Title: Daughter of the Empire
Author: Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts
Series: Kelewan Empire #1
Rating: 5/5 stars! :-)
The Overview: Magic and murder engulf the realm of Kelewan. Fierce warlords ignite a bitter blood feud to enslave the empire of Tsuranuanni. While in the opulent Imperial courts, assassins and spy-master plot cunning and devious intrigues against the rightful heir. Now Mara, a young, untested Ruling lady, is called upon to lead her people in a heroic struggle for survival. But first she must rally an army of rebel warriors, form a pact with the alien cho-ja, and marry the son of a hated enemy. Only then can Mara face her most dangerous foe of all–in his own impregnable stronghold. An epic tale of adventure and intrigue. Daughter of the Empire is fantasy of the highest order by two of the most talented writers in the field today.
This is a strong contender as my favorite book of all-time. It has all the elements that make a book great: strong characters, excellent world-building, masterful writing, and a page-turning story. If any of you aren’t familiar with Feist’s Riftwar saga, the arc of the series involves one world (Midkemia) being invaded by another world (Kelewan) from across a magical rift. The invading soldiers are known as the Tsurani, and Feist talks a lot about them in his second book, Magician: Master. What the Kelewan Empire trilogy does is take you deep into the Tsurani’s world, following the life of a young woman within it. I LOVED this trilogy. It was such a gripping story that I literally could not put it down!
The main character is both dynamic and endearing, and I found her completely fascinating as she develops throughout each book. The world-building was outright fantastic, and arguably the best element of this series. It’s been ten years since I read them, and I can still remember Kelewan in vivid detail. New flora and fauna, new architecture, new politial/religious systems – Feist and Wurts obviously spent a lot of time developing, and really made the world come to life! Because of this trilogy, they are without a doubt my favorite writing duo.
Overall, it was an amazing trilogy that I will forever hold on a pedestal. It definitely tops my Best Fantasy Book Bulletin!
Recommendations: If you’re new to Feist’s works, I recommend you read Magician: Apprentice and Magician: Master first before switching over to this trilogy, then continue on with “Silverthorn.” Even though these were my all-time favs, the Riftwar saga also makes the top ten list and are definitely worth reading!!
Other books you might like:
- “The Wayfarer Redemption” by Sara Douglass
- “Medalon” by Jennifer Fallon
- “The Aware” by Glenda Larke
- “Thief’s Gamble” by Juliet E. Mckenna
- “Heart of Myrial” by Maggie Furey