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Publisher's Summary

Another interstellar war!

The Empire has won the war against the Alliance. But at the close of that war, an invasion fleet from the Democracy of Planets sought to annex Jasmine. So Jasmine annexed to Sintar, and Sintar destroyed that fleet, causing resentment that is driving the Democracy of Planets to go to war with Sintar.

The Democracy of Planets is a much more deadly enemy than the Alliance. They have a new navy, too, with powerful new warships, and are much more of a military challenge. The Emperor’s strategy from the Sintar-Alliance war won’t work on the DP.

Will the Emperor’s new strategy work? And if he wins the war, how will he ever win the peace?

The stunning conclusion to Empire.

Interview with Rich Weyand

It sounds like the Democracy of Planets government gets sucked into a war they don’t want in Empire: Conqueror.

That’s right. The leadership doesn’t want a war, but they’ve been manipulating public opinion against Sintar for years. When the fleet sent to annex Jasmine is destroyed in Empire: Warlord, it inflames their public opinion, and they have no choice but to proceed to war.

This sounds like a tougher war than the one in Empire: Warlord.

Yes and no. The Alliance was a real threat to Sintar. Their strategy was good - to occupy portions of the Empire and force a peace on their terms - but their tactics were bad. In particular, they didn't know the Empire could see their forces mustering and already knew about the war vote.

The Democracy of Planets is a different challenge. They have some structural weaknesses in their military posture. But it won't be enough to win the war. The Emperor has to fight the war in such a way as to win the peace. That's actually a tougher challenge.

The Empress and the Co-Consul are there to help, though.

Yes, and so is Saaret’s wife Suzanne. She’s the "everyman" inserted into their councils. She has given me, since Empire: Tyrant, a touchstone for the Emperor’s policies, as well as a person for the reader to use to learn what was going on.

I see the new ideas group is back as well.

They’ve been there all along, together with the business ideas group and the new ideas review group, as the Consulting function in Imperial administration. But you’re right, they’re explicitly back in Empire: Conqueror, to research how to win the peace long term. They’re critical in advising the Emperor how to ensure the peace.

What is the cover scene this time?

It’s one of the confrontations between a main Sintar formation of 32,000 ships and a main DP formation of twenty thousand ships. It’s more of a tactical display because the ships wouldn’t be anywhere near that close in a real confrontation. But the perspective did allow James Lewis-Vines, the artist, to showcase the difference between the new-design Sintaran warships and the new-design DP warships.

How long did Empire: Conqueror take to write?

Thirty-seven days, so five to six weeks, pretty par for the course for an Empire book. More interesting is that I finished the day before the first anniversary of starting Empire: Reformer, so I wrote all six books in a single year.

You have an Author’s Afterword at the end of Empire: Conqueror.

Yes, I wanted to talk to the reader a bit about the story, about how I write, and about my themes. In particular, I wanted to tell the reader the starting premise of the whole series. There’s a big reveal there.

©2019 Richard F. Weyand (P)2020 Richard F. Weyand

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