Updated: Aug 25, 2020
Empire’s Daughter (Empire’s Legacy Book 1)
A novel by Marian L Thorpe
Genre: Historic Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
What's it about?
Lena is a simple fisherwoman in a woman’s village where young boys are sent away at the age of 7 to join the Empire’s army. But when an Empire General arrives in the village and asks for the women’s help to fight the invaders coming from across the sea, Lena’s world opens up to reveal a history and legacy that she had no idea about.
Not What I Expected
In keeping with my New Year's resolution to read a wide variety of genres this year, I have tended to avoid reading any reviews about the books I have chosen to read. As a result, I completely misunderstood the premise of this book when I first began reading it. I had seen ‘Empire’ in the blurb and wrongly assumed it to be about the British Empire, so it took me a while to figure out what was going on, but once I did, I was captivated by Thorpe’s simple prose that ensured a compelling and uncomplicated read.
I would have liked to have seen more depth to the characters and to the dynamics of the relationships, both platonic and romantic. But as the story unfolded and revealed how much a part of a militaristic world the women’s village was in, the tone and voice of the characters made more sense and actually worked really well.
Thorpe’s world building was subtle yet effective. It wasn’t until I finished reading the story, with a strong mental image in my mind what her world looked like, that I was then pleasantly surprised to find that the map at the end of the book perfectly matched the world I had built in my head.
Thorpe masterfully describes the complexities of the laws of the land with such clarity that I never felt tripped up or drowned in the logistics of it all.
This is not a face-paced or action-packed story. The leisurely construct of characters and settings from one small village is peeled away like layers of an onion to reveal a truly much bigger and more complex world, as the story evolves. It is skilfully done and by the end of the book, I was so invested in Lena and her compatriots that I was keen to see how their journey together continued. It’s a good thing there are two more books in the series!
If you’re a fan of a slow build of intrigue and you love a good cloak-and-dagger tale from the European Dark Ages, then this one’s for you!
Subscribe to Emma Lombard's newsletter for book publication news and swag giveaways.