruption lurk at the end of every street, in the holy city of Othir. It's the perfect place for a freelance assassin with no loyalties and even fewer sc...
The Waking Fire
For decades the lands of the Ironship Syndicate have been defended by the Blood-blessed - men and women able to channel the powers contained in the potent blood of wild dra...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
- Recommended heroic / sword & sorcery books/series
- The thief in fantasy literature
- Recommended books/series featuring royalty, monarchy and empire
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
A corrupted city. A dark dream of power. Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his mind. But as the Jardines tighten their grip on a turbulent Britain, brother and sister face a fight greater than their own. New alliances and old feuds will remake the natio...
The Fifth Empire of Man
Rob J Hayes
The Pirate Isles are united under Drake Morrass’ flag, but the war has only just begun. There’s still a long way to go before he’s able to call himself Ki...
Ian C Esslemont
After the disappointments of Li Heng, Dancer and Kellanved wash up on a small insignificant island named Malaz. Immediately, of course, Kellanved plans to take it over. To ...
Age of Swords
Michael J Sullivan
Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhunes make it all but impossible to unite against the co...
A Time of Dread
The Ben-Elim, a race of warrior angels, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands. But their dominion is brutally enforced and their ancient en...
The Last Dog on Earth
Adrian J Walker
Every dog has its day... And for Lineker, a happy go lucky mongrel from Peckham, the day the world ends is his: finally a chance to prove to his owner just how loyal he can...
The Shadow Crucible
Taking humanity back to their primordial beliefs and fears, Estella confronts Mikhail’s faith by revealing the true horror of the lucrative trade in human souls. All ...