'Tiamat's Wrath,' Latest in 'The Expanse' Book Series Goes Beyond The Ring to Humanity's First Interstellar Empire

Unlike HBO's Game of Thrones, which outpaced George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series somewhere around Season 6, Amazon's The Expanse series still has a long way to go before it catches up to James S.A. Corey's series of novels, with the eighth book in the series, Tiamat's Wrath, out today.

The penultimate novel in the nine-book series, Tiamat's Wrath will be downright alien to anyone who's only been following The Expanse TV series, which has covered events up through the third novel in The Expanse saga, Abaddon's Gate. In Book 1, Leviathan Wakes, James Holden and his crew aboard The Rocinante, a hijacked (it's legitimate salvage!) Martian warship, narrowly avoid Earth's destruction by a mysterious alien technology known as the Protomolecule. It's not until Book 3 that the Protomolecule's true purpose is revealed, as it opens a nexus of 1300 gates, to star systems all over the galaxy.

Subsequent books in the series—Cibola Burn, Nemesis Games, Babylon's Ashes and Persepolis Rising—have followed the subsequent rush to the stars, which has only complicated the political divisions between Earth, Mars and the Belters. The official description for Tiamat's Wrath suggests we'll finally learn answers to the many questions the Gate network evokes, most notably: who killed the original builders of the rings?

Dedicated to George R.R. Martin, described as a "good mentor, better friend," Tiamat's Wrath 's viewpoint characters include Holden, Rocinante 's engineer and executive officer Naomi Nagata, pilot Alex Kamai and new characters like Teresa Duarte, daughter of an emerging galactic emperor.

Orbit Books

Here's the full description:

"Thirteen hundred gates have opened to solar systems around the galaxy. But as humanity builds its interstellar empire in the alien ruins, the mysteries and threats grow deeper.

In the dead systems where gates lead to stranger things than alien planets, Elvi Okoye begins a desperate search to discover the nature of a genocide that happened before the first human beings existed, and to find weapons to fight a war against forces at the edge of the imaginable. But the price of that knowledge may be higher than she can pay.

At the heart of the empire, Teresa Duarte prepares to take on the burden of her father's godlike ambition. The sociopathic scientist Paolo Cortazar and the Mephistophelian prisoner James Holden are only two of the dangers in a palace thick with intrigue, but Teresa has a mind of her own and secrets even her father, the emperor, doesn't guess.

And throughout the wide human empire, the scattered crew of the Rocinante fights brave rear-guard action against Duarte's authoritarian regime. Memory of the old order falls away, and a future under Laconia's eternal rule—and with it, a battle that humanity can only lose—seems more and more certain. Because against the terror that lies between worlds, courage and ambition will not be enough…"

Tiamat's Wrath , written by James S.A. Corey—the pen name of writing duo Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck—is out now.