Daughter of the Empire (Empire Trilogy #1)

Daughter of the Empire (Empire Trilogy #1)

by Raymond E. Feist, Janny Wurts

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Overview

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.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525480150
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 08/22/2017
Series: Riftwar Cycle: The Empire Trilogy Series , #1
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 30,028
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Raymond E. Feist was born and raised in Southern California. He was educated at the University of California, San Diego, where he graduated with honours in Communication Arts. He is the author of the bestselling and critically acclaimed Riftwar Cycle among other books.


Janny Wurts is the author of the ‘Cycle of Fire’ series, co-author of the Empire series and is currently working through the Wars of Light and Shadow series. She paints all her own covers and is also an expert horsewoman, sailor, musician and archer.

Read an Excerpt

ONE
 
LADY
 
The priest struck the gong.
 
The sound reverberated off the temple’s vaulted domes, splendid with brightly colored carvings. The solitary note echoed back and forth, diminishing to a remembered tone, a ghost of sound.
 
Mara knelt, the cold stones of the temple floor draining the warmth from her. She shivered, though not from chill, then glanced slightly to the left, where another initiate knelt in a pose identical to her own, duplicating Mara’s movements as she lifted the white head covering of a novice of the Order of Lashima, Goddess of the Inner Light. Awkwardly posed with the linen draped like a tent above her head, Mara impatiently awaited the moment when the headdress could be lowered and tied. She had barely lifted the cloth and already the thing dragged at her arms like stone weights! The gong sounded again. Reminded of the goddess’s eternal presence, Mara inwardly winced at her irreverent thoughts. Now, of all times, her attention must not stray. Silently she begged the goddess’s forgiveness, pleading nerves—fatigue and excitement combined with apprehension. Mara prayed to the Lady to guide her to the inner peace she so fervently desired.
 
The gong chimed again, the third ring of twenty-two, twenty for the gods, one for the Light of Heaven, and one for the imperfect children who now waited to join in the service of the Goddess of Wisdom of the Upper Heaven. At seventeen years of age, Mara prepared to renounce the temporal world, like the girl at her side who—in another nineteen chimings of the gong—would be counted her sister, though they had met only two weeks before.
 
Mara considered her sister-to-be: Ura was a foul-tempered girl from a clanless but wealthy family in Lash Province while Mara was from an ancient and powerful family, the Acoma. Ura’s admission to the temple was a public demonstration of family piety, ordered by her uncle, the self-styled family Lord, who sought admission into any clan that would take his family. Mara had come close to defying her father to join the order. When the girls had exchanged histories at their first meeting, Ura had been incredulous, then almost angry that the daughter of a powerful Lord should take eternal shelter behind the walls of the order. Mara’s heritage meant clan position, powerful allies, an array of well-positioned suitors, and an assured good marriage to a son of another powerful house. Her own sacrifice, as Ura called it, was made so that later generations of girls in her family would have those things Mara chose to renounce. Not for the first time Mara wondered if Ura would make a good sister of the order. Then, again not for the first time, Mara questioned her own worthiness for the Sisterhood.
 
The gong sounded, deep and rich. Mara closed her eyes a moment, begging for guidance and comfort. Why was she still plagued with doubts? After eighteen more chimes, family, friends, and the familiar would be forever lost. All her past life would be put behind, from earliest child’s play to a noble daughter’s concern over her family’s role within the Game of the Council, that never-ending struggle for dominance which ordered all Tsurani life. Ura would become her sister, no matter the differences in their heritage, for within the Order of Lashima none recognized personal honor or family name. There would remain only service to the goddess, through chastity and obedience.
 
The gong rang again, the fifth stroke. Mara peeked up at the altar atop the dais. Framed beneath carved arches, six priests and priestesses knelt before the statue of Lashima, her countenance unveiled for the initiation. Dawn shone through the lancet windows high in the domes, the palest glow reaching like fingers through the half-dark temple. The touch of sunrise seemed to caress the goddess, softening the jewel-like ceremonial candles that surrounded her. How friendly the Lady looked in morning’s blush, Mara thought. The Lady of Wisdom gazed down with a half-smile on her chiseled lips, as if all under her care would be loved and protected, finding inner peace. Mara prayed this would be true. The only priest not upon his knees again rang the gong. Metal caught the sunlight, a splendid burst of gold against the dark curtain that shrouded the entrance to the inner temple. Then, as the dazzling brilliance faded, the gong rang again.
 
