-Sydney J. Bounds Award for Best Newcomer (2013)
-Kitschy Golden Tentacle Award for Best Debut Novel (2011)
-Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer (2014)
-Hugo Award for Best Related Work (2014)
-Nominated for Hugo Award for Best Novel (2020)
-Finalist for Nebula Award (2011)
-Finalist for the Arthur C Clarke Award (2014 and 2020)
-Locus Award for Best Non-Fiction (2017)
-British Science Fiction Award for Best Non-Fiction (2017)
-Tiptree Award Honor List
1.The Mirror Empire:
When a shadowy force threatens their world, an orphan blood mage, novice fighter, and illegitimate ruler must unite fractured nations – and confront their own darker natures.
On the eve of a recurring catastrophic event known to extinguish nations and reshape continents, a troubled orphan evades death and slavery to uncover her own bloody past… while a world goes to war with itself.
In the frozen kingdom of Saiduan, invaders from another realm are decimating whole cities, leaving behind nothing but ash and ruin. As the dark star of the cataclysm rises, an illegitimate ruler is tasked with holding together a country fractured by civil war, a precocious young fighter is asked to betray his family and a half-Dhai general must choose between the eradication of her father's people or loyalty to her alien Empress.
Through tense alliances and devastating betrayal, the Dhai and their allies attempt to hold against a seemingly unstoppable force as enemy nations prepare for a coming together of worlds as old as the universe itself.
In the end, one world will rise – and many will perish.
2. Empire Ascendant:
Loyalties are tested when worlds collide…
Every two thousand years, the dark star Oma appears in the sky, bringing with it a tide of death and destruction. And those who survive must contend with friends and enemies newly imbued with violent powers. The kingdom of Saiduan already lies in ruin, decimated by invaders from another world who share the faces of those they seek to destroy.
Now the nation of Dhai is under siege by the same force. Their only hope for survival lies in the hands of an illegitimate ruler and a scullery maid with a powerful – but unpredictable – magic. As the foreign Empire spreads across the world like a disease, one of their former allies takes up her Empress's sword again to unseat them, and two enslaved scholars begin a treacherous journey home with a long-lost secret that they hope is the key to the Empire's undoing.
But when the enemy shares your own face, who can be trusted?
3. The Broken Heavens:
The Tai Mora – invaders from a parallel universe – have vanquished their counterparts and assumed control of the world called Raisa. The Saiduan are wiped out. The Dhai nation has broken apart. The remaining countries are in chaos.
While the Dhai retreat and regroup, led by the recklessly headstrong Lilia, the Tai Mora begin to unravel the mystery of how to use the ancient Dhai holy places to harness the power of the stars and cement their tyrannical rule for another two thousand years.
With more refugees from ravaged lands passing through the soft seams between worlds every day, time is running out for the Tai Mora and the last of the Dhai. Only one ruler, one nation, one world can survive. Who will be saved, and who will be sacrificed, when the heavens finally break?
Back with a vengeance – and fearless, unapologetic writing – Hurley's visceral masterpiece finally reaches its world-shattering end…
Sprawling and ambitious, as you'd only expect from Kameron Hurley, this trilogy will take you on an epic adventure in a strange and magical world! – Lavie Tidhar
"Kameron Hurley's Worldbreaker Saga blends science fiction and fantasy elements together in exciting and innovative ways, bringing to life magic-infused epic fantasy societies battling interdimensional foes against a climate catastrophe background."– SyFy Wire
"The Mirror Empire is the most original fantasy I've read in a long time, set in a world full of new ideas, expanding the horizons of the genre. A complex and intricate book full of elegant ideas and finely-drawn characters."– Adrian Tchaikovsky, author of The Shadows of the Apt series
"With vividly inventive world building and a fast-paced plot, The Mirror Empire opens a smart, brutal, and ambitious epic fantasy series. Book two is already on my must-read list."– Kate Elliott, author of the Spiritwalker series
"This is a hugely ambitious work, bloody and violent, with interestingly gender-flipped politics and a host of factions to keep straight, as points of view switch often. Although it is a challenging read, the strong narrative thread in this new series from Hurley pulls readers through the imaginative tangle of multiple worlds and histories colliding."– Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
"Hurley reuses old tropes to excellent effect, interweaving them with original elements to create a world that will fascinate and delight her established fans and appeal to newcomers. Readers will blaze through this opening instalment and eagerly await the promised sequel."– Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
Because ruin so often came from the sky, borne by fickle satellites on erratic orbits, Shao Maralah Daonia did not think to look to the sea until it was too late. She expected the next wave of invaders to come in over land after falling from a tear in the sky, the way they had the last six years.
