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Mazes of Power

(The Broken Trust #1)

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3.75  ·  Rating details ·  84 ratings  ·  30 reviews
This debut work of sociological science fiction follows a deadly battle for succession, where brother is pitted against brother in a singular chance to win power and influence for their family.

The cavern city of Pelismara has stood for a thousand years. The Great Families of the nobility cling to the myths of their golden age while the city's technology wanes.

When a fever
...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by DAW
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Juliette Wade The series is adult, but could also appeal to YA, as Beth Cato mentions in her comments. There is some mature content. High school and up would enjoy…moreThe series is adult, but could also appeal to YA, as Beth Cato mentions in her comments. There is some mature content. High school and up would enjoy it.(less)

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Average rating 3.75  · 
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Fábio Fernandes
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction, 2019
This is one of the best books you'll read in 2020. Why? This is my review:

One of the virtues of worldbuilding is to make your reader discover the universe you created in bits and pieces. Too much exposition at once seldom works (except for Kim Stanley Robinson, but lets not go there). Mazes of Power, by Juliette Wade, is a very good example of well-crafted worldbuilding starting with the epigraph. Its very revealing, and gave me goosebumps: Varin is a place where humans have always lived on an
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Beth Cato
Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science, blurbed, 2019
THIS BOOK IS SO GOOD. I was blessed to be sent an advance copy from the publisher, and more than happy to send back a blurb:

"Mazes of Power is a gasp-inducing political Hunger Games packed with intrigue, assassins, and stunning social dynamics. I didn't want it to end!"

Seriously, preorder this so you can get your hands on it on February 4, 2020. But don't start reading too close to bedtime, or you'll be in trouble...




Virginia
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Oh my goodness! I don't even know where to start with this book. It was so good!! I never wanted to put it down and was so sad when I finished because I now have to wait for the second one. Ugh!

This is a story of two brothers --one born with power, the other who craves it. Under the strict thumb of their father, they are guided into the highest political game in the world where their reputation is more important than their lives. Throughout the tale, we also follow a newly appointed bodyguard
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Tim
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful novel: sexy and exciting and full of drama. The characters are deep and follow their own stories in a fascinating plot.

I am the author's husband and have been living through the development of this story for years. It was a strange to read this book and see how the characters and plot finished up after so many revisions. I am so proud.
Angela Quarles
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed this debut sociological science fiction! This is not your run-of-the-mill SF--Wade weaves a powerful tale of the struggle for power between two brothers, underpinned by a solid understanding of sociology and anthropology that lends authenticity to the rich world-building and the actions and emotions of the characters. Fast-paced, but enjoyably rich in detail, I couldn't put it down!
Kyle Aisteach
Mar 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was very taken by this book.

Juliette Wade is known among short storyists as a fine worldbuilder. This book expands on her deep worldbuilding skills, still using the short storyist's toolkit of extremely sparse, efficient prose. As a result, it's a "slow down and read carefully" book, not something you can skim through and enjoy because it's dressed up with other people's furniture. If you're willing to work a bit, though, you will find a complex world that we're only seeing the tips of.

Also
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Tim Hicks
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book may frustate you at first, but stay with it and you'll get quite a ride.

Good worldbuilding, and some good characters.

Garr is very close to being too nasty and one-dimensional, and surely Sorn's evil-vizier role had to have been well-known.

Nekantor is very close to being too weird, and I got really tired of being reminded that Benél has power. It wasn't clear how that helped Nekantor cope. I award a mark for the author deciding that that this severely-challenged could make it anyway.
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Lashawn
Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
With our country the way it is today, one would think that a fantasy novel focused on political intrigue wouldnt be so much escapism, but more like reading todays news. Yet Juliette Wades debut novel, Mazes of Power, not only dives deep into political intrigue, it focuses a sharp lens on the relevant issue of what one can do with power, for good or for ill.

Read the rest of this review at Lightspeed magazine: http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/non...
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Kimberly Unger
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Mazes of Power is deliciously complex and is a perfect fit if you want more societal world-building in your science-fiction.
Katy
Feb 16, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5*: The web of political intrigue was entertaining and the characters, while somewhat unsympathetic, were compelling enough. However theres curiously little in the way of both setting and characters descriptions in the worldbuilding why does everyone live in caverns underground? What caused this? Why do the working classes actually care about and want to help the inbred, sickly, weak nobility class? Too many questions. ...more
Alex
Feb 17, 2020 rated it liked it
I found this to be an interesting read, with a few issues that cropped up as I went along. I imagine that most of these considerations have already occurred to the author, as it's otherwise such a thoughtful book with fairly comprehensive worldbuilding. I'd round up to 3.5 stars, except for a few things.

(view spoiler)
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Berenis Chavez
Mar 14, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rebecca
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Laura
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
In this novel of political intrigue, the setting is the star. Pelismara is a cavern city with an elaborate caste system. Although likeable characters are presented from every caste that appears, the privileged aristocratic caste, the Grobal (I remembered them as "Gross Nobles"), had me rooting for revolution more and more as the novel proceeded.

