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Publisher's Summary

The fourth novel of the galaxy-spanning Sun Eater series merges the best of space opera and epic fantasy, as Hadrian Marlowe continues down a path that can only end in fire.  

Hadrian Marlowe is trapped.  

For nearly a century, he has been a guest of the Emperor, forced into the role of advisor, a prisoner of his own legend. But the war is changing. Mankind is losing. 

The Cielcin are spilling into human space from the fringes, picking their targets with cunning precision. The Great Prince Syriani Dorayaica is uniting their clans, forging them into an army and threat the likes of which mankind has never seen.  

And the Empire stands alone. 

Now the Emperor has no choice but to give Hadrian Marlowe—once his favorite knight—one more impossible task: Journey across the galaxy to the Lothrian Commonwealth and convince them to join the war. But not all is as it seems, and Hadrian's journey will take him far beyond the Empire, beyond the Commonwealth, impossibly deep behind enemy lines.

©2022 Christopher Ruocchio (P)2022 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Kingdoms of Death

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A true Masterclass of Science Fiction

From cover to cover this book was simply put a masterclass of science fiction. This is a MUST read for anyone who loves epic adventures, love and loss, battles and politics. A true space opera in best sense of the words. I cannot recommend this series enough. Please read this series!!

1 person found this helpful

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Powerful

Occasionally there are books that once read fix themselves firmly within the very soul of the reader. This is one such book. Read it and relish the prose, the narrative, the structure, and the pacing. The wisdom within the story is timeless and something to cherish. The story is powerful and painful. But perhaps it’s that very pain which provides the story with such power. To my mind, it is masterwork within the genera.

1 person found this helpful

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The Best yet

I love this series and this is the best installment yet. It takes us in to the very center of the Cielcin empire and WoW what a ride it is. Epic in scope doesn't do it justice, you see and feel as Marlowe takes us on a journey to hell. The audio with Samuel Roukin's narration is fantastic, due to the fact how he makes the Cielcin way of speaking come to life. It's extraordinary how it flows from his tongue to sound like an actual language, as you pick up the tone of every speaker's meaning. This story starts out action packed, then the terror takes over, leaving us with sadness, joy and sadness again, as Hadrian's narrative gets ever closer to it's conclusion.

1 person found this helpful

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Interlude

So far, the weakest issue in the series. However it's forgivable because of how necessary the events were in this one for the coming climax moving forward.

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The best suneater book so far

In my entire life of reading I have never felt so gripped by a book. Kingdoms of Death is a fantastic book that leaves me counting the days till the next installment.

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Kingdoms of Death Review

With each of the previous three Sun Eater books being better than the last expectations were high for this fourth book. Upon finishing it I can say Demon and White is still comfortable the best one, followed by Howling Dark, Kingdoms of Death and Empire of Silence

This is a difficult book in a lot of ways. Hadrian spends most of the book experiencing and witnessing horrific things. In the hands of a lesser writer I would complain about bloat and the need of a editor, but I love the prose, world building, and the characters so much I’m going to be more forgiving than usual.

On the plus side the reader gets a lot of good information about the Cielsen society and their origins.

Definitely looking forward to the next book!

1 person found this helpful

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Needs a good editing

It seems like the author feels that he is getting paid by the word. This book is repetitive of previous themes already gone over in previous books in the series. I mean we (the reader/listener) get it. Hadrian suffers torture. It was already done in the first book. Here it is done again and is so over wrought and goes on for what seems like hundreds of pages. This book should have been edited down by a few hundred pages as the story progresses very little in this book. I think I am done with this series as it is just in such need of being edited down to something way more tolerable. But read it if you are into S&M and like page after page of torture descriptions that add nothing to the story line.

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A GOAT series for me

This entry in the series was amazing... I only wonder how much longer his journey will last and how many more books we have to go.. can't wait to find out what happens next!

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Hadrians misery is a little too much

I love this series! But cmon 12 hours of torture and basically no story development? Ooof

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The Cielcin are Just Stupid Humans

Ruocchio said that this wasn't a money-grab. They split the last book into two volumes because there was too much material. I can tell you that there was not too much material. This book felt padded as heck. Endless action scenes where improbable things happen at the last second to save the day. Torture. Torture and more torture. And I bet most people who have read the first 3 books could guess the plot of this book, beat for beat.

Nothing is revealed in this book that we didn't already surmise. Yes, see the Cielcin homeworld, but we also find out that the Cielcin are really not so alien. They are simply brutish, scary-looking humans. They do not have interesting ideas. They do not have interesting relationships - at least, the promising little nuggets of inter-Cielcin relationships are never explored in any detail. They are basically stupid, power-hungry religious zealots. If he recovers in the final book, future students of Ruoccho's work will be reminded that he wrote this book during the Trump presidency. Understanding nods will follow.

Indeed the cruelty is the point for the Trump folks, but intentionally cruel aliens are always a huge turn-off in sci-fi fantasy. It's such an all-too-human that strips the "alien" right out of the character. They are rendered predictable and kinda lame. "Alien" is scary. Boorish is not.

This book is a mess, and pretty quickly you realize that Ruocchio is holding all the good stuff until the next book. Yes, important characters die, but they appear so infrequently in this book that the impact is lessened. They appear from off-stage at the end, simply to die.
"Hey, remember that character from the other books, that you read months ago?"
"Yeah, kinda."
"They're dead now."
"Ok."

I suppose this book does come through, in a meta-sense. It's a book about torture that is tortuous. I will of course read the final book, but man this one took the wind out...

No reviewer who isn't on the publisher's payroll will give this book 5 stars.