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Book Review: Empire of Silence by Christopher Ruocchio

* I am reviewing this book that I received from the publisher but this in no way affects my review *

Empire of Silence (Sun Eater)Title: Empire of Silence
Authors: Christopher Ruocchio
Source: NetGalley/Publisher
Publisher: Gollancz
Rating: 4/5 stars

Book Summary: 

Hadrian Marlowe, a man revered as a hero and despised as a murderer, chronicles his tale in the galaxy-spanning debut of the Sun Eater series, merging the best of space opera and epic fantasy.

It was not his war.

On the wrong planet, at the right time, for the best reasons, Hadrian Marlowe started down a path that could only end in fire. The galaxy remembers him as a hero: the man who burned every last alien Cielcin from the sky. They remember him as a monster: the devil who destroyed a sun, casually annihilating four billion human lives--even the Emperor himself--against Imperial orders.

But Hadrian was not a hero. He was not a monster. He was not even a soldier.

Fleeing his father and a future as a torturer, Hadrian finds himself stranded on a strange, backwater world. Forced to fight as a gladiator and into the intrigues of a foreign planetary court, he will find himself fight a war he did not start, for an Empire, he does not love, against an enemy he will never understand.

Book Review:

I was actually really excited to read this as I had seen a lot of hype about the book up to its release and after. This made me really interested as I don't read as much sci-fi as I would like to but I wanted to push myself out of my YA comfort zone and try this one. If you hadn't seen by the rating I was so glad that I did as Empire of Silence is a thrilling and exciting sci-fi read that more people should read. 

I think that I was shocked by the size. I had had this book for the longest time before pre-publication but I was daunted by it. I then decided that I should split up the book by reading four chapters a day. This definitely helped ease me into what can be a confusing world with so many planets but Christopher does an amazing job of building up the world and making everything so easy to understand that it did not hinder my reading experience. I also got 100 pages deep into this book before I was completely sucked in and needed to know what was going to happen. The other 600 pages were great from that point. (I believe that the finished edition is around 600 pages long whereas mine was around 700.)

Hadrian is such an interesting and likeable character and is someone that is so easy to empathise with throughout the story. I thought that he was going to be a completely dislikable due to the situation that we find the story as it is told with him looking back on his life before he is going to be killed. This was not the case and I really loved him as a character and at times I feel like he was really out of his depth which makes for some interesting plot developments as the story progresses. This is the first book in the series so I would love to see where his character develops in the rest of the series and to see who he interacts with. The side characters were also really fleshed out and I fell in love with them too but the plot does cover a lot of ground so I wish we would see more from others. 

I felt like the plot moved at such a fast pace and I loved this. I feel like Christopher really wanted Hadrian to suffer in the book which means that this makes for really interesting storytelling. I also love the scope of this book. It shows the idea that this world is massive but only gives us smaller details which leave the reader wanting so much more and wanting the next book. There was just so much to love from this book and I loved so much from it. I can't wait to read the sequel but for now I can just live in how good this one is.  

The Verdict: 

Empire of Silence is a great sci-fi read with immersive world-building and lovable characters trying to their way in a very complex world. 

Have you read Empire of Silence? Do you want to? Let me know!


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