When the empire is challenged by a band of machine-augmented humans who seek to put their own gods in control by kidnapping the immortal Child Empress, captain Laurent Zai of the Imperial Frigate Lynx is charged with her rescue. Reprint.
From the acclaimed author of Fine Prey, Polymorph, and Evolution's Darling (Philip K. Dick Award special citation and a New York Times Notable Book) comes a sweeping epic, The Risen Empire, Scott Westerfeld's dazzling hardcover debut.The undead Emperor ruled his mighty interstellar empire of eighty human worlds for sixteen hundred years. Because he can grant a form of eternal life, creating an elite known as the Risen, his power has been absolute. He and his sister, the Child Empress, who is eternally a little girl, are worshipped as living gods. No one could touch them. Not until the Rix, machine-augmented humans who worship very different gods: AI compound minds of planetary extent. The Rix are cool, relentless fanatics, and their only goal is to propagate such AIs throughout the galaxy. They seek to end, by any means necessary, the Emperor's prolonged tyranny of one, and supplant it with an eternal cybernetic dynasty of their own. They begin by taking the Child Empress hostage. Captain Laurent Zai of the Imperial Frigate Lynx is tasked with her rescue.Separated by light years, bound by an unlikely love, Zai and pacifist Senator Nara Oxham must each, in their own way, face the challenge of the Rix, as they hold the fate of the empire in their hands. The Risen Empire is the first great space opera of the 21st century.