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Glorious Angels by Justina Robson

I was drawn to this book as the premise is set in a society where women are naturally top of the hierarchies and rule their respective empires. In a towering city, a young ordinary girl is Empress and rules with the consciousness of her rival sisters almost constantly around her. As war with an alien race threatens the aims and also the safety of the Empire, citizens at the top of their field are recruited to the site of a mysterious archaeological find.

One such expert is Tralane Huntingore, a beautiful heiress, renowned scientist and mother of two very different daughters. Under influences of a new lover, the threat of blackmail and the command of the Empress, Tralane is pressed into service, and the discoveries she is about to make could have huge implications for the Empire and beyond.

I could write and write and write every major event and character, as this is an epic tome, but I don’t want to give all the good stuff away. There are lots of leading characters; each with their own unique life and personality that adds to the layers of the world Justina Robson has so skilfully created.

In this imaginative universe, the lines between science and magic are blurred as they are linked in the powers of some citizens and the technologies employed in the Empire. On top of the science/magic hybrid universe, there are also a multitude of humans, humans with super-human abilities and non-humanoid creatures with powers and hierarchies of their own.

Sometimes, I found it hard to work bits out as it was written as though it was a part of the world that I would already be familiar with, although by the end, I had become acclimatised to the new words and ideas that make up this super-creative world.

There is so much to this book on top of the interesting exploration of gender, including steamy sex scenes and bloody violence. There is adventure and intrigue, secrets and war, family and friendship all held together by the science and magic that underpins this intriguing society.

The last third of the book was especially gripping and I would be interested to see spin offs to this book, as well as a sequel. Glorious Angels is an epic feat of imagination that will grip and intrigue; a must for hardcore fans of sci-fi and fantasy. 

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