Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Empire of Silence” as Want to Read:
Empire of Silence
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Empire of Silence

(Sun Eater #1)

by
4.02  ·  Rating details ·  2,466 ratings  ·  406 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
...more
Hardcover, 624 pages
Published July 5th 2018 by Orion Publishing Co (first published July 3rd 2018)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Empire of Silence, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Christopher Ruocchio Without giving too much away, I can say that while the events of the Battle of Gododdin occur in the final book, they do not occur as described, or in…moreWithout giving too much away, I can say that while the events of the Battle of Gododdin occur in the final book, they do not occur as described, or in a vacuum. Hadrian's opening statements--as he says--are the official Imperial propaganda version. I wouldn't be quick to believe Imperial propaganda. (less)
Christopher Ruocchio I'm sorry I'm just seeing this.

There's a good deal of violence in the story, including a torture scene, and a bit of language. Sexual content is pret…more
I'm sorry I'm just seeing this.

There's a good deal of violence in the story, including a torture scene, and a bit of language. Sexual content is pretty light, though. It's hard to pin down a starting age. I probably would have read it myself as early as 12, but I was a pretty precocious reader. 15 for sure. (less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,466 ratings  ·  406 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Empire of Silence
Mark Lawrence
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read. Everyone draws their own lines regarding prose. Some want very workmanlike lines that put the whole focus on story. Some like to lose themselves in the beauty of the language. There's a line that divides poetic prose from purple prose and everyone draws their own version of that too. I liked the writing in the book. It was dramatic and occasionally a little overblown, but it was done with skill and I didn't consider it purple.

At the start the book has strong Dune vibes with technolo
...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Well hell! I loved this book! There are some funny bits too! Although, I did wait and buy it in paperback. Now I have to wait for the next one that’s getting ready to come out in hardback to go to damn paperback!! Sigh and shit!!



Happy Reading!

Mel 🖤🐶🐺🐾
...more
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
...more
Crane
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'
...more
Gavin
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
...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2018/08/28/...

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
...more
Dave
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
...more
Bradley
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
...more
Kaitlin
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
...more
Justine
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
...more
Liviu
(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)

r
...more
Adam
Jun 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book. This book. I’m not sure if I’ve ever struggled so much in scoring a book as this one. On one hand, Christopher Ruocchio’s Empire of Silence is just what the critics say and so much more: a heady mix of The Name of the Wind and Dune featuring a vast political climate, an incredibly sophisticated universe, a visionary amalgam of ancient Rome inside a far-flung future, with a story that threatens to peel away at the very nature of time and space and life itself. Wow! Go buy it! Stop read ...more
Lata
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
...more
Kristen
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 happened. I compare this book to other ...more
Michael
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
Andreas
I've been terribly unfocused during this read, and that obviously effected my enjoyment of this book. At first it reminded me of Dune quite a bit, and I really enjoyed that part of the book. It felt ambitious and epic. But as the story progressed I got more and more unfocused. And kinda bored. Because it was slow. Really really slow. We're constantly told about the main character and the awful things he's done, but for like 400 pages nothing that happens seem to be connected to his supposed evil ...more
Olivier Delaye
Sep 03, 2019 rated it liked it
The struggle is real with this one, and so is my frustration! I hardly know where to begin. To tell you the truth, I was beyond pumped about this book. The blurb on the back led me to believe that I was in for an amazing science fiction treat full of intergalactic wars and political conspiracy, galaxy-spanning adventure and world-shattering exploits. I was sold right then and there, and couldn’t wait to go home to crack it open. And so I did. A steaming mug of Earl Grey in one hand, Empire of Si ...more
Sarah
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
...more
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. ...more
Mark
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
...more
Lindsay
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
...more
Dezideriu Szabo
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is what I'm looking for when I open a book. This rich and complex universe, this rich and complex story and this rich and complex main character. And this is what, unfortunately, I found so rarely, maybe once in one hundred books. This is a "goldenbuzzer", one of those rare 10 stars books. This is a must read!
Justin Call
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ruocchio has reignited a love for sci-fi that I haven’t felt since my first forays into the genre reading Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov. More than just worldbuilding, Ruocchio is constructing whole galaxies and universes with convincing detail, authenticity, and authority. The protagonist, Hadrian Marlowe, is a compelling hero whose circuitous journey of self-discovery reminds me of Kvothe from the Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss – a talented hero who has the potential for greatness ...more
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, o
...more
Soo
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 because the
...more
FanFiAddict
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating: ★★★★☆+

Synopsis

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: the man who burned every last alien Cielcin from the sky. They remember him as a monster: the devil who
...more
Emily Grace
Reposting because it seems my review has gone missing after a re-read.

Thank you to the publisher for providing this ARC is 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
...more
Kathy
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.
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
...more
Nicholas Kotar
A five star first half, a 2 star second half. The voice in this book is terrific. It's clearly influenced by Dune, by the New Sun books of Gene Wolfe, and there's even a whiff of the new Battlestar Galactica. The worldbuidling is wonderful, the set-up is fantastic, the voice is great. But the story stalls halfway through. Then we get a LOT of hand-wringing and self-loathing. And a romantic interest with absolutely no chemistry. Every time Valka showed up, I gritted my teeth. There's really nothi ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Traitor God (Age of Tyranny, #1)
  • Priest of Bones (War for the Rose Throne, #1)
  • Priest of Lies (War for the Rose Throne, #2)
  • Black Stone Heart (The Obsidian Path, #1)
  • Cold Iron (Masters & Mages, #1)
  • Ashes of the Sun (Burningblade & Silvereye, #1)
  • Crowfall (Raven's Mark, #3)
  • Dark Forge (Masters & Mages, #2)
  • Ravencry (Raven's Mark #2)
  • God of Broken Things
  • The Ember Blade (The Darkwater Legacy #1)
  • Kings of Paradise (Ash and Sand, #1)
  • Cry Pilot (Cry Pilot, #1)
  • The Rage of Dragons (The Burning, #1)
  • Blood of Empire (Gods of Blood and Powder, #3)
  • Blackwing (Raven's Mark, #1)
  • The Gutter Prayer (The Black Iron Legacy, #1)
  • Smoke and Stone (City of Sacrifice, #1)
See similar books…
Christopher Ruocchio is the author of The Sun Eater, a space opera fantasy series, as well as the Assistant Editor at Baen Books, where he has co-edited four anthologies. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University, where he studied English Rhetoric and the Classics. Christopher has been writing since he was eight and sold his first novel, Empire of Silence, at twenty-two. To date, his boo ...more

Other books in the series

Sun Eater (3 books)
  • Howling Dark (Sun Eater, #2)
  • Demon in White (Sun Eater, #3)

News & Interviews

It’s time to turn your attention to something dark and twisty, to a story (or two or three) so engaging, the pages just fly by. In short, it’s...
40 likes · 10 comments
“It is a mistake to believe we must know a thing to be influenced by it. It is a mistake to believe the thing must even be real.” 5 likes
“My memory is to the world as a drawing is to the photograph. Imperfect. More perfect. We remember what we must, what we choose to, because it is more beautiful and real than the truth.” 4 likes
More quotes…