In Children of the Empire by Lara Nance, a brilliant new science fiction universe is introduced that’s packed with intrigue, betrayal, deception, and redemption.
The plot structure of the novel is reminiscent of many fantasy sagas, where multiple destinations and increasingly difficult challenges lie in the path of the bold adventurers’ end goal. In the case of this novel, the key figures of Min and Ruffian are familiar, but they’re perfectly crafted and supported by a growing cast of detailed and original figures.
Aside from the clever premise of this novel, the writing is engaging and fast-paced. However, the dialogue fluctuates between being too casual and purely expository. The linguistic complexity seems basic and forced at times, seemingly when the author needs to add more background information.
The scope of the world that Nance outlines is ambitious, but this can also lead to rushed plot lines in certain sections. This is to be expected, given the inherent scale of a space opera, but a thorough edit to polish the language and sharpen some scenes would make Children of the Empire even more memorable and impactful.
As it stands, Children of the Empire is entertaining and imaginative, and will be fully satisfying to space opera fans, as well as those new to the genre.