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Scales of Empire

(Dragon Empire Trilogy #1)

3.40  ·  Rating details ·  311 ratings  ·  74 reviews
An exciting new adventure filled with diverse characters, strong heroes and heroines and wild creatures from the bestselling author of White Tiger.

Corporal Jian Choumaliis on the mission of a lifetime - security officer on one of Earth's huge generation ships, fleeing Earth's failing ecosystem to colonise a distant planet.

The ship encounters a technologically and culturall
Kindle Edition, 420 pages
Published February 19th 2018 by Voyager
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Average rating 3.40  · 
Rating details
 ·  311 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Humanity is making its tentative push to the stars with generation ships and the difficult first few interstellar colonies when first contact with an overwhelmingly advanced alien empire occurs.

Corporal Jian Choumalii is part of the Euroterre generation ship project when her and her commanding officer Richard Alto are the first to encounter Shiumo, a space dragon and first contact representative from her mother's Empire. Shiumo is extremely friendly and helpful with her stated goal being to find
Alan Baxter
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I was lucky enough to get a pre-release copy of Kylie’s new book, Scales of Empire. So different to her other books, but unmistakably Kylie Chan. Despite strange dragons and self-obsessed cats, this is an entirely human story. Imaginative, epic, and heaps of fun, while still exploring thought-provoking and important themes. Keep an eye out for it!
Emily Taylor
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
More of a 2.5 as this is practically a DNF.

I loved Kylie Chan's White Tiger series and still rank it as one of my most enjoyed series despite calling quits a few trilogies in. I also quite admire Kylie for what she has achieved and continue to follow everything she does on social media.

But this novel wasn't for me - and I'm not quite sure who it is for.

This novel reads like a teenage protagonist stole her friend's ID and snuck through marketing into the adult section. The writing holds little n
It just dragged on, and on. I have no idea when to pinpoint the exact place the train went off the track. Was it that the main character bounced between knowing that she’s giving up classified information, and thinking that her feelings are real? Or was it when the potato-worshipping space cats showed up like a psychedelic Matt Damon in “The Martian”?

Humans need to breed with aliens to gain interstellar travel. Keep walking. The scale locator thing was pretty cool though.
Mar 15, 2018 rated it liked it
This is my 1st Kylie Chan novel, probably wont be mt last as the positives outweigh the negatives. However, I just didnt find it connecting on all levels for me. I loved the concept of space dragons, the fluid sexuality ideas/themes, the characters were well fleshed out. However I fell the plot moved at a snails pace more often then it should have. Definitely more a character study then action heavy scifi. I think The Expanse series is one that comes to mind that combines the 2 well. Has a good ...more
Oct 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
WOW!!! I'm rating this 4.5 stars. This book is completely different to the series I have read before by this author. An epic intergalatic adventure set at a time when Earth is facing their downfall and soldiers are sent out to space to colonise other planets in order to save humanity. The first installment of a new series, I find this to be very promising, a series worth investing in. A story full of diverse characters, dragons and special talents that can either make or break humanity, this was ...more
Feb 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Completely out of this world but strangely grounded. Pansexual, pangendered alien dragons with a penchant for tea and potatoes, and hostile alien cats that are ... well they’re assholes. Nothing like anything I’ve read before, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you to Kylie Chan and Harper Collins Australia for the advance reading copy.
Maxine Robinson
In Scales of Empire, humanity has pretty much destroyed the Earths ecosystem and in a last ditch effort to save ourselves we are heading for the stars. A massive undertaking with each nation sending their own people up, and each planet needing to be made hospitable. It's risky, it will take many years and humanity doesn't have a lot of time left.
Corporal Jian Choumaliis has secured herself a position as security officer on one of Earths generation ships. She is a dedicated soldier, ready to leav
Rachelle (RavenclawRachelle)
4.5 Stars

I received this book for free from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review

I'll admit I was surprised by how much I loved Scales of Empire! I have been meaning to read Kylie Chan's three fantasy series for years and if she writes sci-fi this good, I don't even want to think about how obsessed I'm going to be with her other works...

