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Publisher's Summary

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 destroyed a sun, casually annihilating four billion human lives - even the emperor himself - against Imperial orders. 

But Hadrian was not a hero. He was not a monster. He was not even a soldier. Fleeing his father and a future as a torturer, Hadrian finds himself stranded on a strange, backwater world. 

Forced to fight as a gladiator and into the intrigues of a foreign planetary court, he will find himself fighting a war he did not start, for an empire he does not love, against an enemy he will never understand.

©2018 Christopher Ruocchio (P)2018 Recorded Books

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Slow start, picks up the pace

Although the book starts slowly it picks up speed by the second half and really draws you into an established world. I'd recommend this to fans of Red Rising, Dune, and Old Man's War.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent. Not as derivative as I feared

I really enjoyed this audiobook, and listened to the entire thing over a weekend while working around the house.

If the settings had changed slightly, it could have been presented as a fantasy novel, which is typical of many space operas.

I did not find it as derivative as others have stated. It does share some concepts with Dune, but is by no means a Dune-wannabe. The only similarity that I found with Patrick Rothfuss was the structure of the story, which Patrick Rothfuss did not invent. I found it far superior to The Name of the Wind, which I believe is overrated and bloated.

I am really looking forward to the sequel, which will hopefully arrive in a timely manner.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Truly amazing work - narrator and author alike!

There is nothing quite so satisfying as a brilliant narrator, reading a first person/past tense book. It feels somewhat like listening to an elder's tale of their past - we know the end product, but how they got there is the true soul of the person.

That feeling is doubly true, when that book is as incredible as this one.

Without doubt, the best book of the year, that I've had the pleasure of listening to! (and I listen to a lot!)

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kyle
  • RALEIGH, NC, United States
  • 08-30-18

A review requires at least 15 words

This book is fantastic. I found myself listening to this at any moment I could and spending extra time in my car after I arrived at my destination just to hear a little more. The storyline is fantastic and it leaves me wanting the second book to come even sooner

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • KCJ
  • Texas
  • 08-29-18

Epic Space Opera... Instant classic

A lot of what i've read in reviews compares this book, fairly or unfairly, to Dune. A small homage, sure, but I may have not made that connection to Dune if others had not pointed it out. I mean it's a HUGE book, a HUGE world/Universe, but this book is its own and in my opinion, an instant classic. That's the real comparison between the 2, Classic... That said, for me, the original Dune is slow and drawn out... I know that makes me unpopular. I enjoyed it and recommend people read it but wont read it a second time. I would read/listen to Empire of Silence a second time. The slow points of the book are needed and not just filler, the pacing is current and keeps you engaged wanting to know more about the Sun Eater universe and it's characters.

The world/universe building and character building is FANTASTIC! You really care about Hadrian in spite of knowing from the book blurb the atrocities to come. This book is emotional and touches lightly but with intent on politics (new and old). It's frustrating at times, even to the point of making you angry. You cheer and route and during my commute more than once I fist pumped in the air with joy. It draws you in, brings you up and down and side to side with it.

Final thoughts:
1) I tried to do this review in a way that it doesn't give spoilers so sorry for the broad strokes!
2) This is my first time listening to the narrator Samuel Roukin and really enjoyed his narration. It always takes a bit to get used to a knew voice, but shortly after starting you settle in and just enjoy the ride. He does an excellent job and i'll definitely listen to him again.
3) It's a great book, cant wait for book 2... and If you read this and haven't listened to or read book 1... then you are seriously missing out... get it in the queue or get it in the cart and enjoy!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • cstorm
  • Stevensville, MD, United States
  • 11-05-18

Intelligent Sci-fi

Ruocchio's impressive debut novel is richly rendered, sociopolitically complex, and immersive. An intelligent work of science fiction, Empire of Silence will also appeal to fantasy fans and some history fans thanks to its inclusion of fantasy conventions and historical technology and references, such as castles, swordplay, and Greco-Roman cultural influences. In Empire of Silence, Ruocchio built a psychologically layered hero (anti-hero?) by means of a skillfully woven plot that drew me into the colorful worlds of Hadrian's far-future Milky Way galaxy and left me desperate for the next book in the series.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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From Slow Start to Can't Stop

Are you a fan of Sanderson's Worlds of Radiance or Rothfuss Kingkiller Chronicles? Because if you are, Empire of Silence will probably be right up your ally. But it's not just The Name of the Wind in space, though it does share a number of themes with that book. Chris Ruocchio does an excellent job slowly bringing his universe to life through tantalizing snippets of world-building and foreshadowing. I'm extremely excited for the next book to come out, though it seems we'll have to wait until mid 2019 for that to come.

Word of warning, though. Others have mentioned it, but the book is slow to start, and a bit confusing. You get dropped right into a world of unfamiliar terms without any helpful guidance on what they mean. Ruocchio excels at giving context, but he doesn't spoon feed you. Give the book at least a couple hours to come into its own and you'll be glad you did.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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So good!

I greedily await the next books in this series. Please keep them coming. Thank you for spending the time to create this quality of work.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ursa
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • 10-17-18

Great beginnings

Loved the political scheming and intrigue that tumble around Hadrian through the story. Good visualizations and an engrossing tale yet to be told.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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great story and great narration.

A great novel. Cannot wait for the next entry in the series. Wonderfully interesting world.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful