When Angry Robot Books announced that they had acquired Kameron Hurley’s The Worldbreaker Saga, the first epic fantasy from the author of God’s War, I knew readers were in for a treat. Hurley’s series, beginning with The Mirror Empire, is one of my most anticipated novels of 2014, and Angry Robot Books is known for their fun and progressive approach to cover art. It’s a match made in heaven, right?
Hurley describes the three volume epic fantasy as “Game of Thrones meets Fringe,” and promises that it’s the most intricate and complex book she’s ever written.
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. At the heart of this war lie the pacifistic Dhai people, once enslaved by the Saiduan and now courted by their former masters to provide aid against the encroaching enemy.
Stretching from desolate tundra to steamy, semi-tropical climes seething with sentient plant life, this is an epic tale of blood mages and mercenaries, emperors and priestly assassins who must unite to save a world on the brink of collapse. As the dark star of the cataclysm rises, an illegitimate ruler struggles to unite a country fractured by civil war; a precocious young fighter is asked to betray his family to save his skin; 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 betrayals, 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, only one world will rise – and many will perish.
The cover features artwork by Richard Anderson, whose arresting and unique art has been featured on some of the most memorable fantasy and science fiction covers of the past few years, including Brian Staveley’s The Emperor’s Blades, and Peter Watts’ Echopraxia.
I caught up with Hurley to chat about the beautiful cover, and some clues about what fans can expect when the novel releases later this summer.
When I reached out to ask him about his work on The Mirror Empire, Anderson was quick to point out how much he enjoyed working the cover. “Working on the cover art for The Mirror Empire was a great experience,” he said. “Working with Angry Robot for the first time, I was really impressed with the amount of reference and research done, which really helps to inspire me, and really helped to capture the idea of what what Kameron Hurley would enjoy.”
“I love to work a little abstract at first and clear things up in the process, which I believe gives the viewer some space and guidance for there own imagination to play,” he finished.
2014 is proving to be an enormous year for Hurley. In addition to The Mirror Empire, Hurley is also nominated for two Hugo Awards: “Best Fan Writer” and “Best Related Work”, for her essay, “We Have Always Fought”. God’s War was a runner-up for the Arthur C. Clarke Award for “Best Novel”.
The Mirror Empire is set for release on August 26th, 2014, and is available for preorder.