I'm not sure how to put all my thoughts and feelings about this novel into words coherently but I'm going to try my best. Firs
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
Over promised and under delivered.

I saw this book at my local library, and the fantastic cover immediately caught my eye. On reading the blurb at the back I was further intrigued...until the last sentence "...- from the bestselling author of White Tiger".


I did *not* enjoy White Tiger, so almost put this book back on the shelf. cover. Intriguing blurb. So I thought I would wipe the slate clean, and give Ms Chan another go, with no prejudice.

And I tried.

I was expecting a sci-fi
Richard Harrison
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was definitely a Kylie Chan novel, the characters sounded a lot like those in her long-running Chinese fantasy sequence and a lot of the situations seemed familiar. At the start, when humanity makes first contact with telepathic space dragons who promise to fix everything that’s wrong with humanity and Earth, I was rolling my eyes a bit, especially when it all started to get a bit sexy. Things definitely went in unpredictable directions a few times. Without getting spoilery, I’m reminded of ...more
Dec 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a fun, rollicking read! Absolutely unputdownable, absolutely implausible but such fun! Happy to read the next book in the series, but she really needs to write the character Richard out - he is such a wrong fit for the story, such a pouty, sulky, annoying character who - unbelievably! - lowers the tone of the book. Otherwise such a fun read.
Apr 08, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Spoiler Free Section

I received this book for review from Netgalley and unfortunately I really did not enjoy it. I ended up giving it one out of five stars. For me the writing style was really simplistic and really just told you what was happening instead of showing you, throughout the whole book we really aren't given much description of anything that is going on or of the world in general which made it really lackluster for me.

We really aren't given enough background information about the time
Cat Sheely
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This is a new series and is quite a departure from her previous books. Corporal Jian Choumali lives on an Earth that has suffered greatly from climate change and is slowly dying. She volunteers for a mission to a new planet but just as it's nearly ready to leave, an alien turns up. This is a real game changer for Jian and the human race. Can humans survive?

This was not what I expected but I thoroughly enjoyed it. The world-building is clear although, sometimes the alien descriptions are a bit fu
Brian Lawrence
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
K.E. Fraser
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was... not what I expected.
Having said that, I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting.
I think what so many people find jarring about this book is that it doesn't follow the traditional rules; there is no real, great, major issue to overcome, no straight 'us vs them' scenario and no final 'hooray we saved the day and everyone got medals moment'. I think this was largely because the book is more a reflection of life than literature. Life is a series of ups and downs, set backs and surg
Jeanette Schaeche
Kylie has written another wonderful series.

I’ll admit, I kept thinking to myself, “What the actual fuck?” when reading certain parts of this (dragon reproduction, the obsession with potatoes, just to name a few), but Scales of Empire was a good read.

Chan always has a fluid writing style that allows for her work to come across as clean, non-jumpy, and concise.

One of my favourite aspects of this novel was that there were so many kick-ass female characters!

Some faults:
- I couldn’t get past the
Cheryl Pierce
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is so different to Kylie Chan's other series of books. Its an epic intergalactic adventure set in a time when earth is facing its downfall and soldiers are sent into space to colonize other planets in an attempt to save humanity. I found this book a lot of fun to read and must say I am looking forward to continuing the series and seeing where the story leads. ...more
Michael Clarke
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed it (finished it in under a week...). Kylie Chan has a unique style...very rapid moving, with very little exposition. Almost dreamlike. Interesting and unique characters and races, and futuristic technology as magic.

Some plot elements are a little reminiscent of Live Free or Die by John Ringo, but only in a general sense (potatoes for maple syrup:) ). And the dragon's capabilities bring to mind McCaffrey's.

