Foundation and Empire by Isaac Asimov

Summary
  1. The series is about the people on these many different worlds who are all part of the ride towards the Second foundation and their worlds, lives, victories, and losses.
Key Takeaways
  1. Hari Seldon foresaw the fall of the Empire and to try to lessen the time of destruction and darkness, created two Foundations – one at each end of the Galaxy. The two would eventually merge, creating a new, stronger Foundation – the Second Foundation.
  2. Bel Riose is a soldier who only likes fighting for the Empire and travels the Galaxy in search of worlds to conquer. He finds little resistance and claims new planets for the Empire, but is told that Seldon’s Plan predicts that the Empire will not succeed. The Emperor of the Empire, Cleon II, fears that Riose is amassing troops for a civil war to overthrow the throne and hauls him home to be executed. Riose is stopped, and the Foundation “wins,” making Seldon’s prediction true
  3. The next “Seldon Crisis” occurs a century later when a scientist named Ebling Mis figures the date of Seldon’s next prediction. Seldon’s prediction includes the advice to “compromise” with the Traders who are currently in an uprising against the Foundation. A member of the Traders, Randu, is present and admits that the Traders had planned a revolt but were sidetracked when the Mule began attacking the Empire and the Foundation. As it became evident that the Mule was succeeding in his quest for Galaxy domination, the Traders put their resources into fighting the Mule instead. No sooner do the people realize that Seldon’s prediction is true than the Mule attacks Trantor where they are gathered to hear the prediction. The Mule is a mutant, able to control emotions. His forces seldom have to do battle as the Mule transfers a sense of helplessness onto the people, which causes them to typically give up without a fight.
  4. Upon a request from his father and uncle, Toran and Bayta travel to the resort planet, Kalgan, where they are to search for the Mule in an effort to join his forces with those of the Traders against the Foundation. They believe their quest fails though they take in Magnifico, a clown who was once an entertainer for the Mule. They will later learn that Magnifico is actually the Mule and that he hopes they, along with Mis, will discover the location of the hidden Second Empire so that he can defeat it and rule the Galaxy.
  5. Bayta finally puts it together, realizing that they narrowly escaped several times when the Mule’s forces were near, and that it was simply too much of a coincidence to be believed. She kills Mis before he can reveal the location of the Second Foundation and says that she’s figured out that Magnifico and the Mule are one and the same. It’s then that the Mule says that he hasn’t interfered with Bayta’s mind, because she liked him without his interference and that he relished that novelty. Because of that, he didn’t realize her intentions before she killed Mis, eliminating the possibility of the Mule finding the location of the Second Foundation from the scientist. Vowing to travel until he locates it, Magnifico leaves Bayta and Toran unharmed
What I got out of it
  1. Really fun book that I enjoyed reading