"Enthralling Tale of Mature Romance among the Stars"
No doubt you've heard of someone who has had a near death
experience, whose spirit has hovered outside their body
while waiting for a higher authority to determine their
fate. If indeed there are beings living elsewhere in the
universe, perhaps there is a common place where these
spirits await the verdict. If so, is it so hard to believe
that two spirits from different worlds could connect there
and draw the two worlds together? Susan Grant's second
novel, THE STAR KING, makes one believe in the
Lt. Jasmine Boswell, her fighter jet spinning out of
control, unexpectedly shot down in the no-fly-zone over
Saudi Arabia, has only one thought as her consciousness
fades -- eject or die. When she comes to, she isn't
altogether certain she hasn't gone straight to heaven.
In another desert, on another world, Romlijhian B'kah is
fighting a desperate battle. Sharron, the leader of a
fanatic cult, is determined to find bliss in the Ever After
and plans to take the rest of the living world with him.
Rom and his small band of followers are the only thing that
stand between them and the annihilation of the universe.
The worst part is that no one else believes him. Eleven
thousand years prior, a battle had taken place that was so
heinous that the rulers of the eight worlds had laid down
their weapons and proclaimed a permanent peace. It has
become beyond their imagination that anyone would ever
choose to disturb this state. It is even more unthinkable
that Rom, as heir to one of the eight, would himself become
The battlefield is Balkanor, the rumor that the fanatic has
created an anti-matter bomb that would destroy the
universe. The cult has already shocked Rom with it's
treatment of their women. In his world women are revered,
but the cultists have turned them into breeding machines,
destroying them once their function is completed. It is
upon landing there that Rom finds himself in an untenable
dilemma. On the planet he finds his younger and only
brother trapped helpless within the wreckage of his star
fighter, and Rom's chances of catching the enemy unaware is
rapidly slipping away. His brother makes the decision for
him, the good of the many over the needs of the one. Rom
promises to come back for him but as he turns away, the
ship explodes. Rom's world explodes as well. He sustains a
serious injury from the blast which tears a rent in his
protective suit, allowing radiation to invade his body.
Rom, realizing that his ability to perform to produce
future heirs is slipping away, and with his only brother
dead, prays for death as well. But it is not to be, or is
it? An angel appears to him. A beautiful women like none he
has ever seen. In his world all are fair, but this woman
has hair the color of deepest space and she will not let
him slip away to the afterworld. Just when he thinks he's
found heaven, she is taken away. There is only one thing
left to do, destroy his enemy and return home. This he
does, but upon return he finds that his one moment of
heavenly bliss has cost him everything. Rejected by his
father and his people, he buries his pain and becomes an
independent trader of goods.
It is a huge fall for one born to rule, but is an
occupation in which he isn't forced to care, about himself
or anyone else. Abandoned one time too many, he vows never
to do so again.
This changes when his people discover a primitive planet
which has an abundance of an item, scarce in the universe,
more precious than gold --- salt! It also contains the one
woman who has never quite left his dreams, the one he
blames for his nightmare, the angel who saved his life,
touched his soul, and left him to suffer.
It is nineteen years, a bad marriage, and two children
later, when Jasmine learns of the exciting developments. At
last Earth has been contacted by alien beings. She hasn't
felt so alive since her days as a fighter pilot.
I have not been so enthralled with a sci-fi piece since the
first time I heard a rebroadcast of 'War of the Worlds'.
Chills went up my spin as the news was announced that Earth
had been contacted by another race of beings.
The aliens are human in appearance but speak a language
that Jas has heard only in her dreams. Jas is stunned when
the unforgettable golden man of that long ago dream appears
on screen. But Jas doesn't believe in magic or men
anymore, she's been hurt too much. The opportunity to
travel in space though, now that's one that is just too
good to pass up. Her mystery man has been denied trading
rights by his own people and has been ordered to vacate the
planet. It's now or never for Jas, and she formulates a
plan to stowaway on that ship.
Every black-haired, female Earth dweller has reminded Rom
of his Balkanor angel but none are 'the one'. His friends
have tried to convince him that she was indeed the figment
of a delirious mind. Then came the woman bearing salt!
Will he throttle her for the fate she has sentenced him to,
or hold her close never again to let go? Can Jas let the
pain of her past go and learn to trust again?
I loved this story. Ms. Grant captures the excitement of an
alien landing, the obsessive mind of the cult leader and
his fanatic followers, and the passion of two people for
whom there is no one else in all the universe. Though the
pair face grave danger, the author adds just enough humor,
through her side characters, to even things out.
Rom is indeed a perfect hero as the line states. He is the
kind of men women dream of, he reveres women, practically
puts them on a pedestal. While Jas is ashamed of her
stretch-marks, Rom worships them as a sign of the great
distinction of bearing children. What could be more
precious? But modern women want to be a partner as well and
Rom readily accepts Jas' abilities, and though his
instincts might be to protect her at all costs, they fight
the threat to their worlds flying side by side. He adores
her, her respects her, he loves her with all his heart, so
much so that he knows that even death will not separate
them. And she does the same for him. What more can you ask
for in a romance? Highly recommended.
Before I forget, by now you've no doubt realized that Jas
is a mature woman (I love that!), her children are grown
twins, a son and a daughter. Her son, Ian Hamilton, appears
in Star King and would make a wonderful hero. Look for him
in the sequel entitled THE STAR PRINCE coming to us
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted May 2, 2001