Title: Empire’s Daughter
Author: Marian L. Thorpe
Format: Ebook from the author
My rating: 3.5/5
‘“But the world changes. In all the women’s villages of the Empire, this week or next, a soldier like myself will arrive to ask to live in the village, to take up a trade.” Casyn paused, for a breath, a heartbeat. “And to teach you and your daughters to fight.”
With those words, the lives of Lena, fisherwoman of Tirvan village, and her partner Maya change irrevocably. Torn apart by their responses to this request, Maya chooses exile; Lena chooses to stay to defend her village and the Empire, although the rules of the Partition Assembly many generations earlier had divided and circumscribed the lives of men and women. Appointed to leadership, Lena’s concepts of love and loyalty are challenged as she learns the skills of warfare, and, in the aftermath of battle, faces the consequences of her choices. Leaving Tirvan to search for Maya, Lena is drawn into the intrigues and politics of the Empire, forcing her to examine what she most truly believes in.’
A dystopian novel with archaic elements. This novel felt quite similar to Divergent (knowing one’s place) and Hunger Games (certain age, be sent off to train), but not entirely too much the same. There were clearlt 2 defined stories that comprised the novel and has natural breaks where I was wondering what was going to happen next as it seemed almost resolved, and quickly realize there is more to discover.
Thorpe has a natural talent of storytelling with vivid imagery and personification. I found in interesting the comfort of highlighting the desire for intimacy is accepted and encouraged, as there are female villages and male-dominant soldiering areas. Despite the traditions and simplicity of weaponry and the times, I was pleasantly surprised by the modern social issues being portrayed. Among the other themes listed below, I also found the power of influence, gaining respect, and earning authority as major thematic elements that were heavily imbued in the storyline, especially with strong female characters – speaking to current events and gender equality.
Believing this to be the first in the series for Thorpe, I am enthusiastically looking forward to the next installment. Until then, I leave you with one of my favorite quotes that sums up the main points of the novel:
“But we cannot shape the circumstances to fit our lives only our lives to fit the circumstances. What defines us, as men and women, is how we respond to those circumstances”
Read Empire’s Daughter if you like the themes of:
- Gender roles