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Publisher's Summary

On the eve of a recurring catastrophic event known to extinguish nations and reshape continents, a troubled orphan evades death and slavery to uncover her own bloody past - while a world goes to war with itself. In the frozen kingdom of Saiduan, invaders from another realm are decimating whole cities, leaving behind nothing but ash and ruin.

As the dark star of the cataclysm rises, an illegitimate ruler is tasked with holding together a country fractured by civil war, a precocious young fighter is asked to betray his family and a half-Dhai general must choose between the eradication of her father's people or loyalty to her alien Empress.

Through tense alliances and devastating betrayal, the Dhai and their allies attempt to hold against a seemingly unstoppable force as enemy nations prepare for a coming together of worlds as old as the universe itself. In the end, one world will rise - and many will perish.

©2014 Kameron Hurley (P)2014 Audible Studios

What listeners say about The Mirror Empire

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Suffers from narrator and front-loaded exposition

Unfortunately this narrator manages to make every character sound like an affronted grandmother, except for Lilia, who sounds like a country bumpkin from the Charlotte's Web cartoon movie. I tried so hard to look past this but nearly every line felt delivered counter to the intentions of the author. The best narrators manage to imbue some sense of the character's own personality to the tone, and this one simply doesn't. Every character sounds exactly the same and it makes it an active burden to tell who is who.

For the story itself, it's all very intriguing but takes so long to make sense through the cripplingly heavy exposition, lack of real character details, and the veritable onslaught of named characters.

I think I'll like this book better on a second read-through. Probably in print.

7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Terrible narrator

Story so unexpected and strange. Too bad it’s wholly ruined by a narrator who should only read children’s books. Seriously, she reads with the over exaggerated emotion that you’d use to read to your 8 yr old, but the content is about pain and blood. I found it hard to take the words seriously.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Ho hum

After reading the wonderfully gritty Bel Dame Apocrypha (which was stunning) I expected a gritty fantasy The narrator had the wrong voices for this type of fantasy. She'd probably be fine for a cosy mystery.

5 people found this helpful

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Captivating & thrilling

I got this on the recommendation of a friend and I am SO glad I did! It was confusing at first, but keep going & you'll catch on. Some of the most amazing world building I've ever seen. This style reminds me of ASOIAF, but this author is more brutal than GRRM (in a good way!). I loved the array of perspectives-- people of all (& multiple genders), disabled folks, & different cultures. Loved the unique characters. Five stars for sure.

9 people found this helpful

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decent world, terrible narrator

Narrator was horrible. Interesting world building, too bad it was ruined by crap one dimensional characters, and a very weak plot. Very hard to get through, will not recommend, will not continue with the series.

1 person found this helpful

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Very difficult to follow

This story is quite confusing to follow with the various names and then the same names used in the other world.

It’s taken me a long time to get through this story and quite often I lost interest or only 1:2 followed on the audio book. Not an easy read or listen and the author spends way too much time explaining various things to the point that it’s nauseatingly boring.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Ruined by Narrator

I tried to focus past the narrator's voice but with a book that is this deep with important names and details it was too distracting. They cannot clearly differentiate between the characters and at times seem to place the wrong emotional context to the content.

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    5 out of 5 stars

Epic fantasy that doesn’t disappoint

Can be very confusing at first since there are many different points of view and lots of names, places. I confess I needed the fan wiki to look up all the different characters and places. That being said, a glossary and map would have been helpful: these appendices exist in the actual written book but not this audible book—c’mon Audible please fix this (if Broken Earth trilogy gets a pdf, then this trilogy should get it too). Being a Kameron Hurley fan who has read all her other works, I stuck with this and was glad. It’s an epic fantasy that turns many tropes upside down and then some. Not a simple hero’s (heroine in this case) journey but more an ensemble of characters who are well fleshed out: each on their own journey of growth through adversity. World building is amazing as only Hurley can do it with organic swords, flesh eating walking trees, etc. Powers tied to different satellites that rise and wane. As many different kinds of relationships as the letters LGBTQ. Polyamory and genders beyond the binary are the norm. One thing that stood out were the valley Dhai who must ask for consent before touching one another. What a concept! The author doesn’t coddle her readers given the complexity of the plot(s). If you want something spoon fed then listen to something else.

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Read the rest of the series!

This series is worth it to finish reading! This book was my least favorite of the series and by the final book you can really tell how much the author has grown as a writer (which is cool). The trilogy comes to a very satisfying end and doesn't go the way I thought it would.

I think that it's complicated characters and plot threads are an asset rather than the detriment that other reviewers seem to think they are. Each character was morally complex in their own way which helped me get even more in to their stories. Even though I do enjoy the complexity I personally found the story much easier to follow and more enjoyable when I caved and bought the paperbacks.

I know that everyone has mentioned the narrator so I'll be quick on that. I didn't like the narration but there were points when the story was especially gory that I thought it was funny to be hearing such a posh old woman reading them.


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Kameron Hurley is Brilliant

It’s hard for me to believe that Kameron Hurley’s name isn’t more we’ll known. Actually, no, it’s not. “Cookie cutter” or easily pigeon-gilded, she is not.

I fell in love with her writing and originality first with the Bel Dame Apocrypha, but the Worldbrealer Saga is a new world ( worlds, rather) unto it’s own, and Ms Hurley does amazing, wondrous & horrible things within those worlds. Her characters are fully fleshed, multi- dimensional & flawed, as only the best characters are.

Don’t hesitate- just get all of her books.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Daniel Hanly
  • 08-09-15

Very Interesting, but Fails to Maintain Momentum

Struggled after the half way mark when none of the events seemed significant in the bigger picture of the story arc, or maybe it's that the larger story arc wasn't established enough for me to understand the bigger picture.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-25-18

An Original and Complex Fantasy Saga

I have seen quite a few people knocking this book, but I would say to any one considering reading (or listening to it, rather) - stick with it! It is a bit difficult to wrap your mind around at first, I will most certainly grant you that. BUT, it is rewarding because this is a wholly unique fantasy world. It is not the sort of world or story you are used to with your more mainstream authors, but it is one all unto itself. After this book, I immediately had to get the next and I'm dying waiting for the third book to come out! 10/10, will definitely read/listen to again!

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • duncan
  • 08-06-15

Mind numbingly dull

What could Kameron Hurley have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

spend less time lecturing about pro nouns, concentrate on a interesting story.

Have you listened to any of Liza Ross’s other performances? How does this one compare?

The narration was fine just the material was lacking

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

none that I could find

Any additional comments?

One of the worst books I have ever had to persevere with

1 person found this helpful

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  • Genevieve
  • 12-12-15

Great ideas but not so great execution

I wish I could say that I loved this book. I really wish I could give it a glowing review. I did enjoy it enough that I will be buying the sequel, but I won't be listening to it; I'll be reading it myself. This was very difficult for me to get through. I think my biggest issue was with the narrator - she was not suited to this story one bit. It really ruined the whole book for me. I usually listen to audio books either in the car or in bed, but I couldn't do that with this book or I'd just fall asleep! Her voice is boring and sounds somewhat automated. Her character voices where horrible and the monotone pitch she kept made it easy to zone out and then realise you just missed a huge plot point. The book itself was slow and dragged out, for such a long book I feel as if nothing really happened, well nothing really exciting happened. But maybe that's because of the narrator.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-06-20

Difficult to follow

I loved the concepts & the world, but found the story difficult to follow. Too many characters, nations and plot points were introduced too quickly, so I lost much of what happened and still dont understand why some parts were relevant.