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Daughter of the Empire

(The Empire Trilogy #1)

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  29,524 ratings  ·  697 reviews
Book one in the magnificent Empire Trilogy by bestselling authors Raymond E. Feist and Janny Wurts, now available in ebook format.

Enter the mysterious and exotic world of Kelewan…

Mara, the youngest child of the ancient and noble Acoma family, is about to take her pledge of servitude to the goddess Lashima when the ceremony is disrupted by news of her father and brother’s d
Kindle Edition, 434 pages
Published September 13th 2012 by Harper Voyager (first published January 1st 1987)
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Zchantie I actually did read this series before the Riftwar Saga and was no worse for the wear of it. In many regards I enjoyed the Empire Trilogy more. Most…moreI actually did read this series before the Riftwar Saga and was no worse for the wear of it. In many regards I enjoyed the Empire Trilogy more. Most of what occurs in it is left completely unexplained (and half the time unnoticed) in the Riftwar Saga because there's so much going on. There are cross-over characters but if you blink during the Riftwar Saga you wouldn't even notice the connection. The Empire Trilogy easily stands on its own.

Reading the Magician novels of Rift War first would better explain the roles of the Kelewanian magicians that appear in the Empire Trilogy but honestly it's not needed to understand the story.(less)
Жанна Пояркова No, there is no romance. There is a marriage but it's for politic purposes only and no joy in it.
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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I loved the Riftwar books and I'm already loving this next chapter! This may end up on my favorites list! I love Mara!

Mel 🖤🐾🐺
Ookay, two days later and not quite fully rested up, let's do this.

So. Daughter of the Empire. Yes. Very good book. Highly recommended.
The characters were excellent, really. The setting was vaguely oriental, (though as Wastrel tells me, Wurts drew a lot from Korea) so a large part of this book is political intrigue and matters of honor. If that's your team, go for it. If the whole honor thing isn't for you, maybe not as much. But the political intrigue stuff is actually really excellently writte
I read this years ago and picked it up again because I was into something non-European setting. This is an alt Asain world that is tangental to the Riftworld Saga by Feist, and is a REALLY good read. The protagonist is a young girl who must save her family and lands by growing up very quick. Nothing naughty in here, but lots of great politics a-la Game of Thrones. Highly recommend for a fun and different fantasy!
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
Via Book Reviews by Niki Hawkes at

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 a
Nov 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, fantasy, series, library
Did you read the Riftwar Saga and love it?

Want to read something just as good, if not better?

Want to learn about life on the other side of the Rift?

You need to check this out!

It is a fantastic tale of honor, politics, and strategy. While some fantasy books have lots of physical battle, this story is mainly plotting, deception, and courtly games. Reading this is more like watching a puzzle being solved and wondering how things will finally come together in the end.

It is simply just a great and
Gail Carriger
Daughter of the Empire (and 2 following books) by Raymond Feist & Janny Wurts
This marvelous epic fantasy trilogy is full of political intrigue and subversive machinations set in an alternate medieval Japan where magic is real and the aliens landed a long time ago.

Feist & Wurts gave me one of my favorite characters of all time, Mara, who conquers an empire with the power of innovation, social acumen, and a trickster's luck.

This trilogy is a frequent reread for me. I love it so much.
Jul 25, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people looking for female-centered high/epic fantasy
Recommended to carol. by: Fantasy Aficionados BOM
Collaborations can be a challenging way to tell a story, especially when both authors have an established voice. Ultimately, if done well, they are like an interesting ice cream swirl, something of the flavor of both authors creating a pleasant compination. Andre Norton is one of those authors that seem to collaborate well, although I'm not sure if that's partly because she was the idea generator and then had a co-writer do more of the heavy lifting, especially in her later years. One of the bes ...more
I re-read this for the 3d or 5th time, but it's been at least a decade, so it was very fresh to me. Too fresh & interesting. Dann Janny & Ray, but I hit the 1/3 point yesterday & then couldn't put it down. I stayed up until midnight reading (I never go to bed after 10pm & always wake up by 6 at the latest.) so I've been dragging all morning. I wanted to take a nap on the hay rather than move it.

The story is on the other side of the gate & we get a much better look at the 'Gam
Aug 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's been a while since I've read a story with such complex political intrigue, and I enjoyed every word of it!

Plot Summary

Set in a Japanese-style setting and culture, Mara of the Acoma is but a few minutes away from being initiated into the service of the goddess Lashima. She is, however, rudely jerked from her chosen path when news of her father's and brother's death reaches her household. In Mara's world, power is determined by the Game of the Council, the neverending power struggle masked
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 Stars

Filled with scheming and intrigue, Daughter of the Empire starts this Riftwar spinoff series strong. The story follows Mara, a young woman forced unexpectedly into leading her House through a dangerous game of politics as enemies circle, waiting to destroy her and her people.

