“As the ancient sea was cruel, so too is that blacker sea, vaster by far, that fills the void between the suns like water.”
Christopher Ruocchio, Empire of Silence (Sun Eater, #1)
- Book: The Empire of Silence
- Writer: Christopher Ruocchio
- Publisher: Penguin Random House
- Series: Sun Eater
The Empire of Silence took me on a great journey across space, and the adventure of the early life of a Hadrien Marlowe, who will someday be referred to as The Sun Killer. It’s a rollercoaster, experiencing many lows and highs of the main character’s escape from family obligation and get wrenching path that leads him. The details are vivid and rich. And the story unfolds in a slower, dramatic sense…a slow burn as they say, but definitely not too slow.
The story is completely told from his perspective, so you become fully immersed in his experience. One of the interesting and more mysterious aspects of the story is that he’s telling this from his “older self” perspective…even stating that he is possibly one of the oldest living humans and over 1000 years old (made me think of Lazerus Long, or even Ozzie and Nigel Sheldon). From his older self perspective, you gather that he obtains great power in his life, throughout most of the book, it’s hard to see it happening as he gets kicked while he’s down multiple times. It’s not until the end that there is some real hope for this character and his future, and the ending is fantastic.
As he leaves his family and world behind for a career his pops would never approve of, he’s left for dead on the streets of an unknown planet, an unknown amount of years into a planned 30 year cryosleep. His struggle to survive the streets becomes inspiring as he takes care of a woman who also has nothing, and no future.
Along the way, he seems to fall in love, yet doesn’t realize it or admit it, befriends and becomes family to a group of throwaways while forced to fight in the Coliseum for the pleasure of the planetary ruler and his people. There is a species of alien the human worlds have been at war with for years, another alien species living on the planet, enslaved, yet might hold the key to ancient mysteries. One of the main characters talents is languages and has the ability to speak the language of the aliens fighting against them in the war which creates a unique opportunity for him to crawl out of his status of constantly being used by others.
That’s about as fine a line as I can walk without really spoiling anything, but it is an awesome space opera from a first person perspective, with elements of the Greek and Roman culture thrown in with alien technology, space travel, and swords.
Thank you again for taking a minute of your time to read this, as I loved it and am eager to get into Book 2.
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