Fifteen more times it would be struck. Mara bit her lip, certain the kind goddess would forgive a momentary lapse. Her thoughts were like flashing lights from broken crystals, dancing about here and there, never staying long in one place. I’m not very good material for the Sisterhood, Mara confessed, staring up at the statue. Please have patience with me, Lady of the Inner Light. Again she glanced at her companion; Ura remained still and quiet, eyes closed. Mara determined to imitate her companion’s behavior outwardly, even if she couldn’t find the appropriate calm within. The gong sounded once more.
 
Mara sought that hidden center of her being, her wal, and strove to put her mind at rest. For a few minutes she found herself successful. Then the beat of the gong snatched her back to the present. Mara shifted her weight slightly, rejecting irritation as she tried to ease her aching arms. She fought an urge to sigh. The inner calm taught by the sisters who had schooled her through her novitiate again eluded her grasp, though she had labored at the convent for six months before being judged worthy of testing here in the Holy City by the priests of the High Temple.
 
Again the gong was struck, as bold a call as the horn that had summoned the Acoma warriors into formation. How brave they all had looked in their green enameled armor, especially the officers with their gallant plumes, on the day they left to fight with the Warlord’s forces. Mara worried over the progress of the war upon the barbarian world, where her father and brother fought. Too many of the family’s forces were committed there. The clan was split in its loyalty within the High Council, and since no single family clearly dominated, bloody politics bore down heavily upon the Acoma. The families of the Hadama Clan were united in name only, and a betrayal of the Acoma by distant cousins who sought Minwanabi favor was not outside the realm of possibility. Had Mara a voice in her father’s counsel, she would have urged a separation from the War Party, even perhaps an alliance with the Blue Wheel Party, who feigned interest only in commerce while they quietly worked to balk the power of the Warlord….”
 
Mara frowned. Again her mind had been beguiled by worldly concerns. She apologized to the goddess, then pushed away thoughts of the world she was leaving behind.
 
Mara peeked as the gong rang again. The stone features of the goddess now seemed set in gentle rebuke; virtue began with the individual, she reminded. Help would come only to those who truly searched for enlightenment. Mara lowered her eyes.
 
The gong reverberated and through the dying shiver of harmonics another sound intruded, a disturbance wholly out of place. Sandals scuffed upon stone in the antechamber, accompanied by the dull clank of weapons and armor. Outside the curtain an attending priest challenged in a harsh whisper, “Stop, warrior! You may not enter the inner temple now! It is forbidden!”
 
Mara stiffened. A chilling prescience passed through her. Beneath the shelter of the tented headcloth, she saw the priests upon the dais rise up in alarm. They turned to face the intruder, and the gong missed its beat and fell silent.
 
“The High Father Superior moved purposefully toward the curtain, his brow knotted in alarm. Mara shut her eyes tightly. If only she could plunge the outside world into darkness as easily, then no one would be able to find her. But the sound of footfalls ceased, replaced by the High Father Superior’s voice. “What cause have you for this outrage, warrior! You violate a most holy rite.”
 
A voice rang out. “We seek the Lady of the Acoma!”
 
The Lady of the Acoma. Like a cold knife plunged into the pit of her stomach, the words cut through Mara’s soul. That one sentence forever changed her life. Her mind rebelled, screaming denial, but she willed herself to remain calm. Never would she shame her ancestors by a public display of grief. She controlled her voice as she slowly rose to her feet. “I am here, Keyoke.”
 
As one, the priests and priestesses watched the High Father Superior cross to stand before Mara. The embroidered symbols on his robes of office flashed fitfully as he beckoned to a priestess, who hastened to his side. Then he looked into Mara’s eyes and read the contained pain hidden there. “Daughter, it is clear Our Mistress of Wisdom has ordained another path for you. Go with her love and in her grace, Lady of the Acoma.” He bowed slightly.
 
