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Empire of Silence

(Sun Eater #1)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  1,051 ratings  ·  212 reviews
Hadrian Marlowe, a man revered as a hero and despised as a murderer, chronicles his tale in the galaxy-spanning debut of the Sun Eater series, merging the best of space opera and epic fantasy.

It was not his war.

On the wrong planet, at the right time, for the best reasons, Hadrian Marlowe started down a path that could only end in fire. The galaxy remembers him as a hero: t
Hardcover, 624 pages
Published July 5th 2018 by Orion Publishing Co (first published July 3rd 2018)
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4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,051 ratings  ·  212 reviews

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Petros Triantafyllou
The Name of the Wind but in space.

Hadrian is the first son of Lord Alistair, destined to succeed him as the head of the House Marlowe and Archon of Meidua Prefecture on Delos, and to live a relatively easy life with a several centuries life-span. Or at least that's what he thinks. He ends up destroying a Sun, snuffing billions of lives (humans and aliens alike) and obliterating an entire race instead.

"The light of that murdered sun still burns me. I see it through my eyelids, blazing out of his
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
I'm finding this character driven sci-fi book a difficult one to review as it is not often I've encountered a book that was as much of a mixed bag as this one.

The Good

-Christopher Ruocchio's writing. The guy had an engaging writing style and as a result I was sucked into Hadrian's story.

-The sci-fi world. We got a decent sci-fi world for the setting of this tale. Humanity has spread out to the stars and Earth is but a distant memory. Unfortunately the main bulk of humanity is ruled by an Emper
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

For epic fantasy lovers who want to see storytelling, characters, and worldbuilding get the same extensive, sweeping treatment in sci-fi, Empire of Silence is the answer. In this ambitious debut, author Christopher Ruocchio introduces readers to Hadrian Marlowe, a monster or a hero—you decide. The entire galaxy knows his name, but well before he achieved notoriety as the man who defeated an alien race—by destroying a sun a
Nils | nilsreviewsit
Empire of Silence by Christopher Ruocchio, is just simply awesome, and a new favourite sci-fi of mine.
‘Dune meets The Name of the Wind’ is the blurb that’s on this review copy, which is a really ambitious statement to live up to! Do I think this description is accurate? Well Dune is one of my favourite all time classic sci-fi and has some of the best world building, political and religious themes, and so much depth. Although I don’t think this or any other sci-fi could be quite as good as Dune
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really, 3.5* rounded up.

Do you remember that time that you read Dune for the 6th or 12th time and thought, "Hey! Wouldn't it be great to write fan fiction and mix up some of the elements in it, change all the names, and make it longer, more convoluted, and make Paul rebel against his family? Maybe just put him in House Corrino first, throw out the godlike abilities but keep 80% of the other worldbuilding under a thin shroud?"

Yeah. Me too.

And that's exactly what kept me from precisely enjoying th
Jul 27, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is by a wide margin the single most derivative book I have ever read.
Young Kvothe Atreides grows up in a life of privilege and power, learning from his father's Mentat. Alas, he's not to be the heir! Instead, he's to be admitted to the Orange Catholic Church, who prevent the use of intelligent technology throughout the galaxy. And also torture people. Not liking this, he runs away from home. Betrayal ensues, and he finds himself stranded penniless on the streets of Tarbean! Fortunately, he'
Aug 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
I picked this one up on audiobook as I thought I may not have the time otherwise to get to such a chunky sci fi, and I am very glad I did so. The audio narrator is good and does a lot of the intonation/accents in a way that keeps you engaged, and the story is also a very interesting one and told from the perspective of Hadrian Marlowe, our main character.

What I like about this is that it's a little reminiscent of The Name of the Wind in that the person telling you the story is the main character
Empire of Silence, the first book in the epic Suneater series and the author’s debut novel, is a fantastic interstellar fantasy tale. Standing tall at 617 pages, a length far too long for most books, it leaves you wanting another 600 pages of this terrific writing. It’s one of those books that you know is top notch right from the getgo and it never wavers or falters.

