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The Sundering

Dread Empire's Fall, Book 2
Written by: Walter Jon Williams
Narrated by: David Drummond
Length: 15 hrs and 43 mins

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Publisher's Summary

The Dread Empire of the Shaa is no more, following the death of the last oppressor. But freedom remains elusive for the myriad sentient races enslaved for 10 centuries, as an even greater terror arises. The Naxids - a powerful insectoid species themselves subjugated until the recent Shaa demise - plan to fill the vacuum with their own bloody domination, and have already won a shattering victory with superior force and unimaginable cruelty. But two heroes survived the carnage at Magaria: Lord Gareth Martinez and the fiery, mysterious gun pilot Lady Caroline Sula, whose courageous exploits are becoming legend in the new history of galactic civil war. Yet their cunning, skill, and bravery may be no match for the overwhelming enemy descending upon the loyalist stronghold of Zanshaa, as the horrific battle looms that will determine the structure of the universe - and who shall live to inhabit it - for millennia to come.

©2004 Walter Jon Williams (P)2014 Audible Inc.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kaz
  • 14-02-18

Love this series

I have listened and read this series multiple times. I just wish their were more of the mIn books.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Richard Casto
  • 16-09-19

Expanding the universe

I am writing this review only after listening to all three books in the Dread Empire's Fall trilogy. So in some ways it may comment on the series as a whole, but with specifics of this book.

I talk more about setting the stage of the universe the characters in my review of the first book. Williams does a good bit of exposition to bring the reader up to speed, but it is scattered throughout. As I read the first book before reading the second, I can’t say how success that would be for someone who happens to pick up this book first. I would highly suggest reading them in order.

I haven’t experienced much in the way of classic space opera novels. Compared to the first, I believe this book leans a bit more toward the “romance” side. While it is somewhat book-ended by space battles, much time is spent with internal power struggles, romantic drama, palace intrigues and empire building via arranged marriages between dynastic families. At times I found myself struggling to maintain my attention. But I think that is because my personal preference leans more toward the space battle side of this story.

As with the first book, large plot elements are left unresolved at the end. It's clear that this story is to span the three books of this series.

My thoughts on the narration is the same as with the first. Very good with interesting choices for what accents to use for different characters.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Paul Houser
  • 26-05-17

Classic Space Opera with a Twist

Williams is a very entertaining author that I can't recommend highly enough. Try him out.