"Another Glorious Tale of Interstellar Romance"
Rom B'kah, the exiled Vash prince, had proven himself a
hero. Heroism had taken its toll. Radiation poisoning had
left him sterile, but he had won the one woman he loved
more than life itself, Jas Hamilton. Rom had immediately
taken her teenaged twins into his heart, loving them as his
own, a sentiment Ian and Ilana found easy to reciprocate.
Seven years have passed. Rom, now king of the powerful
Vash Nadah Trade Federation, had shocked the Vash nobility
to its core by naming his stepson, Ian, as heir to his
throne, over the many qualified royal Vash princes queuing
up for the honor.
Ian had been disillusioned at an early age by his own
father's lack of honor and fidelity. He had worked hard to
make himself the kind of man his father could never be, a
man like his stepfather, Rom. Mindful of the honor he'd
been bestowed, Ian had spent the better part of the past
seven years, becoming in spirit what he lacked in
bloodlines, the perfect Vash prince. He'd even accepted
that his wife would be chosen for him from among the
dutiful Vash princesses. He would be the instrument that
would bind the center of the Vash Federation to the vast
frontier that included his home world, Earth. He would
prove himself worthy.
His acceptance had been all but assured when the sentiment
of his home world had turned against remaining part of the
intergalactic Trade Federation. Spearheaded by U.S.
Senator Randall, the 'Earth First' campaign called for
sovereignty. When the Senator unexpectedly took to space on
a tour of the frontier worlds, Ian, already in the
frontier, decided to embark on a covert mission to discover
the Senator?s motives and circumvent Earth's secession.
This was something he needed to do himself, without aid
from his influential stepfather, if he was to win back Vash
confidence. There was just one problem!
In less than a month in the frontier, Ian and his crew had
had enough ship malfunctions and pilot problems to suspect
interference with their mission. Now his latest pilot seems
to have drunk himself to death, and Ian needs another,
fast, if he is to catch up with the Senator.
Tee'ah Dar, Rom's niece, had been raised in the traditional
seclusion befitting a Vash Princess. She'd been perfectly
prepared, and promised to a perfectly Vash prince, whom she
hadn?t seen since they were children. She was perfectly
bored. Taking her independent Earth born aunt, Jas, as a
role model, Tee'ah is woefully outspoken, loves politics,
and her latest escapade, secretly earning starpilot wings,
has gotten her into hot water once more. With the
inevitable betrothal taking place in a matter of days,
Tee?ah takes advantage of an incoming storm. Stealing a
ship, she makes a desperate bid for permanent freedom.
Ian and Tee'ah meet, coincidentally, in a bar on Donovan?s
Blunder, a most seamy port on the frontier?s trade route.
With time to kill while her stolen ship is being cloaked,
Tee'ah decides to wait there. She is intrigued by the
handsome, if somewhat disheartened, Earth dweller. Tee?ah
has a fascination with everything of Earth. To her the
Earth dwellers epitomize all that she that she has ever
wanted to be.
Not sure whom he can trust, the prince introduces himself
as Ian Stone. She is simply Tee. While they chat, Dar
security arrives leaving her with no ship and a desperate
need to be anywhere else. The handsome Earth dweller is
desperately in need of a pilot. His loss is her gain and
Though dubious of her qualifications as a flyer, Ian is
quite taken with the little sprite. Tee'ah finds herself
hired in spite of Ian's misgivings. Following the Senator,
they are appalled at the deplorable conditions on Bare'sh
and other Frontier worlds. Ian vows to be a force for
change, but wonders who is tipping off the Senator. Could
this mysterious informant have anything to do with their
It isn't long Tee'ah discerns Ian's true identity. Although
his discovery of her own would be disastrous, her
admiration as well as her love for Ian has grown daily. She
knows that she is not the proper woman for this man so
suited to be king, but she is determined to taste of his
passion for what little time they have together.
Ian's carefully cultivated restraint is truly strained by
Tee, but duty and honor holds him back. Just when he's
beginning to wonder if the needs of the many are truly more
important than one man?s desire, their families finally
catch up with them.
Tee'ah, having tasted freedom, has no wish to return to her
former life, but what of Ian? What would a proper Vash
crown prince do? He has the utmost respect and love for
Rom, however he has learned a great deal from the women in
his life of late. If Jas and Tee'ah had taught him
anything, it was "To thine own self be true". Could her
bear an arranged marriage to a proper Vash princess, when
he was already in love with a wonderfully unconventional
one? Hadn't the revered Star King chosen his own wife, a
woman very much like his Tee? Would he just stand by and
let the "experts" decide the fate of his home world?
Perhaps it was time to take a page from his feisty twin's
book. Hadn't Ilana said that when reason fails, sometimes
you just have to kick some butt? Well there's a first time
TSP is a rare novel of self discovery for both its hero and
the heroine. Ian and Tee'ah take daring risks to prove to
the world that they can handle life, love, and
responsibility, on their own terms. Ms. Grant has proved
once again that some risks are worth taking.
Readers will be pleased to know that unlikely romances
abound within the Federation. Gann may just have discovered
the woman of his dreams; Ilana's quirky assistant has her
eye on the mega-stud, Muffin; and if he has his own way,
Tee'ah's discarded Vash fiancé may also know the joy of
loving a Hamilton twin. But that is a story for another day.
Copyright © 2001
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted August 21, 2001