Mara returned his bow, then surrendered her head covering to the priestess. Oblivious to Ura’s sigh of envy, she turned at last to face the bearer of those tidings which had changed her life.
Just past the curtain, Keyoke, Force Commander of the Acoma, regarded his mistress with weary eyes. He was a battle-scarred old warrior, erect and proud despite forty years of loyal service. He stood poised to step to the girl’s side, provide a steadying arm, perhaps even shield her from public view should the strain prove too much.

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Daughter of the Empire (Kelewan Empire Series #1) 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Katdancin More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It is not the first time I have read it and it will not be the last. I love the way it takes off from Magician: Apprentice by Feist and goes to the alternate world and makes that world more personal. The characters come to life in this book and it feels like you are right there in the story with them. I loved the way Mara's character grows and matures. There is such a richness and realizm to all of the people in this book. The plot is also excellent. Lots of twists and turns you do not anticipate and never a dull moment. I highly recommend this book. Can't wait to read the next in the series "Servent of the Empire", again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Once I finished this book, I immediately went out and bought the other two in the trilogy. The two partnering authors did a FANTASTIC job of writing this saga. All the characters are real; you'll love the heroine and those around her, and hate their enemies.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The combination of these authors is deadly. They take you into another realm and leave you in limbo between your mind and where you sit reading this enticing fantasy novel. I read this book three times and have just purchased the next two books in this trilogy. I can barely wait to see what Mara thinks up next!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The quality of Feist's writing as well as the development of Mara over this series is truly one of the joy's of literature. The intrigue, suspense, and political maneuverings in this series keep you at the edge of your seat, even after reading it for the 3rd time. It is wonderful reading about how she outfoxes her opponents to carry the survival of the Acoma forward.
BooksForDinner on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed this, but have never finished the series. Running out of Feist, so I'm sure I'll get there.
goldnyght on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I adore this book. I've re-read it half a dozen times and it's just as timeless as ever!
shavienda on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A truly riveting story, I devoured this novel in two days. It was given to me by a friend who said I would enjoy it, so I happily took it from him and found his words to be true. The main character, Mara struggles through many hardships, dancing a dangerous political game where losing means not only the end of her life, but her entire lineage¿s history and honour. The authors keep the drama and suspense high, while the characters are in a whirlwind of dramatic intrigue, assassination attempts, and clever subterfuge. Extremely satisfying novel, I cannot wait till I get my hands on the next one of the trilogy.
souloftherose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first book of a trilogy co-authored by Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts. It is set in Kelewan which is part of the setting of Raymond Feist's Riftwar saga. I've read the Riftwar Saga and a couple of other books by Feist but I haven't read anything by Janny Wurts before (although I have To Ride Hell's Chasm on my TBR shelf).Before I properly review this book I have to admit that I absolutely loved Feist's debut novel, Magician, but ever since I have been slightly disappointed by the other books of his I've read. He also has a couple of annoying writing habits (well I find them annoying, anyway) which really bug me:1) Every chapter starts with a short (three - six words) sentence as the opening paragraph. ("The storm had broken") I can sort of understand why he does this. It's short, it's pithy, it draws you in. But several chapters into a book it starts to get irritating and when he does it for every chapter of every book it makes me want to scream!2) Character descriptions. Particularly at the beginning of his novels, when he spends time setting the characters up Feist seems to describe his characters' personality by using descriptive passages. I prefer writers who let you discover their characters' personalities based on how they act in the book or interact with other characters rather than having it explicitly spelled out for me. I find it slightly patronising and it reminds me that I'm reading a book rather than being completely immersed in the world of the characters in the novel.These habits are again present in Daughter of the Empire. I've assumed they're Feist's habits rather than Janny Wurts' and I'm starting to think that all Feist novels will have these traits.Rant over.This story is based exclusively in the world of Kelewan rather than Midkemia which was the setting for most of the Riftwar Saga. Although this is a world where magic is possible there is actually very little magic in this story, rather the focus of the book is on politics and intrigue.The main character, Mara Acoma, is unexpectedly called away from her future as a novice in a religious order on the death of her father and elder brother. She becomes the leading lady of their house and must learn quickly to survive amidst the intrigues of Kelewan society; a society where assassination and murder are considered socially acceptable and even admirable as long as they are done within the complex rules of Kelewan honour and 'The Game of the Council'. This book was slow to start with but I quickly became fascinated by the complex plots and intrigued by Mara's plans to overcome her family's foes and ensure the prosperity of House Acoma.