This is not some quick reading science fiction sword and planet story. Rather, it’s a rich, layered tale that creates complex char
(early take) unexpectedly good so far (about 4/5 read); as others noted, this one wants to be Name of the Wind in space and so far it quite succeeds in some ways while avoiding being too slow; on the other hand there is a lot to go so until the author manages to put a few more books at the same level, it's hard to say what impact the series will have; hugely inventive and a great hero voice (the tortured superman type reminiscing at the end of his long and eventful life - a la Name of the Wind)

This for me was a very satisfying sci fi extravaganza of a far-future human empire. A major theme it includes from that genre is how to overcome xenophobia in the face of hostilities that develop with an alien race. But this hefty novel takes the form of epic fantasy, albeit without magic and supernatural beings. There are mythic overtones to the incredible challenges our hero must overcome on his life’s journey, emulations of Imperial Rome and the medieval religious power of the Spanish Inquisi ...more
Nov 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-read
3.5 stars

This is a tough one to rate. I generally liked the story and the many interesting characters who emerged throughout the book. I'm not sure I am totally sold on the writing. It has the same deliberate and almost ponderous quality of Patrick Rothfuss and Pierce Brown, but without the same literary sparkle.

I'm also not sure I like the choice to position the story retrospectively. Since the outcome of Hadrian's life story is so heavily commented on as he relates it, and there are specific a
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Full review is here, on my blog!~

This book has been sort of compared to me as The Kingkiller Chronicles but in space. I’ll agree with that on some levels. It is told by the main character, and it is told by him as a story of the events that he is very famously known for, after the fact, many years after the events have happened. He tells his story from pretty much the beginning. His family life when he was young. His rivalry with his brother, and what put him where he was that lead to what happe
3.25 stars. A tremendously long novel about a guy who tells us at the outset that he's known as a monster, he's tremendously old, and he's killed lots and lots of people. At the same time, he already sets us up not to entirely believe the various myths that have grown up about him.
This book has been compared to two other books (that I don't particularly care for (by Patrick Rothfuss and Pierce Brown) and I think I liked this book far more than those other novels. That doesn't mean there aren't
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This is the first part of the memoir of Hadrian Marlowe, written a thousand years later and after he's become infamous as the Sun Eater and for a near-genocidal victory over the alien Cielcin.

The largest part of humanity lives in the Imperium, an interstellar empire ruled autocratically by the palatine class, genetically engineered humans who can live for centuries. The Imperium feels similar to the Roman Empire, with Colosseums, a militaristic culture, slavery and dominion over many alien world
Unfortunately this book just wasn't for me, I found it painfully slow to read and even after the first 500 pages I didn't feel invested in any of the characters or really care what was happening. The fact I was able to put it down at that point and walk away for over 2 months shows just how much I wasn't interested.

Since I was so far in and only had about 100 pages left I decided to push myself to finish it but I ended up making it to page 554 before quitting mid sentence. The torture scenes we
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
For those who like big, fat, immersive and meaty SF, combined with touches of Fantasy, this one ticks all the boxes.

This is one of the most enjoyable SF debuts I’ve read in a long while. Think Dune mixed with Gene Wolfe’s Shadow of the Torturer series, but for a contemporary readership. The book sprawls though Hadrian’s youth and shows us his slide from nobility to warrior, adventurer and antihero and brings us up to the point where he earns the name ‘Sun Killer’.

The first part of the book shows
Brian Durfee
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Superb. It really is a mix of Dune & Name of the Wind. Brilliant insightful writing too. One of the most refreshing space operas to come along in years. Loved. It.
Emily Grace
Thank you to the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

The light of that murdered sun still burns me. I see it through my eyelids, blazing out of history from that bloody day, hinting at fires indescribable. It is like something holy, as if it were the light of God's own heaven that burned the world and billions of lives with it. I carry that light always, seared into the back of my mind. I make no excuses, no denials, no apologies for what I have done. I know what I
DNF @ ~20%

If a bunch of Ivy League classics majors got high one night and decided they would write an epic space opera, this might have been the result.
Samantha (AK)
May 22, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of fantasy curious about their genre in space
I received free access to an advance galley through the Penguin First to Read program.

Skip the blurb. (Or at least pay very close attention to what it does and doesn’t say.) This is a story about beginnings, a 600-odd page prelude to the events that will eventually end with our hero destroying a sun. Take note: the actual destruction does not occur in this book. Not a bad thing, but easy to miss while you’re busy judging the book by its admittedly stunning cover art.