There’s a lot of things to like in this book. First, the setting is fantastic. Set in the Tsurani culture, it’s very different to your average fantasy world. The culture has a lot of Asian elements and revolves aroun
Pauline Ross
This book ought to have been right up my street; a non-medieval world, with limited magic, a slow pace driven by politics rather than endless battles, and a strong-minded female lead - what's not to like? In my case, the answer is: almost everything.

The opening felt surprisingly clunky and uncertain. Many fantasy works start with a dramatic event to draw the reader in, and leave the details of the background to wait for a quieter moment, but this tries to do both at once, with unconvincing resul
Stevie Kincade
I am a huge fan of Raymond Feist's Magician because it is one of those rare stories that doesn't have a beginning, middle and end. It doesn't follow the typical conflict/resolution setup and like the best stories it continues way past resolving of "the big conflict" and doesn't end neatly or suddenly like so many stories do. I was disappointed that after writing that masterpiece Feist apparently took a course on "how to write a book" and all of his stories followed the template of "The hero must ...more
Feb 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
What a wonderful book. Daughter of the Empire is set in a world inspired by Asia. There's not a lot of magic, instead it's all about intrigue and politics. In addition, expect a kick-ass female character.

Mara is simply one of the best female fantasy characters I've ever encountered. She is cunning and intelligent. This entire book is one big chess game filled with politics and betrayal, and Mara does not use strength and violence to win this game but her wit. It's a joy to watch her decimate he
Sotiris Karaiskos
Jun 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, high-fantasy
Στα πλαίσια της φιλοδοξίας μου να διαβάσω όλα τα βιβλία του κύκλου του Riftwar έφτασα σε αυτήν εδώ την τριλογία και σε αυτό το πρώτο βιβλίο που μπορώ να πω ότι με κάνει πιο αποφασισμένο να πετύχω αυτό τον στόχο. Βέβαια στην περίπτωση αυτής της τριλογίας ο αγαπητός Raymond E. Feist δέχτηκε στη συγγραφή τη βοήθειά της Janny Wurts οπότε δεν ξέρω αν αυτός ο ενθουσιασμός μου οφείλεται και σε αυτή την βοήθεια και όχι απλά στην εξέλιξη του συγγραφέα από την πρώτη σειρά αυτού του κύκλου. Όπως και να έχε ...more
Jun 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I'm a bit torn on what to rate this - 3.5? 4?. I think the book/series has potential, but there were a few things that bugged me...

1. Mara starts off the book as this innocent, naive, anxious teenage girl, then a few days later she's turned into this conniving, cunning, political player who is besting everyone - including men who have been playing at dangerous politics for their entire lives.

2. Mara never tells anyone her plans - even when it would be helpful to her protectors and friends

3. Too
Jul 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, audio
There's a discussion going on right now at Goodreads about whether magic is necessary to a fantasy novel, and I have to say that this one certainly proves that it's not at all necessary. The realm of Kelewan is on the other side of the 'rift' from the realm of Midkemia that we were introduced to in the four Riftwar novels leading up to this one. It's a fully formed land with strange (to us) flora and fauna and other races (the choja). While it has an oriental flavor, it is also original and fasc ...more
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was excellent, exactly the type of fantasy I dig. Sure, battles are fine, but the polite smiles and sharp wits of politics that feature in this novel really make me invest. And this one has the addition of a truly strong female character. Mara of the Acoma is thrust into the position of Lady of her House by the deaths of her father and brother. She is unused to the Great Game of the Council, and has few allies outside her own house. Through her knowledge, sharpness of mind and staggering br ...more
Nov 09, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, series
I didn't particularly enjoy this one. Perhaps my expectations were a bit high after loving The Riftwar Saga as much as I did.

For me it felt a lot like I was watching someone play a game that I didn't know the rules of. I knew that Mara was plotting something and her seemingly unwise behaviour was motivated by some secret scheme she had planned, but since I didn't know all the rules within the culture of the Tsurani I couldn't possibly foresee how her plans might work out until they did. I think
Timelord Iain (Eeyawn)
Favorite Riftwar book to date... wish more of Janny Wurts books were on audio, because I'm loving her influences on this collaboration. Reminds me a bit of Shalador's Lady & the Shadow Queen, from Anne Bishop's Black Jewels series (with higher stakes)... might not be able to wait until the next Buddy Read to continue...
Laura Hughes
Dec 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
At the beginning of this year I embarked on my Big Riftwar Read/Re-read, starting with Magician and the rest of the Riftwar Saga. Part of the reason I’ve been so enthusiastic about this so far is because I couldn’t wait to revisit one of my favourite series of all times: the Empire trilogy. The trilogy is a stunning collaboration between Feist and his fellow epic fantasy writer Janny Wurts, and reveals much more of the world on the ‘other side’ of the Rift. This isn’t the Middle-Earth-ish Midkem ...more
Apr 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up many years ago after reading Raymond Feist's RIftwar Saga. Within the first thirty pages or so, I was hooked. I had read Janny Wurtz before, and I had read Feist. I enjoyed both of their works, but the combination of the two of them was better. They created a magnificent world with a great culture, borrowing heavily from Japanese/Oriental cultures of old. It was refreshing after so many fantasies, especially in those days, were based on medieval European cultures.