Instead, the invaders came in on the morning tide. They drove before them a boiling swarm of vegetal flesh – a massive black surge of death that slithered up the coast like ravenous snakes of acidic kelp, devouring all it touched. Six cities had fallen to the same onslaught in six weeks, driving Maralah and her army further south. Now they came for the seaside city of Aaraduan, last stronghold in Saiduan's northernmost province.
Maralah expected they would take Aaraduan just as easily as the other cities, but not before she evacuated her Patron, burned the archives, and took a legion of them with her into death. She did not mind dying here. Her brother's army was only half a day away, slowed by spongy tundra and permafrost made unpredictable by the summer's heat. When he did finally sweep into the city, after it was taken, she relied on him to murder any stragglers she could not finish herself.
Maralah summoned an air-twisting parajista at the height of his power to secure Aaraduan's inner and outer gates with shimmering skeins of air and soil. She gazed at the cracked face of the ascendant star, Para, glowing milky blue in the lavender sky. She cursed the invaders for not coming ashore fifteen years earlier, when her star, Sina, was ascendant, and she was the most deadly power in Saiduan. She felt only the most tenuous connection to her violet- burning satellite now, and could do little more to aid in the shoring up of the gates than give orders. Her days of calling lightning and fire from a clear sky were long behind her. If all here went as she foresaw, she would die before seeing Sina again.
Maralah marched into the hold to watch the burning of the archives. A half dozen sanisi – Saiduan assassins blessed to call on the stars, as she did – tossed ancient records of bamboo, human skin, carnivorous plant exoskeletons, finger bones, and the pounded carcasses of winged insects – most of them long since extinct – into the roaring hearth. On some other day, one not so mad, Maralah imagined the Patron of Saiduan himself sitting beside the hearth with a book of poetry, tracing the columns of text with his worn fingers as a sinajista conjured a flame for him to read by. But the Patron would never sit here again. The room itself would be eaten soon, and the sanisi with it.
What records they could not save, they destroyed. Maralah had heard the same reports from every city – the invaders went first to the libraries and archives, drawn there like spotted beetles to the nectar of claw-lilies. Whatever knowledge they searched for, she would rather see it burned than give them the satisfaction of having it.
Like the other sanisi, Maralah dressed in a long black coat of firegrass and fibrous bark that touched the heels of her boots. She wore a knee-length padded tunic and long trousers. The hilt of her infused sword stuck up through her coat, a twisted branch of willowthorn that glowed faintly violet. The weapon marked her as one of Sina's soul stealers. Even in Sina's decline, the weapon retained its power. She could still kiss a conjurer to death with it.
The youngest of the sanisi, Kadaan, looked up from the stacks. His dark hands were smeared darker with soot. As a boy, it was Maralah who put a Para-infused bonsa weapon in his hand, a gnarled yellow branch that burned blue when he drew it. She ensured he was apprenticed to the best parajista she knew, a man who taught him to channel Para's breath to unmake the weather and push down walls of solid stone with a strong breeze. It was she who took responsibility for his fate now.
"We're nearly done here," Kadaan said. "Let me die on the wall with the others. I won't become their slave." Maralah saw the fire reflected in his bright eyes. Oh, to be twenty-odd years old again. And foolish.
The archivist who oversaw the purging of the archives, Bael, was already well gone with what he chose to save. Maralah wished she could have sent her youngest sanisi with him.
"The ones at the wall will be dead in an hour," Maralah said. "Killing a single biting tendril achieves nothing. You must burn out the weed's nest. Keep burning."
Maralah stepped into the corridor outside the archive room, seeking relief from the oppressive heat. She heard a great yawning sigh move through the hold. Maralah let her fingers linger on one of her shorter blades and walked into the long mirrored hall that faced the coast. She gazed across the jagged black city still bundled in a husk of late summer snow, to the harbor where the invaders anchored their fantastic bone and sinew boats. She'd had to sneak the Patron, his broodguard, and the archivist out across the mosquito-filled tundra in the other direction, hoping her brother's army found them before some group of foreign scouts.
She looked for the source of the sigh but saw no evidence of it. From this vantage, the sound of the slithering plant life devouring the walls was indistinguishable from the thrashing of the sea; they drowned out all else.
She rested her hands on the warm railing. The holds this far north were ancient things, grown and manipulated by long- dead tirajistas, back when they had been called something else, something far more fearsome. Those sorcerers had since become priests, torturers, and engineers, because their work still breathed and grew; it lasted. But something that was grown could be eaten. And the invaders knew it.
Maralah heard the low, keening sigh again. She pulled at the collar of her coat. Some may have thought it was just the wind blowing through empty corridors, creeping through wounds in ancient living walls, stirring paper lanterns whose flame flies had long since died. But she knew better.
Maralah drew the short blade at her hip, pivoted left, and thrust deep into the shadows of the curtained balcony behind her. The blade met resistance. Slid through flesh.
