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Cover image for Impyrium
First edition.
New York : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2016]
Physical Description:
583 pages : maps ; 22 cm
Series title(s):
Number in series:
"Two unlikely allies confront a conspiracy that is even bigger and more sinister than they imagine in this high-stakes fantasy"-- Provided by publisher.
Reading Level:
Ages 8-12.


Call Number
J Neff, H.

On Order




"A rare jewel. A new classic in the fantasy genre." -- Eoin Colfer, author of the bestselling Artemis Fowl series

Henry H. Neff's new high-stakes middle grade fantasy follows two unlikely allies as they confront a conspiracy that will shake the world of Impyrium to its core.

For over three thousand years, the Faeregine dynasty has ruled Impyrium. But the family's magic has been fading, and with it their power over the empire. Whether it's treachery from a rival house, the demon Lirlanders, or rebel forces, many believe the Faeregines are ripe to fall.

Hazel, the youngest member of the royal family, is happy to leave ruling to her sisters so that she can study her magic. But the empress has other plans for her granddaughter, dark and dangerous plans to exploit Hazel's talents and rekindle the Faeregine mystique. Hob, a commoner from the remote provinces, has been sent to the city to serve the Faeregines--and to spy on them.

One wants to protect the dynasty. The other wants to destroy it. But when Hazel and Hob form an improbable friendship, their bond may save the realm as they know it...or end it for good.

Reviews 4

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6-8-The author of the "Tapestry" series brings readers a new set of characters and story lines-3,000 years after The Red Winter concludes. This companion series opener follows the lives of Hazel, one of a set of royal triplets in the ruling family of the country of Impyrium, and Hob, an ordinary kid from a backwater town in the kingdom. Neff adroitly mixes magic, adolescence, and mystery, all while meticulously building a believable world whose characters slowly realize that history has many holes worth examining. Readers will find many recognizable elements in the land of Impyrium. Hazel, born with albinism, experiences the wariness and whispers of her peers, despite her mystical talent. The vyes, a race of wolflike scholars, are tolerated for their wisdom and command of magic, but not without the control of the ruling human government and the suspicion that accompanies it. And Hob, a commoner, knows nothing more of life than the toil of poverty and the entrapment of systemic oppression. Above all, the world of Impyrium is premised on a history that may not be completely true, a realization that will rock Hazel's and Hob's worlds. Their adventures deeper and deeper into what really happened in the centuries following Neff's last series will spur readers on to important questions of their own: Why does the world work the way it does? Who are the people in power, and why? VERDICT Neff has created a fantasy world that will not only satisfy dedicated fans of the genre but also attract budding social activists searching for a fictional reflection of their real concerns.-Chelsea Woods, New Brunswick Free Public Library, NJ © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Neff (the Tapestry series) crafts an exciting opening volume for his Impyrium series, set in a dramatically altered future version of our world, 3,000 years after civilization was overthrown by Astaroth, a powerful demon. Following the event that became known as the Cataclysm, the Faeregines, a family of magic users, defeated Astaroth, pulling humanity back from the brink and creating a royal dynasty that still rules. Twelve-year-old Hazel Faeregine-short, albino, and the youngest of triplet sisters who are heirs to the throne-is looked down on by much of her family but harbors unexpected powers. Hob, a young man from the northern wastes, has been recruited by the Faeregines' enemies as a weapon aimed at the empire's heart, but no one counted on him befriending Hazel. Neff's novel is wonderfully detailed, building a rich and fascinating picture of a complex society. Hob is an engaging hero, but the book's real joys come from watching Hazel find herself, coming stunningly "alive, more vividly and deliciously than she could remember." Readers will share her excitement and eagerly await the next book. Ages 8-12. Agent: Josh Adams, Adams Literary. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

The Faeregine magic that has ruled Impyrium for over three thousand years is fading. Hazel may be the outcast of the triplet princesses, but her magic is strong and her mind sharp. Together with undercover spy Hob, Hazel must control her magic and protect the empire. Filled with creatures, mystery, and wonder, Neff's fast-paced series-starter will hook fantasy fans. (c) Copyright 2017. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

Hazel's grandmother the empress called the Spider has set her an impossible task, and it means getting tutoring help from a rural half-breed named Hob. Hob, as it turns out, has actually been sent to the palace by an antiempire group to discover the extent of Hazel's magical abilities. Each saves the other's life more than once, but it will take both of them to save the kingdom from ancient evil. This initial entry in a new series is a postapocalyptic tale that occurs centuries into a future where technology is banned in favor of magic, and the ruling dynasty is teetering on the edge of collapse. It gets off to a slow start but picks up some steam as it nears a mild cliff-hanger ending. Each chapter opens with a quote from sources as varied as Sherlock Holmes and nineteenth-century financier John Pierpont Morgan to servant etiquette books and (imaginary) postcataclysmic poets. Maps, a character list, and glossary help the reader find footing in this new fantasy world.--Welch, Cindy Copyright 2016 Booklist