The middle novel in a planned trilogy about earthling Paul Kerr and his beloved Syl Hellias, an alien female born on planet Earth, continues in separate adventures that keep them apart. After Syl aided Paul and his brother in escaping from Edinburgh castle in Conquest, they were subsequently captured and given a choice to join the brigades, eventually assigned to investigate a distant planet. Syl, on the other hand is given the option with her friend Ani of entering the sisterhood on a moon satellite of the Illyri planet and trained to become a member of the order.
Individually, Paul and Syl during their separate adventures discover an evil so horrible it could destroy the Earth and the rest of the known world. As they struggle with their knowledge they must find ways to develop their abilities and make known the truth of what they have learned, much less to save everything before it is destroyed.
While the books were primarily intended for a teenage audience, an adult can also read and enjoy the novel, which is no less a sci-fi fantasy and what is loosely a love story. The two novels, and the third yet to come, were written by John Connolly, the Irish novelist perhaps best known for the Charlie Parker mysteries, and his partner and mother of his two sons, Jennifer Ridyard. This is not the first time Mr. Connolly has turned his attention from Charlie Parker to a different type of novel. He also is the author of a trilogy for younger readers and even a modern fairy tale. Now we have the completion of another trilogy to look forward to. Empire, like Conquest, is recommended.
Reviewed by Ted Feit, October 2015.