Lena and Maya make a great pair. They are friends, lovers and have been since their tender teen years. For over 200 years the men and women of The Empire have lived separately. The women hunt, fish and have various other trade skills like making and mending clothing and other needed items; the men are soldiers, from the age of 7 they train to fight in The Emperor's Army keeping the entire Empire safe. One day the threat of war causes the Emperor to make a difficult decision, asking the women to put aside the Partition and learn to fight to defend their land. Their choice is simple, learn to fight or exile. Lena chooses to fight, Maya chooses exile. Now the two must part ways and for the first time they must navigate through their lives without each other.
This book is told in first-person point of view. This story was so good and the writing was absolutely wonderful. Thorpe gives us a wonderfully detailed picture of the places within the story. The characters themselves are also done perfectly. I found Empire's Daughter to be easily enjoyable. The pace is slower but not drawn out; it fits the story well.
I was feeling a lot things in this story. There are so many elements and events that lead you to feel different things from happiness and excitement to frustration and disappointment. Everything is challenged in this book from societal norms, personal beliefs and desires, and even when to abide by the law and when to bend or brake it. It's like watching an entire society unfold and then having them try to figure out how best to put it back together. Things will never be as they once were, roles are being redefined and now everyone must find their place in The Empire all over again.
What I liked most about this book was the strong female characters. The women are given a choice if they want to learn to fight to protect themselves and their land in the pending war. Some women choose not to and instead take their chances with exile, like Maya. The majority of the women chose to fight. This happens early in the book and it totally pumped me up for the book ahead. The women all coming together breaking tradition to defend their families and land hooked me.
"We defended our animals, and ourselves, with weapons." She thumped her staff on the floor. " I have killed a wolf or two in my time, and I would do it again. Why is this any different, except this time the wolves have two legs?"
I thought of Maya, of her passionate conviction that women did not fight, did not kill. I wondered if she would see the necessity of this ruling, or if she would think only that we had betrayed her beliefs.
Overall, I recommend reading this book. It is classified as fantasy but there are no magical elements to it. If you enjoy strong female characters, a dash of love and a sprinkle of hope and betrayal than you will probably enjoy this book. I definitely intend on finishing this trilogy.
The world of Empire's Legacy was inspired by my interest in the history of Britain in the years when it was a province of the Roman Empire called Britannia, and then in the aftermath of the fall of the Roman Empire. In another life, I would have been a landscape archaeologist, and landscape is an important metaphor in the Empire's Legacy trilogy and in all my writing, fiction and non-fiction.
I live in Canada for most of the year, England for the rest, have one cat, a husband, and when I'm not writing or editing, I'm birding.
Website is marianlthorpe.com
Twitter @Marian Thorpe
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/marianlthorpe
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