Hadrian, House Marlowe, of
The Tattooed Book Geek (Drew).
As always this review can also be found on my blog The Tattooed Book Geek: https://thetattooedbookgeek.wordpress...

From the blurb we already know that the protagonist and narrator Hadrian Marlowe (the eldest and firstborn son of Lord Alistair Marlowe from the planet of Delos) destroyed a sun, caused the death of over four billion people and wiped out an entire race (it’s not a spoiler, it’s in the blurb) and that he is writing out his life story so that, in his own words, the true account of his
Tiemen Zwaan
May 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Yep, this has the potential to become a new classic in the halls of scifi.
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, favorites
Empire of Silence by Christopher Ruocchio je pravi ne tako mali dragulj spejs opere stare škole, pun entuzijazma i ljubavi ka žanru i odličan pokazatelj da SF u koji smo se zaljubili kao klinci nije mrtav. Ako bih morao da u jednoj rečenici pičujem ovu knjigu nekom NN čitaocu, rekao bih da je Empire of Silence melanž "Dine", Whm40k i Fading Sunsa kada je po sredi worldbuilding i Vulfovog "Novog sunca" izmešanog s Rotfusovim "Imenom vetra" kada je reč o karakterizaciji i pristupu protagonisti, pr ...more
Ich muss zugeben, zu Anfang der Lektüre war ich skeptisch, zu sehr erinnerte mich das Setting an die "Red Rising Trilogie" von Pierce Brown. Der Background der Geschichte, auch die Namen der Figuren und der Planeten sind dem alten Rom oder Griechenland nachgezeichnet. Tausende Jahre in der Zukunft hat sich die Menschheit über große Bereiche des Weltraums ausgebreitet, die Heimat Erde ist offenbar nur noch eine Legende (genaueres läßt der Auftaktband einer groß angelegten Saga noch vermissen). De ...more
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook, reviewed
Mini-Review: Mix of Audio & eBook

I'm not going to write a long review for this book because I ranted about it enough on status updates & chats with a friend. I am super happy to be done with this book. It was not a fun book to read because it was fairly frustrating for 80% of it.

Rating Breakdown
5 Stars for Narration - US Audio narrated by Samuel Roukin. My first experience with Roukin's work as a narrator. He did a fantastic job. It was the only reason I was able to finish the book beca
Mar 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Have read this for the second time in anticipation for the sequel. Christopher Ruocchio certainly has a way with words. He describes the most simple things beautifully and this, I turns, makes the larger scale just flattering.

There are many comparisons to Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss but Christopher has made a name for himself and started an epic saga that will get his well earned recognition.

I strongly recommend this sci-fi/fantasy adventure and I cannot wait and the next few book to sc
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The opening was a little uneven but I didn't want it to end. I'm looking forward to Hadrian's further adventures.
Grundsätzlich eine sehr spannende Fantasy-Welt im Science-Fiction-Gewand. Geschichte und Figuren tragen aber leider keine fast eintausend Seiten und so gibt es doch sehr viele vermeidbare Längen...
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2018
"Das Imperium der Stille" ist der Debutroman des amerikanischen Autors Christopher Ruocchio und offenbar der erste Band einer mehrteiligen Reihe. Den von vielen Rezensenten im englischsprachigen Bereich genannten Vergleich mit Frank Herberts "Dune" und Patrick Rothfuss‘ "Der Name des Windes" würde ich bestätigen, auch wenn ich letzteres nur aus Erzählungen kenne.

Wie bei "Dune" begegnen wir einer absolut fantastischen Welt. Planeten und Aliens gepaart mit Familiendynastien, Schlössern und Adelsti
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Empire of Silence is a beautiful, dense, EPIC space opera. In my view, this is how it is done. Mr. Ruocchio packs this work with smooth prose, wonderful characters and a weight to the world he creates.

I am not sure the comparisons to Dune are entirely accurate, I read this more as a history, a retelling of the main character's life and how he gets formed to reach the ending that he lets you know is coming.

Amazing work..if you are a true fan of scifi, read this.
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