"A Perfect Blend of Science Fiction and Romance"
Sauscony Valdoria and Jaibriol Qox II, each the designated
heir to their warring interstellar empires, had left the
world they'd known behind to be together. The shocked world
had witnessed their "deaths" and had grieved for them. Only
a select few knew that they'd not died. Instead they had
done the unthinkable, they had married aboard the ship that
had carried them to sanctuary.
Adapting to life on a deserted planet had not been easy,
but love had gotten them through the worst of it. They had
made a family, four beautiful children, who were the best
of both of them. They were happy. Unfortunately Eden always
comes seems to come with a serpent.
Over the past fifteen years, the Eubians have not given up
trying to gain access to the Skolweb, the one thing that
gives their vastly outnumbered enemies, the Skolians, the
edge in their war against them. The tide may be turning in
their favor, as they've captured the new Skolian heir,
When both Imperator Skolia and Emperor Qox are killed in
battle, both sides are in need of leadership. Unfortunately
the Eubians have discovered that Jaibriol still lives. They
are determined to recover him and restore him to the
throne. Though to the rest of the world the new Emperor
appears to be in command, Jabriol is in truth and unwilling
puppet, helpless to protect those he loves. His captors
know the truth of his origins. He is vulnerable to torture.
A new leader emerges among the Skolians as well. Having
secreted the children safely on Earth, Soz will stop at
nothing to get Jaibriol back.
As with Ms. Asaro's other works, this story is rich in
multi dimensional characters and unlikely heroes. We see
Soz as a loving wife and mother as well as unstoppable
warrior queen, and Jabriol as a man of courage, determined
not to give his loved ones away no matter what he must
suffer. We watch as Jabriol's "mother", is torn between
unaccustomed emotion for a son and ingrained Highton
doctrine. We empathize as one Skolian heir is broken, but
still retains the essence of the man he has always been. We
watch a child grow up overnight, to become a man who would
have made his parents proud. In addition Ms. Asaro treats
us to fascinating and believable technology, making this
work the perfect blend of science fiction and romance.
Copyright © 2000
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted August 27, 2001