Book Review: Daughter of the Empire (The Empire Trilogy #1) by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts
“Every sunlit façade cast a dark shadow and in those shadows the enemy plotted.”
More like three stars, but extra credit for the rousing climax. Competent, if derivative epic fantasy set in an east Asia-analog medieval kingdom. Obvious Game of Thrones rip off. The term “the Game of the Council” appears in every chapter. Finally, toward the end, the authors admit that even the cast would not be using that stilted phrase, but simply “the game” without the capitalization.
“What do you think the game is, if not to remain while you dispose of your enemies?”
Slow start. Episodic. Most crisis are dealt with in turn with the over-arching plot dormant for most of the story. Mara meets and conquers each challenge–and challenger–in turn. Nice climax.
“Fear the man who doesn’t desire a woman, for he will see you only as a tool or a foe.”
Lots of short cuts and predictable plotting. Large, six-legged mammals signal lazy fantasy writers. (Like multiple moons in the same orbit in science fiction.) The cho-ja (who have an excuse for six limbs) could have saved the story, but were introduced then reduced to two-dimensional puppets.
“Who is to be more feared, one who acts from ambition or one who acts for the needs of survival?”