Marian L Thorpe

Author of “Empress & Soldier” and “Empire’s Daughter

Marian L Thorpe, author of “Empire’s Daughter”, reviewed here by Fiona Forsyth . . .

Content on this page © Marian L Thorpe 2023

“My books are historical fiction of an imagined world, one that is close to Britain, Northern Europe, and Rome, but isn’t any of them. A world where a society evolved differently after the Eastern Empire left, an Empire on the edge of history.”

The Empire has structure and rules and everyone – nearly everyone – plays their expected part. The men fight, the women do everything else. It’s a world which makes sense to itself, and as the story unfolds, one cannot but admire the author’s confident and convincing world-building. But one huge change is about to crash on this world and it is utterly fascinating to watch seventeen-year-old Lena and her village adapt.

The story starts with the arrival of a man. He has been sent to train the women to fight, and so the culture of hundreds of years is turned on its head, not without dissent. Interestingly, I felt that it was their previous life lived mainly apart from men, their independence in managing themselves, that made this change possible for most of Lena’s village.

Lena’s development as a fighter and leader is the heart of this book, and it is also how we learn more of the country’s ways. I found myself enjoying the fighting scenes, which, I freely admit, I usually skip. Of more interest for me however were the developments in Lena’s personal relationships, especially with her partner who is vehemently opposed to the new edict.

The simple and strict society that Lena grew up in raises many questions for the reader, which the author is very good at answering – gradually, of course. It is this unfolding of a world which kept me reading, a constant piquing of curiosity. The plotting is perfect, there are no chapters that ‘sag’, and the writing style is lucid and flows easily. Everything combines to make one want to go on!

At the end of the book, I still felt intrigued: the leaders of the Empire have taken a huge risk. If women produce food, craft utensils and raise children, asking them to take on the defence of the realm is going to provoke interesting questions regarding the division of labour. Women might well demand a share in ruling and decision making at the highest level…

It is going to be fascinating to see what happens as this series continues!

© Marian L Thorpe 2023


Empire’s Daughter stands alone, but is also the first in the prize-winning Empire’s Legacy Series.

Lena’s world is about to change forever. Harried from north and south by two different enemies, both wanting this last remnant of a greater Empire’s land, and with invasion imminent, the military leaders see no choice but to ask the unthinkable: that women learn to fight.

In accepting the challenge, Lena is separated from her lover, who chooses banishment rather than break with generations of tradition. Promoted to leadership, drawn into the intrigues of power, Lena must make difficult choices, for herself, for her village, and for her country: a young woman at the heart of the violence and diplomacy that will begin her epic journey to save her land. Evoking Europe after the decline of Rome, the imagined world of Empire’s Daughter and its sequels is brought to vivid, believable life by the precise and powerful writing of Marian L Thorpe.


“After two careers as a research scientist and an educator, I decided it was time to do what I’d always really wanted, and be a writer. As well as my novels, I’ve published short stories and poetry. My life-long interest in Roman and post-Roman European history provided the inspiration for my books, while my other interests in landscape archaeology and birding provide background.”

Amazon link: Empire’s Daughter

© Marian L Thorpe 2023

And “Empire’s Daughter” can be found at : 

Content on this page © Marian L Thorpe 2023

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