A figure hissed and yanked its body from her blade. As it stepped into the light she saw it was most likely a man – always hard to tell, with Taigan – but yes, she could see the snarled beard that clothed his face now. He was especially particular about which pronoun others used, depending on his latest manifestation.
"Taigan," she said as he pulled out of the shadows, clutching at his bleeding side. She sheathed her blade. "You have gotten soft… and noisy."
"Release your ward on me," he said, "and you'll see just how soft I am." He took his bloody fingers away from his side. The blood around the wound began to bubble and hiss as he repaired himself. She smelled burnt meat.
Taigan dressed in oiled leather and a padded brown dog-hair coat. He carried no visible weapon. Tall and dark, he wore his hair shorn short, and he stooped awkwardly: wreckage from a wound she had inflicted on him, one he could not repair himself, not unless he persuaded another sanisi with her talents to assist him, and only when Sina was again ascendant. When the Patron stripped Taigan of his title four years before for betraying him, Maralah removed the ward that bound Taigan to the Patron. Maralah suspected the Patron would have killed him, if killing Taigan was possible, but his talents were too useful to see him waste away in exile in some fishing village.
"Was she the one?" Maralah asked.
Taigan shifted his weight as another cold wind curled in through the windows, bringing with it the smell of the sea and the acrid stink of the plants. "She died in the ruin of a ragged gate," he said, "so let's hope not. Perhaps all of those who can open gates are dead, and you can let me go in peace."
Maralah went back to the rail and watched the invaders disembark from their bloated boats. The men's chitinous armored forms rippled up the beach. All men. She had yet to see a woman among them. They rode no dogs or bears, brought with them no pack animals or siege engines, only the burbling plants and fungi and red algae tides, and those they tugged with them from coast to coast, like fish dragged along in great nets.
As she watched, a bit of the sky tore above the ships, like something from a fantastic nightmare. She had a glimpse of some… other place where the sky was a murky amber-orange, as if on fire. A rippling shadow crossed the sky there, a black mass that made her skin crawl and her breath catch. The sky shimmered again, and the seams between her world and… the other closed. She let out her breath. She pointed at the sky. "The world is ready to come apart on its own. There's an omajista more skilled than you who can control it."
They had started seeing those mad tears in the sky eight years before, in the far, far north. She had not believed the sightings at first, thought it was just some drunk tuber farmer enchanted by especially brilliant northern lights. But no. Oma, the dark star, was creeping back into orbit. The worlds were coming together again far sooner than anyone anticipated.
"There will be an omajista among the Dhai people who can open the way," she said. "There always is, when Oma rises. You don't have that many Dhai to pick through. We only need one."
"The Dhai are weak-minded cannibals. Let the invaders take that maggoty country and their omajistas with it."
Maralah had fought the invaders on every coast, in every province, at the height of every snowy peak. When she sought out her father's house in Albaaric after the fighting, she found only a weeping ruin and the slimy remnants of red algae smearing the walls at knee height, where the highest tide had reached. She and her brother had not spoken to her father or sisters in twenty years, but she went to the house in search of living kin – a near- cousin, a second-mother, even a village brother – despite the silence. She found nothing but the taste of smoke. They never left the bodies, these invaders. What they did with them… Maralah did not care to guess. But rumor had it they had a taste for blood.
"The city is done, Taigan," Maralah said. "Now you must decide if you'll perish with it."
"May your roads run long, then," Taigan said, grimacing.
"And yours," Maralah said. "Don't come back without an omajista. A real one. You understand?"
"They've reached the walls," he said.
Maralah looked. Black, slithering plant flesh swarmed the shimmering blue walls, even as the structure spat and hissed at them. The sanisi standing at the top of the walls raised their hands to call on the ascendant star Para, Lord of the Air, for protection.
When she looked back, Taigan had gone.
Maralah took the worn hilt of her weapon and pulled it from the sheath at her back. The room cooled. A soft violet light emanated from the length of the willowthorn branch. In response to her touch, the branch awakened; the hilt elongated and snapped around her wrist twice, binding her fate to the weapon's. She watched blood weep from the branch, gather at its end, and fall to the stones. The weapon sang to her, the voices of hungry ghosts, all Saiduan, all collected in the living weapon when Sina was at its height. The invaders did not have ghosts, because their souls were not of this world. A pity, that. Her weapon was always so hungry.
Maralah swept the sword over her head and slammed it into the living flesh of the hold. Violet light burst across her vision. The weapon keened. The hold wailed as a massive wound appeared on its face. Thick, viscous green fluid gushed from the hold, pouring across her forearms, her boots. Her weapon licked greedily at the soul of the hold.
She prayed to Sina it would be enough to survive the night.