I did laugh a lot, particularly at some of the translators, and at various food j
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
I was really looking forward to seeing what Kylie might be able to do with fresh new characters, but I was really disappointed. Pace was all over the place, character development was practically non-existant and there was no real climax, nothing to anticipate or look forward to. Such a shame, as this story could have had huge potential.
First few chapters, I thought I was going to enjoy this. And then it got more bizarre, and poorly written, and everything I found interesting about the characters was gone. Two stars is probably generous.
Dec 18, 2017 rated it did not like it
Ok, this was a weird one. Tea, potatoes and chili? Really?
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Quite an interesting read. Looking forward to book #2.
Mar 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
When I saw Kylie was releasing a new book, I jumped for joy and went into immediate fan girl melt down. This was just such amazing news!

Kylie Chan was introduced to me by a colleague quite a number of years back with her White Tiger series and I devoured those books like the majestic brilliance they are.

I then, like any excited bookworm, made everyone around me read them and join in on this amazing series.

Okay, so this book was set in SPACE.

I have to get this out there first, I absolutely c
Natalie N
The book is set in the dystopian future; the sea levels have risen, and the oxygen layer is fast depleting, so humanity is set to colonise other planets. When a ship is ready to leave on one of such colonisation trips, an alien arrives. The aliens look like dragons, and they have some extraordinary abilities, such as space travel.

The concept is very promising, and I liked the diversity of characters: aliens are gender-fluid, the main character is in a poly relationship. In the book world, such r
Feb 11, 2021 rated it did not like it
This was an interesting read—so many ethical issues to consider.

I found it very interesting that more females' gender ratio than males was preferable for interstellar travel. I was enjoying the book until the random and out of nowhere Alian invasion. The narrative alluded to previous first contact and possible extraterrestrial beings living on earth, but that really confused me. There was no time placing, and I found myself constantly trying to figure out where I was in earth history.
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
I kind of struggle with this audiobook. I persisted to the end though because each time I thought that it's just boring & nothing happens, I thought something was just about to happen so I kept going. In the end, I did manage to finish but I have to admit that I'm not terribly keen on this book. I'm not a fan of the author's earlier series; I think I only read a few chapters of White Tiger & decided that it's not for me. I thought this book, being scifi & all, should be different and may prove i ...more
May 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
I think I had unrealistic expectations. When there’s spacefaring dragons and psi and narcissistic spacecats and military honour and the rich diversity of world and characters brought out in Kylie Chan’s other series I was expecting equally stirring stuff.

Instead this felt like the characters were clones of the first series, just given new bodies. Intelligent AI instead of sentient stones. Dragon with unusual morality and sexual/gender fluidity instead of a Chinese god with the same.

But mostly
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mitchell Lillis
Jan 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The book starts with humanity attempting to start colonies on other worlds, using the long process of generation ships.

Jian, the protagonist is selected to go on the British generation ship and then all of a sudden a DRAGON appears, capable of instantaneous travel. Things escalate quickly from there. The dragon and her AI is capable of fixing many of the dying Earth’s problems, apparently at no cost.

Things progressively get darker as motives, other alien species and humanities own nature is re
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Kylie doesn't participate in the Goodreads network. You can find her fanpage on Facebook or visit her website at

Kylie Chan married a Hong Kong national in a traditional Chinese wedding ceremony in Eastern China, lived in Australia for ten years, then moved to Hong Kong for ten years and during that time learnt a great deal about Chinese culture and came to appreciate the custom

Other books in the series

Dragon Empire Trilogy (2 books)
  • Guardian of Empire

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What will you do when it's your turn to pick your book club's next read? Well, this is what you won't do: panic. Why not? Because we've dug...
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“Tea from the Japanese colony?' I said as she opened the airlock.
'Oh no, from my homeward. I think it's obvious that we've been here before: we check on developing civilisations, and sometimes quietly help them along. If we drop in on any young societies, we usually introduce them to tea.”
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