The main plot hinges around a few things: A sudden plague that reduces the Grobal population, the selection of the next Heir (a ruler-in-waiting), and
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Molly Madonia
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is super delicious. Part political intrigue, part dystopian caste-based society drama, part romance novel (a little, like as flavor, not super-salaciously), part coming of age, this book was a page turner from the first chapter. There is a wide cast of characters to keep straight, but the book includes a guide to the social system, the deities, the main characters and their relationships, and the locations for easy following by the reader; I definitely flipped back and forth to make ...more
Stacie Lauren
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Berkeley Publishing Group-DAW and NetGalley for granting me an advance reader copy in exchange for my honest review.

Mazes of Power creates a whole new world for the reader. I have to say this world caused my quite a bit of confusion at the beginning. There are many different classes of society that intermingle and determining the order without flipping back to the info page at the front was a little difficult.

That being said, once I got the hang of the new lingo, this book was
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deep
Nov 19, 2019 marked it as to-read
PW Starred: "Wades excellent high fantasy debut, the first in the Broken Trust series, invites readers into an intricately constructed and morally ambiguous world full of complex political maneuvering and familial pressure. For centuries, the cavernous city of Pelismara has housed the 12 Great Families that comprise the noble class of the citys strict caste system, who cling to the glory of a long-faded golden era. When a mysterious illness known as Kinders fever kills the citys Eminence, the 12 ...more
Kristi
Mar 20, 2020 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Deanna B
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
I gave it my best shot - 240 pages. But I just couldn't read any more. I'll admit that I had a hard time keeping all the characters straight, couldn't get a firm idea of the setting for the novel. Perhaps I was expecting more detail, like "The City of Ember" by Jeanne DuPrau. The preview warns of the decline of technology. What technology, the only time I see it mentioned is the skimmers. I also didn't expect the depth of the prejudice between the classes. I thought that this disparity would be ...more
Kyra Johnson
Jan 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: review-copies
Thank you so much, @dawbooks, for the review copy!

Mazes of Power is a deeply imaginative tale about a power struggle between two brothers, familial pressure, and a highly competitive political game where reputation means everything.

The intricately layered world-building of the city of Pelismara, fast-paced plot, and the clever characters had me flying through this book at a breakneck speed. This is the first book of The Broken Trust series so Im looking forward to seeing how Wade follows up to
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Amazonaute
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Very satisfying science fiction. Not sure why its referred to as a fantasy. Good characters, great world building and good story. The book reaches a satisfying ending (and a pondering of how soon can I reread it) while leaving the reader with lots of questions. For example, whats with the aliens? How did they get there? Why are they living in underground cities?

The only problem is that we have to wait until Wade writes the next book dammit.
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Julia Byrd
Apr 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Richly detailed and fast-paced. I could have used more background on the alien planet and how the humans came to occupy the underground cave system, but maybe that's coming in another book. The prose is interesting, a bit stilted and awkward in a way that actually reflects a society with different moral standards. Worthwhile!
Lisa Eckstein
Feb 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2020
In the underground cities of Varin, life operates according to a strict caste system and rigid cultural norms. Tagaret is from a powerful family in the noble class, and his cruel father would like to see him in line for the Eminence's throne. But Tagaret has no interest in politics, unlike his younger brother, who schemes constantly and imagines threats everywhere. When their city is thrown into turmoil by disease and a battle over succession, both brothers end up with crucial roles to play. So ...more
Caitlin
Mar 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Picked up because of Locus review. Lots of court intrigue. A bit reminiscent of Katherine Addison's THE GOBLIN EMPORER. Very readable, a page turner, if a bit tight and claustrophobic in feel. Also, zero explanation for where this underground society came from.
Smart Bookaholics Inc Bookstore
Wow! This book was nothing I thought it would be but I am not disappointed! I couldn't put t this down!

Thank you Berkeley Publishing for the arc in exchange for an honest review!
Cheyenne
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
I like the characters and I liked the world created here. It just never sucked me in. I never got so into It I wanted to know what would happen.
Sana
Sep 12, 2019 marked it as to-read-so-bad-it-hurts
Gonna read it for the 'sociopathic younger brother' and the sci-fi setting
Heidi
Mar 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-books-read
A bit weird but a very interesting setting and characters.
Rachel
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My only complaint is finishing the book because now I have to wait for the second book, this got me into sci-fi type books for sure
Cam
Mar 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-sci-fi
Drawing room politics and romance in an underground human society. Two brothers from an inbred leading class show different sides to the elite during a succession crisis.
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Juliette Wade's fiction has appeared in Analog, Clarkesworld, and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Her studies in linguistics, anthropology and Japanese language and culture inspire her work. She lives the Bay Area of Northern California with her husband and two children. She blogs at Dive into Worldbuilding and runs the Dive into Worldbuilding show and workshop via Patreon.

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