willowcove on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This trilogy, while set in the 'other' universe, is a wonderful addition to the Riftwar series
readafew on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In my opinion this is one of the best of the Kelewan/Midkimia books. I've liked all of them that I have read but I think this one is near the top. This is the 1st of a trilogy that takes place on Kelewan. This is about the Tsuranuanni people and their politics.We begin with Mara about to take vows to become a member of the order of Lashima. Before it is complete she is recalled home to become the head of her house because the others in her line were killed in battle. As a mere girl of 17 s she is thrust into a pit of viperous politisians who would enjoy watching her demise and the end of the Acuma line. She set herself the task of more than mere servival, but revenge on the one who orcestrated the death of her father and brother.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This entire story was riveting; I could see and feel the world in which it was written. Truly enjoyable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This series contains everything one would want. I love these books so much, read them multiple times.
VincaBooks More than 1 year ago
Raymond E. Feist, author of The Riftwar Saga, and Janny Wurts, writer of The Wars of Light and Shadow, have joined forces to write about life on the other side of the Rift, in the land of Kelewan. Mara Acoma is about to give up her life of luxury as the only daughter of one of the most historied ruling families in the Tsuranuanni empire and become a servant in the house of the goddess Lashima, until suddenly she is ripped from her life of choice and thrust, untested and mostly uneducated, into the dangerous game of the council that has already claimed the lives of her father and brother. Only by trusting her gut and the honor of others can Mara hope to restore her family to the position of strength and grace of the Acoma once held. My brother's girlfriend who loves this series and The Riftwar Saga suggested this book to him, and he to my mother and myself. I was in the middle of reading a bunch of other things, but I picked it up anyway. It started off slowly, and it took me a day or two to adjust to the universe and the culture in which it takes place. Once I understood it, the pages flew by, and I was sucked further and further into Mara's story, and the history of the Acoma, the Tsuranaunni, and Kelewan. The world building, while culturally happening at the beginning of the book, physically and historically happens much later, rather the opposite of most fantasy that I have read. The chapters were long, but they tended to be more like books within the book. Each chapter was a section of Mara's life and culminated in the important thing that happened during it. Although there isn't as much dialogue as I expected, the detailing and descriptions were stunning. Having never read any of the authors' other works, I can't say how their voices blended together, but I didn't notice any style changes throughout the book, so I guess they blended well. Overall, the book is great. I felt satisfied with the ending, albeit a little surprised there wasn't more of a big problem for her to overcome. The 'big problem' is present and accounted for during the whole book, and Mara just chips away at it chapter by chapter, rather than the normal fantasy trope of training and training and then all of a sudden having to fight the big bad guy. There were twists I didn't expect (for once i couldn't predict what was going to happen!), and it was extremely well written. There are supposedly two more books in this series, and I will probably read them, but I don't really have any idea where it will go from here. Reading a long fantasy book like this always inspires me towards eventually reading The Lord of the Rings, and finishing the Outlander and The Wheel of Time series, and hopefully I'll get to them someday, but for today, I recommend Daughter of the Empire to any fantasy lovers out there. think about it as a warm up. Curio Street Reads Rating: 4 Stars www.CurioStreetReads.wordpress.com
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book. The characters and the world all came to life
tempi2007 More than 1 year ago
I love this series. It's great to have a strong female character that isn't a harpy or another "Lt. Ripley." Mara uses her brains, not braun, to secure the survival of her name. This series really needs to be available for the Nook! Although I have the paperbacks, I would buy them again for my Nook collection.
HurricaneShelley More than 1 year ago
Love the characters and the writing. I keep coming back again and again.
CallenTX More than 1 year ago
I wasn't sure going into these books that I would like them. They are co-authored and do not feature the characters that I loved from the other books in the series. As soon as I started Daughter of the Empire, I was hooked. This book is an insider's peek into The Game Of Counsil. I was both intrigued and disgusted by some of the acts commited by the characters to secure the family's honor. I can't wait to start the second book in this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This beginning book of an excellent trilogy sets up an alien culture which reflects many of the qualities of our far East, at an earlier time. Character development is great.
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