Empire’s Hostage by Marian L. Thorpe @rararesources @marianlthorpe #empireslegacy #bookreview #giveaway #blogtour

Paperback, 249 pages or Kindle Edition, 374 pages
Published: July 16th 2017 by Arboretum Press
ISBN: 0994068123 (ISBN13: 9780994068125)
Edition Language: English
Series: Empire’s Legacy #2

To buy now, please click here. 

I am very pleased to welcome you to one of the last stops on the blog tour for Marian L. Thorpe’s second book in the Empire’s Legacy series, ‘Empire’s Hostage. Thanks so much to the author and publisher for the digital copy in exchange for my thoughts, and to Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part in the tour. Please read to the end to enter the giveaway!

What’s it about?

Hostage ebook cover

For fifteen months, the Empire and the northern people have been at war, but a truce is finally at hand. As part of this treaty, Lena, now a Guardswoman on the Wall, is asked to stand as a hostage, to go north to live and learn among the people of Linrathe.

But not everyone there will welcome her.

As Lena learns more of the history of both her land and the north, a new threat emerges, one that will test her loyalty to its limits, and in the end, demand a price she could not have envisioned.

My thoughts:

This is the second book in the trilogy, and having enjoyed the first, ‘Empire’s Daughter’, I was very keen to revisit Lena et al. I already knew I would enjoy Marian’s writing; she has incredible attention to detail and the way in which she intelligently retells and mixes various cultural histories is superb.

I found it far easier to keep up with the characters this time and didn’t need to consult the directory at the start, as I did quite frequently last time! I was more invested in Lena’s character, particularly as the story went on, because, while I found it quite hard to reconcile her age with her thoughts and behaviour while she was in Tirvan, I realised while reading ‘Empire’s Hostage’ that I was wrong, and that she is only really learning to reconcile actions with consequence and the cynicism that comes with age is developing.

The plot is well paced, thoroughly absorbing and tense. Given the fragility of the truce, Lena is torn between her desire for knowledge and the need to be restrained in her interactions, despite finding people she both likes and admires during her restricted journey to north of the Wall. I enjoyed how Lena’s understanding of the world is shaken, fuelling her to desire to discover more, and how the restrictive nature of being a hostage, leads her to make shaky decisions with far-reaching ramifications.

I was glad this time of the guide to pronunciation in the appendices. There is a mixture of words fairly unfamiliar to me of Celtic and Scandinavian origin. The nature of song and stories in disseminating information and a hidden history is a real treat. It’s light on romantic interest, which is both realistic and refreshing as Lena stays true to herself. This is not to say that it doesn’t tug at the heartstrings though, because it often does.

I love her adventurous spirit, her intelligence, independence and her strength of character. She is the heroine I would have liked to have been, and certainly for young adults (and older) with an interest in cultural and military history, the Empire’s Legacy series promises to be incredible.

I’m very interested to know how Cillian and Lena will negotiate their new circumstances in ‘Empire’s Exile’ as I am loving this series; right up my street! Watch the blog in March, where I will be sharing my thoughts.

For lovers of adventure and keenly observed, well researched history, looking for a strong, bright and resilient heroine, I highly recommend the Empire’s Legacy series.

 

About the author:

Empires Hostage Author

Not content with two careers as a research scientist and an educator, Marian L Thorpe decided to go back to what she’d always wanted to do and be a writer.

Author of the alternative world medieval trilogy Empire’s Legacy, Marian also has published short stories and poetry.

Her life-long interest in Roman and post-Roman European history informs her novels, while her avocations of landscape archaeology and birding provide background to her settings.

To connect with the author:

Twitter

Facebook

Website

GIVEAWAY!! to Win a Paperback copy of Empire’s Legacy, the complete trilogy (Open Internationally)

Empires Legacy ebook

Enter here!