Mara, of the A
Mar 26, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was the first fantasy series I read (at the behest of my wife) since reading Lord of the Rings in high school. It's an interesting departure from what I normally think of as fantasy. This may have not made it the best for my initiation into the genre, but it was a good read nonetheless.

The story is of Lady Mara of House Acoma and her ascent to power after the betrayal and death of her father and brother, leaving her an unlikely heir to rulership over her family. Despite being ostensibly fa
Brian Goodman
Dec 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Brian by: Stephaine Goodman
This is an very emotional book. After reading a few chapters, I quickly felt very attached to the main character; Mara, Lady of the Acoma noble family of the Tsurani Empire.

At a child’s age, Mara is torn from becoming what is like a monk or a priestess when she learns the news of the death of her father and her brother from the devious hands of a rival family whose had a blood feud with the Acoma for many years. As the only surviving member of the Acoma family, Mara is thrust into the role of Ru
Jul 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Era uma vez uma rapariga que estava prestes a entregar a sua alma ao Templo de Lashima e devotar a sua vida aos Deuses.

Uma rapariga que, de um momento para o outro, perde a sua família e tem que vestir o manto da liderança da Casa dos Acoma. Rapidamente se transforma numa mulher destemida num reino onde só os homens ascendiam a postos elevados.

Transforma-se em alguém que enfrenta corajosamente uma ameaça no seu lar que põe em risco a sua liderança dos Acoma.

Alguém que descobre o que é o amor ao
Oct 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Uma mulher num lugar de governação?

Um lugar destinado unicamente a homens?

A saga decorre em tempos remotos e acresce ao desafio, o facto de se tratar de uma jovem, inexperiente, a quem nunca esteve destinado este papel, como tal absolutamente leiga nestas lides... ora, o livro estava imbuído dos ingredientes certos para me deixar suficientemente curiosa para o espreitar e quiçá, deleitar.

Os acontecimentos sucedem-se, surpreendem-nos, dão voltas e reviravoltas e assim vamos assimilando com
RE-READ: this trilogy is now available on audio but I had read it so long ago I decided to give it a whirl as an audiobook. My original review (below) and rating still stand up as my feelings are still the same. This is great book, and just like when I originally read it, one of the things I appreciate the most about it is that an old skool epic fantasy doesn't have to take place in a setting that is a Medieval Western Europe analogue.

One thing that did change for me a bit is that, while yes, I
Molly Ison
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Adrian G Hilder
I read Daughter of the Empire so long ago I can't write a detailed review now. What I can tell you is The Empire Trilogy left a lasting impression on me. Almost 30 years later I can still say Mara of the Acoma is my all time favourite fantasy heroine. She never touches a weapon of war as far as I can remember. She is armed with her wits and intellect and wields them to devastating effect.

It is best to read Magician (these days split into two volumes Magician: Apprentice Magician: Master) then Si
Sep 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, fantasy, maps
“Every sunlit façade cast a dark shadow and in those shadows the enemy plotted.”

More like three stars, but extra credit for the rousing climax. Competent, if derivative epic fantasy set in an east Asia-analog medieval kingdom. Obvious Game of Thrones rip off. The term “the Game of the Council” appears in every chapter. Finally, toward the end, the authors admit that even the cast would not be using that stilted phrase, but simply “the game” without the capitalization.

“What do you think the game
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Raymond E. Feist was born Raymond E. Gonzales III, but took his adoptive step-father's surname when his mother remarried Felix E. Feist. He graduated with a B.A. in Communication Arts with Honors in 1977 from the University of California at San Diego. During that year Feist had some ideas for a novel about a boy who would be a magician. He wrote the novel two years later, and it was published in 1 ...more

Other books in the series

The Empire Trilogy (3 books)
  • Servant of the Empire (The Empire Trilogy, #2)
  • Mistress of the Empire (The Empire Trilogy, #3)
“There is a hand behind every curtain,' ” she quoted. “ 'And a knife in every hand,' " finished Mara.” 5 likes
“Fear is the little death, daughter. It kills in tiny pieces.” 1 likes
More quotes…