The Risen Empire (Succession, Book 1)
by Scott Westerfeld
Cover Artist: Stephan Martiniere
Review by Andrew Brooks
Tor Books Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765319982
Date: 22 July 2008 List Price $14.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Article /
Scott Westerfeild's The Risen Empire, Book One of Succession, is space opera on crack. Fast-paced, literally jumping from scene to scene like and action packed SF flick, this book rarely drags as Westerfield blazes through to the cliff-hanger ending. That's part of the good news for those of you out there craving a space opera series in which the title contains neither the words "Star" or "Wars." The bad news is that the constant shifting of narrative viewpoint can also be this book's greatest flaw. But readers will be happy to know that it doesn't take away from the fact that The Risen Empire is a great read. From official release/information:
Product Description: The Risen Empire is the first great space opera of the twenty-first century. The undead Emperor has ruled his mighty interstellar empire of eighty human worlds for sixteen hundred years. Because he can grant a form of eternal life-after-death, creating an elite known as the Risen, his power is absolute. He and his sister, the Child Empress, who is eternally a little girl, are worshiped as living gods.
The Rix are machine-augmented humans who worship very different gods: AI compound minds of planetary size. Cool, relentless fanatics, their only goal is to propagate such AIs. They seek to end the Emperor's prolonged rule, and supplant it with an eternal cybernetic dynasty. They begin by taking the Child Empress hostage. Captain Laurent Zai of the Imperial Frigate Lynx is tasked with her rescue.
Separated by light years, bound by an unlikely love, Zai and pacifist Senator Nara Oxham must both face the challenge of the Rix, and both will hold the fate of the empire in their hands.
(Source: Tor Books)