EMPIRE OF SILENCE is a totally original SF read, perhaps most easily described as an SFnal Name of the Wind in concept. Hadrian Marlowe, privileged first son of a Duke was destined for greatness, and he has become a legend. The Sun-Slayer. The Breaker of Sieges. The Crusher of Civilisations. His is a story which defined the course of worlds.
This novel is not that story – not the only laid out in the history books, charting the 300 years of his life. Rather this is Hadrian’s story, told in his own worlds. Of being passed over by his father for rule in favour of his younger brother, and sent to a military academy against his wishes. Of being kidnapped in transit to that planet and sold into slavery on a planet at the edge of our war against the Cielcen . . . and of how he used their eventual attack to claw his way back into the dangers and opportunities of politics.
Focused on a single character, this is accessible low-SFnal adventure where the emphasis is on character motivation, relationships and politics – whether those characters are aristocrats, slaves or aliens – placing it in the tradition of Dune or even Star Wars and giving us a wider potential market than we might usually have for an SF novel (absolutely no science being involved).
This is, in short, a stunning debut. This is an incredible novel that I took my time to truly enjoy. I feel very lucky to have taken the first step on the journey with this character and his universe.
THE BOOK BAG
Blends epic fantasy and scifi.
I really enjoyed Empire Of Silence... it's great fun, and I'm looking forward to hearing more from Hadrian Marlowe's adventures.
SF AND F REVIEWS
An intricate and well-thought-out plot, a propulsive narrative, and a smooth-as-silk prose... an excellent SF story and a book to look out for.
If you can't decide whether to go for science fiction or fantasy with your first summer read, might we recommend Empire of Silence.
DEN OF GEEK
Like The Fellowship of the Ring, this book is more about the journey than the destination.
It's sci-fi that feels as epic as an epic fantasy does. It feels as epic as Dune.
SUPER STAR DRIFTER
One of the most enjoyable SF debuts I've read in a long while. Think Dune mixed with Gene Wolfe's Shadow of the Torturer series, but for a contemporary readership... celebrates all of the joy and the sheer enthusiasm of old-fashioned Space Opera.
Space opera fans will savor the rich details of Ruocchio's far-future debut.