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The Sundering (Dread Empire's Fall #2)
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The Sundering (Dread Empire's Fall #2)

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  1,384 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews

The Dread Empire of the Shaa is no more, following the death of the last oppressor. But freedom remains elusive for the myriad sentient races enslaved for ten centuries, as an even greater terror arises. The Naxids—a powerful insectoid species themselves subjugated until the recent Shaa demise—plan to fill the vacuum with their own bloody domination, and have already won a

ebook, 448 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published November 3rd 2003)
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Mar 05, 2009 Anastasia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military-sf
2nd book of the Praxis trilogy, true space opera/military scifi, a top-notch example of the genre. I really enjoy the writing and the character development - Caroline Sula is one of my favorite heroines. The space battle strategy and plotting (strictly no faster-than-light travel, although they do have wormholes) are interesting, but my favorite parts are everything from Caroline Sula's POV. (No, I lie; it was in vol3 that I couldn't tear myself away from her storyline, in vol2 it is fairly bala ...more
Jan 25, 2008 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Space opera buffs
Shelves: scifi
This is a great, action-packed space opera with some interesting characters and good battle scenes, in space and on the ground. I like his depiction of space travel, it seems reasonable and possible, although there is still a point where "magic happens" and then it carries on. Williams must have some time under high g-forces because his description is dead accurate. First two books in this series are well worth the price.
Carl Barlow
Jun 19, 2017 Carl Barlow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Continued excitement, though lacking in the darker edge the girl's past offered in the first book. More military SF than Space Opratic SF, this is an assured page-turner (though I do wish his aliens were more... alien). And still -and happily- very Aubrey/Maturin! Would make a good film trilogy or TV series, if somebody would only stump up the necessary budget.
Roddy Williams
‘The 10,000 year rule of the Shaa is over. But their passing has left the galaxy leaderless. The many races of the empire now find themselves paranoid and fractious, facing civil war on an unprecedented scale. After ten millennia of peace, so begins the tale of a dread empire’s fall...

The alien Naxids have won a shattering victory, and the way is clear for an advance on the loyalist capital. To help save the city comes Lord Gareth Martinez, formerly a despised provincial officer, now a celebrate
Feb 23, 2017 Egis rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dropped
This book was like Santa Barbara just in was too infuriating and at midway I just dropped it.

The two main characters in this book are just way too childish for my taste and it seems the author was too lazy to think of something interesting and choose the easy way to move the plot forward. I mean, how hard is to clear things up and talk to each other...
Feb 19, 2017 Targle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I first read this series about 5 years ago, this is my second reading, and it feels as though it has had a massive rewrite since then. I don't know whether it really has or not though.

The thing is it's scope is so massive, the characters so involving and the ideas so detailed and carefully constructed, I think I've just reimagined a lot of the details.

It is the kind of story that I have gone back to in my memory time and again, it's literally changed how I read science fiction.
Jul 20, 2012 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a re-read for me. I read the Dread Empire trilogy years ago and rembered it as a rousin space opera. My memory was that it was an excellent epic with lots of space battles. Well, my memory was partially correct. There are some space battles, though nearly as many as I remembered, which are all brilliantly plotted and presented. There is also a substantial amount of politics, class warfare (particularly relevent with today's "1%" disputes), and interesting aliens, which I had forgotten ne ...more
Jan 21, 2009 D.w. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, reviewed
Book one was the hook to get me to read this, and some of my observations there have played out here. The hero is just too much the only insightful member of the Space Navy. That is wrong. Even the Female counterpart being the only one who can see three chess moves ahead is wrong.

We may be stuck in a situation where no new initiative has been used for thousands of years, but once it gets started, others can use their brains to come up with solutions.

Then there is the development of the love stor
Feb 14, 2017 Ry4an rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely a middle book of a trilogy and it never lets you forget it.
Luka Novak
The war continues. Loyalists are struggling both to deal with uprising and finding strategy that will bring victory. Williams continues with his old theme of Empire sticking to old tactics which are unimaginative and predictable and struggles of few people who came up with new approach and trying to get it enacted.

The story has two major subplots, Zanshaa and raiders. Former is interesting while latter takes an unexpected turn. However it's clear that Williams used an event there for the sake of
Bill Mead
Jul 19, 2015 Bill Mead rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review applies to the three books in the series, which are really one whole story. The story gets started slowly, but by the time I got to the end of the third book, I couldn't put it down. Now I am going to miss the characters I have gotten to know so well.

The story is well written for the most part, with lots of great detail and a well fleshed out universe.

Why not five stars? The characters from other species are pretty flat and cartoonish. I can't imagine a universe where all these races
Lynnda Ell
Aug 13, 2010 Lynnda Ell rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The Sundering begins where The Praxis ended, with little or no back story. It's a very good middle to the trilogy. The Nexids made their opening bid to take over as the Grand Masters of the universe. Naturally, they were forstalled by Martinez and Lady Sula and a few others. Unfortunately, only a handfull of loyal space ships survive the initial trap. The question is this: can the loyalists learn the way to break enough of the rules of warfare that are followed by both sides so that they can win ...more
May 29, 2012 Wes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book is actually a good read from a purely entertaining point of view. The world is fully realized and filled out. I enjoy the battle scenes and the political intrigue.
The characters are good enough for me. Its paced well so the plot moves along (maybe a bit too fast) but it is easy enough to follow the events and it doesn't ever feel draggy.
Dialogue is pretty inane, but serviceable and there can be too much of it at times. There's just not much literary flourish here so if you're lookin
Jan 18, 2015 Tom rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ah, the always-difficult middle book of a trilogy. Not a beginning, not an ending. This book reflects those difficulties. The first part, especially, is a little dry. Lots of descriptions of tactical space battles, which is fine if you're in the market for that sort of thing, but fairly one dimensional.

