Empires rise and fall, human lives are lived, collisions occur more than we will ever know, and yet the unexpected can still happen. Alaska, 2018, and Mike is a long way from home, nursing a wrecked knee and an unspoken grief, striking out into real estate and parenting his partner's son. London, 1978, and Simon is an Australian fish out of water navigating adolescence during the Winter of Discontent, and drawn to an eccentric impresario next door. Washington, DC, 1928, and a retired US senator is interviewed about his time in Russia in 1916, and his mission to save a young heir to an empire. Vienna, 1809, and an Irish teenager on the run from the law takes refuge among composers as Napoleon besieges and shells the city. Hong Kong, 2019, and estranged brothers Mike and Simon reunite in midlife to face the secrets of the past, and reconnect in more ways than one. Empires rise and fall, human lives play out, encounters, collisions and connections occur more than we can ever know - and yet, the unexpected can still happen. Endlessly compelling and inventive, Empires is a masterful novel in five parts with boys and men at its heart. Spanning centuries and crossing continents, it explores the empires we build, the way we see ourselves, the narratives we construct and the interconnectedness of all things. This is Nick Earls at his finest.