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(Impyrium #1)

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  1,214 ratings  ·  194 reviews
In the first book of Henry Neff’s new high-stakes middle grade fantasy series, two unlikely allies—the Faeregine princess Hazel and the servant boy Hob—confront a conspiracy that will shake the world of Impyrium to its core.

For over three thousand years, the Faeregine dynasty has ruled Impyrium. But the family’s magic has been fading, and with it their power over the empir
Hardcover, 592 pages
Published October 11th 2016 by HarperCollins
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Randy From Henry's FB page in June 2019: Henry H. Neff ... Unfortunately there won’t be a second Impyrium anytime soon. Between creative delays (I wrote hal…moreFrom Henry's FB page in June 2019: Henry H. Neff ... Unfortunately there won’t be a second Impyrium anytime soon. Between creative delays (I wrote half a sequel and didn’t like it) and some health issues, the publisher elected to cut bait and move on. It happens. My big takeaway is that at this stage of my life/career I write too slowly to do children’s series and should focus on standalone novels or books for adults (where there isn’t as much urgency to crank out the next one for fear that an audience will age out of the series etc.) I’m working on a different sort of book at present while trying to get healthy. It’s both liberating and daunting. Someday I hope to have the creative leeway to return to Hazel and Hob but we’ll have to see what develops(less)
Henry IMPYRIUM does indeed take place in The Tapestry's world, albeit 3,000 years after The Tapestry concluded. Some aspects of the world (and Rowan!) will …moreIMPYRIUM does indeed take place in The Tapestry's world, albeit 3,000 years after The Tapestry concluded. Some aspects of the world (and Rowan!) will be familiar, but many things have changed — for better and for worse. Can't wait for you to read it!(less)

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Average rating 4.42  · 
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 ·  1,214 ratings  ·  194 reviews

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I didn't get into this book right away -- I often get thrown off by fantasy worlds that take place in "our" future, and drop in hints of our world. I'm getting invested in this fantasy-infused society and then suddenly the characters are watching an old Disney movie? But these details ultimately are woven into the fabric of a whole lot of intricate worldbuilding. Impyrium feels like a fully fleshed out world, full of sniffing hags (don't ask), secret revolutions, catty noble families, ancient dr ...more
Bibliophile Cat
Apr 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade, 4-star
"No one else’s opinion mattered.

It was so simple, one of those things a consoling parent might say, and yet it contained a fundamental truth. The entire world could believe in Hazel’s greatness but their faith was meaningless if she didn’t believe it herself. Conversely, the world could dismiss her ambitions, but it didn’t matter as long as Hazel believed in their possibility. Greatness not only started with her, it could not begin anywhere else."

Impyrium starts out 3,000 years after a catastrop
Elisha Jachetti
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
IMPYRIUM by Henry H. Neff is the first book in a brand new fantasy series sure to knock your socks off! This YA novel boasts a hefty 585 pages of pure excitement and adventure. Neff creates a very complex world, and as a result, the story starts out slow. At first, all the characters, the land’s history, and the new vocabulary can be confusing. However, eventually it starts to click and as a result, pacing begins to pick up. It is then that the book starts to become a lot of fun.

I genuinely lov
Laura Jean
This book is for grades 5-8. It reminded me of Harry Potter, though I felt more complex. The story takes place 3,000 years in the future in a world of magic and dragons. So kind of a mix of high fantasy and alternate history. I found this really cool. I also liked the two main characters: Hazel and Hob. Wonderful world building with imps but also completely original creatures like the kitchen hags. They were my favorite. Plus, the dialogue was witty and clever. It was just a fun book.
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
*4.5 because the romance killed meeeee*

This book was really good! There was tons of action at the end, but the beginning was slow. It started to pick up when (view spoiler) . I found myself liking the parts that focused on Hazel more because she was just so interesting and relatable.

ALSO, the romance KILLED me. Their little saying... MY HEART HAS BEEN RIPPED APART! asdfghjkl!!!!!!!!