Things pick up in the second half. The author does a good job of making sure his two protagonists get put in places that allow their strengths to shine: Martinez gets to do a lot of politicking a
Dec 12, 2015 Youko rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I enjoyed The Sundering much more than The Praxis. This book was essentially what I expected The Praxis to be. This series is, overall, very polarizing for me. On the one hand, I enjoy the setting, the main characters (mostly), and the action scenes. The writing is excellent, but so much of the content in the story is completely skippable. Whole pages at a time are filled with superfluous descriptions that I skimmed without any negative impact on my perception of the book. The romance scenes wer ...more
Boulder Boulderson
Superior to the previous offering. Much more pacey and action-oriented, with the main characters moving into positions where they seem able to access and control events - in the previous book they were just dragged along.
Again a dubious understanding of physics for a book supposedly using realistic physics, but did seem to be getting better.
Hopefully book three will show a similar level of improvement.
Peter Walton-Jones
Space Opera sci-fi...of good quality! This is the second of the inevitable trilogy. The good qualities of this story are its exploration of human themes of power, politics and class, the drama and pace of the storyline, the development of its central characters, and the ease with which the author carries the elements of space travel and future technologies. I recommend this series as a good example of the futuristic space opera genre.
Graham Houle
I happened to leave the mine for a day and drive into Fairbanks where I found a copy of the next book.In the three part series. I'm delighted to report that this book is just as engaging and entertaining as the first and it further develops the characters and history of the books. I'm amazed that the fight scenes in space are as interesting as they are since the authors choice of science and story makes the battles hours long.
Aug 20, 2011 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Highly engaging sequel to the Praxis. Caroline Sula and her story continue to steal the show. The second installment has a bit less of the cool and quirky physics based action scenes. Instead we get a mathematical exploration of space faring tactics, which is written engagingly, but I'm not convinced is correct.

Anyway, highly recommended Space Opera. I'll be reading the conclusion very soon.
Jan 23, 2016 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Style and action similar to the first book without the Sula plot twist left this book a little lacking for me. I kind of bogged down in the middle as the book got somewhat dry and slow, but it picked up again. The ground combat scene didn't move as well as it could of, but was an interesting deviation from the space battles. Think I'll take a break from sci-fi for a bit and ease back into literature for a while.
book for those who love military sci fi. #goodreads is owned to #fb (#buy) and had to see to maintaining loyalty, trust, respect and public design for any subject for as an exchange. From now on none stars are set for books or comment left until allowed to be changed. 5 Lening stars, i am telling 'demons' ), make 6 or do it round
Jun 04, 2014 Jeff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Its about the same experience as the first book... yet flipped. The 1st half is very engaging... but it really peters out in the 2nd. Luckily the ending draws you back in and leaves you excited for the last book.

Hopefully Mr. Williams can manage to draw you in for an entire novel on his 3rd attempt...
Jan 10, 2011 Christian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Starts in a whirlwind and takes things in some new directions... Almost goes soap opera rather than space opera, but Williams brings it back to some overlong action scenes.

I found it more engaging than the first book, but overall I feel that after setting up a very interesting universe, Williams shortchanges himself and his readers by using it as a background for human-centric space combat.
Mathias Juhl
Jul 08, 2015 Mathias Juhl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military-sf
The book is very well written, I really couldn't stop. The story had some turns concerning relatonships I did not like and could not understand. All in all worth reading, I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.
Jun 02, 2008 Jday rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not quite as good as the first book. The problem was mainly some slower areas near the middle of the book. Once it got back into gear it ended great. I'm now reading the third in the series and it has started out fast.
Larry Kenney
This started out much stronger than The Praxis, however, I feel the second half of the book was just ok. I really enjoyed the first half. I'd give the first half a 4 star and the second half a 3 star. However, it does set itself up nicely for the third book, and I look forward to diving into it!
Sep 10, 2014 Jerico rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More of the same in all the best ways, and readable on its own (Williams is a slightly old school writer in that he gives you enough in each book to enjoy it). you're better served by reading all of them.
May 06, 2010 Raja rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
This was definitely the middle book of a trilogy, and it follows the Empire Strikes Back trend in that it's darker than the first. "Dark" is relative, though -- we're still firmly in heroic space opera territory here.
Sep 13, 2015 Arwo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Keskmik, selline kolm miinus.
Jun 27, 2009 Gwen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great second-book continuation of the trilogy. The characters and cultures continue to be quite fascinating.
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Walter Jon Williams has published twenty novels and short fiction collections. Most are science fiction or fantasy -Hardwired, Voice of the Whirlwind, Aristoi, Metropolitan, City on Fire to name just a few - a few are historical adventures, and the most recent, The Rift, is a disaster novel in which "I just basically pound a part of the planet down to bedrock." And that's just the opening chapters ...more
More about Walter Jon Williams...

Other Books in the Series

Dread Empire's Fall (3 books)
  • The Praxis (Dread Empire's Fall, #1)
  • Conventions of War (Dread Empire's Fall #3)

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