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

For the rest of the blog tour, and lots of unique perspectives on ‘Empire’s Hostage, please take a look at the tour banner below:

Empires Hostage Full Tour Banner

 

‘Empire’s Daughter’ (Empire’s Legacy, Book I) by Marian L Thorpe @marianlthorpe @rararesources @gilbster1000 #amreading #bookblogger #bookworm #bookreview #giveaway

I am very pleased to be on the book tour today for Empire’s Daughter, the first in the Empire’s Legacy series, by Marian L Thorpe. Many thanks to Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources for including me, and for my copy of the book, which I have reviewed as a reader, honestly, individually and impartially. Also, don’t forget to enter the exciting bookish giveaway at the end!

Empires Daughter ebook cover

The Blurb:

For twenty generations, the men and women of The Empire have lived separately, the women farming and fishing, the men fighting wars. But in the spring of Lena’s seventeenth year, an officer rides into her village with an unprecedented request. The Empire is threatened by invasion, and to defend it successfully, women will need to fight.

When the village votes in favour, Lena and her partner Maya are torn apart. Maya chooses exile rather than battle, Lena chooses to fight. As Lena learns the skills of warfare and leadership, she discovers that choices have consequences that cannot be foreseen, and that her role in her country’s future is greater than she could have dreamed.

My Review:

This novel has a great premise, and really appealed to the lover of Roman and medieval history in me. It diverges slightly and intentionally to make the story work, but this neither matters nor disappoints.

The story begins in a village called Tirvan which is entirely comprised of women, who undertake all the work to supply the Empire, and are visited by men, twice a year only, at Festival. This is a time where willing women of age can form brief relationships in order to bear children. This system is known as Partition and is governed by an agreement made between men and women, some years hence. They undertake the work of the Empire, to support the ongoing military campaigns. At seven years old, male children are permanently removed from their families for army training.

Most women are for the remainder of the time, in same sex relationships. Seventeen-year-old Lena is partnered with Maya, and together they skipper a fishing vessel. Her mother is one of the village leaders, and the local political system is participative. Lives are peaceful and ordered, until the arrival of a male emissary, Casyn, who has been sent from the Emperor to warn them that there is going to be an invasion from the island of Leste. He tells the village women that their coastline is going to be one of the landing points, and they must be taught and organised to fight. Lena secretly relishes the excitement of this, but Maya is angry.

I don’t want to spoil the story from there, as Empire’s daughter is a book well worth reading for yourself. I would class it as YA historical fantasy, as the story centres around young people, but as a 41-year-old, I enjoyed it too! There are some great themes around history, gender, politics, relationships, family, love, loss and adventure. The world building is rich and well thought through.

The women all appear literate and have always had a key role in making decisions in society, down to the arrangement of Partition years ago and the level of female empowerment was not as I expected, and great to read about.

Lena has a range of emotions and convictions that I simply did not have at seventeen. In the context of the time though, when boys were sent into military training at seven, it seems appropriate that Lena behaves more like someone in their mid-twenties at such a young age in this novel. I lost track of the characters quite often, as there are many, and I had to refer to the character page at the beginning a fair bit to refamiliarise myself. The author clearly preempted readers like me! I was well invested in the storyline of the main characters though. I didn’t envy Lena for the choices she had to make, but I enjoyed the plot very much.

Those who enjoy strong female characters, keen world-building and the history of civilisations and how they evolve will, I think, really enjoy Empire’s Daughter. I am looking forward to reading the next instalment.

Purchase Link – buy here!

About the author: Marian L Thorpe

Empires author photo

Writer of historical fantasy and urban fantasy for adults. The Empire’s Legacy series explores gender expectations, the conflicts between personal belief and societal norms, and how, within a society where sexuality is fluid, personal definitions of love and loyalty change with growth and experience.

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.

Social media links:

Author website

Twitter

Facebook

EXCITING GIVEAWAY!!!!

Giveaway to Win all 3 paperbacks of the Empire’s Legacy trilogy  (Open Internationally)

Empires Giveaway Prize

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome. Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below. The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over. Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data. I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Enter here!

As usual, of course, this is a blog tour and there are many other insights into Empire’s Daughter, the series and the author. Please do check them out!

Empires Daughter Full Tour Banner