Sorry, fangirl moment. This book was overall really good. It was just
Oct 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Faeregine dynasty has been ruling Impyrium for over 3000 years with the help of magic, but what the public doesn’t know, is that their magic is slowly becoming weaker every generation, until Hazel is born.
Hazel the youngest in the royal family, gladly spends all her free time perfecting her magic in private, and staying as far away from the public as possible, considering that everime she shows her face they call her a discrace to her family name.
Hob lives with his mother and younger sister
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Appropriate for: age 13+

I loved this book so much. I stayed up late 5 nights in a row just so I could finish it. I liked both main characters a lot. The magic had some new, interesting elements to it. The mystery was very compelling. No swear words (yay!) but it has pseudo swear words such as the B word for illegitimate child. I recommend it for older teens because of the violence and the concepts are a bit hard to grasp.
Aria Mia
Sep 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The master of unpredictable plot twists and perfect world building strikes again. If I had to make a comparison, Impyrium is a combination of Downton Abbey, Frozen, and the Targaryen bits of Game of Thrones, with steampunk flair; but, it is uniquely its own. I’ve put off reading this for a bit, because I thought nothing could touch the near-perfection of its predecessor, The Tapestry Series. Like Tapestry, this is an example of fantasy at its best.
Dorine White
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Welcome to Impyrium, the world that remains after a great cataclysm happened on Earth. For over three thousand years, the Faeregine dynasty has ruled Impyrium. Now, twelve year-old Hazel, the youngest of royal triplets, is set to inherit the power of her ancient family. Enter servant boy, Hobs. A young man who has been recruited by The Fellowship, a rebel group opposed to the Faeregine's and all magical families of the upper class.

Hob's works his way into Hazel's life, becoming her friend and tu
colleen the convivial curmudgeon

Overall, I enjoyed this story. It reads like a sort of MG High Fantasy, and I liked the world building and how it didn't seem, to be, to be overly info-dumpy. Things were gradually laid out as they became relevant, and I liked the different perspectives we got to see through the two main characters eyes.

Really, I think the characters were a highlight for me. They were written so well - so believable and relatable, and they came from very different backgrounds with very different perspectives,
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Some books don't resonate with a reader and unfortunately this one never really caught my interest. The writing is strong and there is good worldbuilding. But I also felt that I had read this story before; an amalgamation of dystopian and fantasy middle grade books that failed to engage. So I write this review with my thoughts but also the caveat that I am likely one of a very few who did not enjoy the book. Likely, t
May 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
Unpopular opinion: I thought this book was just okay. This has incredibly high ratings on GR (I picked this up because it was in the 10 highest rated books on my TBR), and I can see why. It just didn't work for me, and never managed to grab my attention.

I wasn't a fan of the world. I can appreciate its uniqueness and there was certainly thought put into it. But it took me the longest time to get it, and even then I just didn't feel it. The story is a dystopian fantasy... meaning it has a lot of
Okay so I DNF-ed this after a couple chapters.

I think that if I had continued, I might have really enjoyed it (that's why I'm putting it at 2 stars instead of just 1. I'M SO SORRY), but it felt like the author was trying to cram in too much world-building at once for it to be all comprehensible.

...It's also just a really big book and I wasn't in the mood for that.

Really this is a "it's not you, it's me" thing.
Hannie Han Han
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I had to keep checking my brain for examples of twelve-year-olds and thirteen-years-olds every time I wanted to give side-eye to some depictions that I thought were probably too mature for that age. But then I reminded myself that this is a middle school fantasy, and once I let myself suspend that reality, then I was totally sucked in. An entertaining young adult read for those who like magic. A well-crafted story with a strongly developed magical world. Way better than the Magicians.
Apr 03, 2019 rated it liked it
I loved the ending of this book, but it took so long to get there. This was drawn out and longer than it should have been, so it was hard to stick with it. And if it's hard for a language arts teacher to stick with it, imagine how much harder it would be for its target audience. It really could have been chopped down without losing any valuable information. Besides that, it was an interesting novel. It definitely reminded me of Harry Potter in some ways. ...more
Erin Pauley
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was nervous about a book relating to the tapestry series because I love it so much and did not want it to be ruined. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked this book! At first I was sort of upset by how far into the future this book goes and by how different the world seems but it definitely won me over. I will be sure to read the next book in this series.
I hadn't heard anything about this book, but when it came in at work I noticed the quote on the cover from James Dashner saying, "I haven't read about a world so deep, so purely magical, so well-developed since Harry Potter." Then I turned it over and saw another one from Eoin Colfer saying, "A rare jewel. A new classic in the fantasy genre." Um, well, ok, if you guys insist. I'll bite!

While I definitely don't think this series will ever become another Harry Potter, there's certainly something t
In which I finally read a middle grade book that I like (that's not a sequel). WHEE!

