In the first book of an epic futuristic fantasy trilogy, this is the coming-of-age story of Reza Gard, a young boy of the Human Confederation who is swept up in the century-long war with the alien Kreelan Empire. [Goodreads]
I read Empire a while back, last summer I think. But I started reading the omnibus edition which has three books so it reminded me to write a review. For those who are interested, you can get a free copy of Empire just by signing up for Michael’s newsletter. He doesn’t send a lot of email so, I’d say it’s a fair trade especially considering how amazing this book is!
In Her Name: Empire
The story centers on Reza Gard, a young boy who loses his family to a Kreelan attack. Kreelans are fierce, blue-skinned, female warriors. Following the attack, Reza is enslaved on a planet where they pick stones out of the ground so crops can be planted. During this part there’s an almost-rape scene. It’s not excessively explicit but just a heads up. Lets just say karma comes a-callin’.
The juiciest part of the story is when Reza has to forced into the Kreelan society. He trains with weapons, sleeps with magtheps, and is treated like a slave. But the struggle and how Reza not only copes but excels is inspiring. Reza’s training reminds me of Spartacus or Bloodsport, the harsh training and combat. There’s a beautiful love story that develops and a heartbreaking ending to the story. I’m really looking forward to continuing the series. This book has been neglected in my Kindle for FAR too long.
Michael builds a very convincing galaxy where the main topic on everyone’s mind is the struggle between the Human Confederation and the Kreelan Empire. The Kreelan society is intriguing too. They are matriarchal with a very cool legend to back up their beliefs. If you’ve ever read R.A. Salvatore’s Dark Elf Trilogy which features Drizzt and the Drow, you’ll have a vague idea what’s going on here. Except the Kreelans are not evil in the way the Drow Matrons are.
Outside of Star Wars and Star Trek novels, this is the best epic space opera I’ve come across.
So far, the In Her Name series is 9 books deep. Yes, 9 books!