3000 years ago (aka present day), the earth suffered from "the Cataclysm" - a apocalyptic event that changed the literal shape of the earth (because earthquakes) as well as all of it's political structures. In this 3000 years fast forwarded version of earth, technology has been all but outlawed, and magical folks are treated in a vastly superior way to those without magic. Hob Smythe is a non-magical miner living
Oct 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
At 500+ pages, Impyrium is truly the beginning of an epic fantasy series. Neff has done an amazing job of creating a dystopian world from top to bottom. The amount of detail given is amazing, it's clear that the author has thought through his world very thoroughly (see account above). But it's Hazel and Hob that kept me reading the book. Hazel is a sweet girl, who through no fault of her own, happens to be one of the granddaughters of the Divine Empress, the last of the Faeregine dynasty. She al ...more
Jan farnworth
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a hefty book for the middle grade genre but it is not a let down at all this was action packed and entertains with a wide range of characters. The author did a great job setting up the world of impyrium and sharing how the whole world works. It drew me enough that i am curious about other works by this author. I am excited to see where the series goes as i was not read to leave Impyrium yet when i finished the story.
Liz Friend
The story: Hazel Faeregine is a princess; Hobson Smythe is a backwoods miner. But events in the past--magic, betrayal, worldwide disaster--threaten to overthrow the royal house, and Hob, planted as a spy in the royal household, is there to move the revolt along...yet as he befriends the princess, he comes to see her in a different light. But will he--a "Muir" without any Magic at all--be able to overcome the hypnosis that holds him bound and is forcing him to hold a sword to her throat?

June Clea
Oh my gosh, BEST MIDDLE GRADE FANTASY I'VE EVER READ. It reminds me SO MUCH of Cinda Williams Chima's Seven Realms series, I was swept away just as completely. This is definitely for your smart readers. Complex storytelling and lots of twists with amazing characters. The world building is absolutely phenomenal. The only thing that makes this middle grade versus YA is the age of the protagonists--they are 12. And I finally have another great clean series to recommend to my super readers at the li ...more
Nov 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It takes about 100 pages to get into the action, but after that, there's 483 more pages of "I don't want to put this down" because it's magical. Seriously, it's packed with all the fantastical things – imps, dragons, homunculi, shape-shifting, a velvet painting of a unicorn, betrayal (that's a mandatory thing in fantasy books, right?), etc. ...more
Emily Bates
Nov 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mg, fantasy
GORGEOUS world-building and really rounded and complex characters. I had no idea this was a sequel series until I finished the book and looked up the author, and I still thoroughly enjoyed it. Now working my way through the Tapestry series . . .
MrsJoseph *grouchy*
May 18, 2016 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016, arc
Note: I'm reading a Trade Paperback edition with this ISBN but since it is an ARC may become a hardback later. ...more
Nov 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

I truly enjoyed this story and look forward to the next.
Dec 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
Find this review at Forever Lost in Literature!

Impyrium may be a middle grade level book, but if you think that means the content is in any way juvenile or simplistic, you would be mistaken. The book itself comes in at almost 600 pages, which is definitely on the longer side as far as middle grade novels go, and it is incredibly in-depth and entertaining. I think the main thing that makes this middle grade is the fact that it is not exceptionally violent or explicit, and most of the main charact
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
It is rare that a book surprises me with its scope, especially in the Middle Grade section. When the Tapestry series came out though, I was not just surprised. I was overwhelmed. With every new book, the ramifications of the previous one were out in full force, and it was a wonder to read, if difficult to wrap your head around.

Impyrium takes full advantage of that powerful world, but amazingly manages to tell its own story, with its own issues and implications. In fact, to new readers I would ev
Erik This Kid Reviews Books
Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was absolutely blown away by this entire book – everything from the building of the setting to the development of the plot. The world is very interesting – the story behind it was that it was our world, and magicians practiced in secret. However, an evil demon decided to conquer the world, and was only stopped by three extraordinarily powerful magicians. That event was called the Cataclysm, and it completely rearranged the world as we know it. One of the powerful magicians established a dynas ...more
Jul 28, 2016 rated it liked it
This books suffered from what I call the "Herman Melville effect." When I was in college, taking an American Literature survey course, we were supposed to read "Moby Dick." I would start to read "Moby Dick" and within a few pages I would fall asleep. I would wake an hour later, try again, and fall asleep. I have no idea what it was about "Moby Dick" which made me sleepy, but it was really hard to stay awake and read that book.

I don't know why "Impyrium" made me sleepy, but I could read about 8 p
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