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REVIEW

"Another Compelling Skolian Science Fiction Romance!"

After eighteen years stranded on Coba, Kelric escapes at last to return home. He had become so valuable to the Coban Managers, by virtue of his spectacular beauty and his proficiency at Quis, that a war had been fought over him. The confusion that ensued had allowed his escape. He had left his wife and children behind and returned to his own world only to find that the members of his other family, the Rhon, had either died or been imprisoned. Interestingly enough, Kelric learns much of this from a young high school student, Jay Rockworth, a volunteer of the Allied World's Dawn Corps. Jay is in truth Jabriol Qox Skolia, son of Soz and Jabriol II; the secret heir to the "late" Eubian Emperor and Skolian Imperator.

Among those believed to be dead are Kelric's half brother Kurj, who had been Imperator of Skolia when he'd left, and the two other Imperial heirs, his sister Sauscony who had succeeded Kurj, and his brother Althor. It is two months since the end of the Radiance War depicted in the novel RADIENT SEAS, in which Soz and the Imperial fleet invaded the very heart of the Eubian Empire to recover Jabriol Qox II, her husband, the captive Highton Emperor. Very few are aware of that truth, and it is commonly believed that Soz had come out of seclusion to assume her title, avenge Kurj's death, and rescue Althor who had been held by the Eubians for the past two years. The two are believed to have died war heros. Kelric is the surviving heir, and he is dying. He must find a way off world to be repaired.

No one really knows who, if anyone, had won the war, both the Skolian and Eubian empires are in chaos, with major installations destroyed, and leadership uncertain. The webs had all collapsed, including the Skol net which Kelric would have to link into to join the Triad and declare himself Imperator. For now he has realized the wisdom of remaining anonymous.

To get off world he acquires a job on a merchant vessel delivering goods to the Aristos. It is a serious risk, however he has no other choice. His worst fears become a reality when the convoy is taken by the Aristo fleet. Though Kelric's identity is yet unknown, he is immediately recognized as a provider, and one of rare quality. His captor, realizing that he can bring in a good price, arranges an action for a handful of the Highton elite.

Tarquine Iquar acquires Kelric for fourteen million credits. In spite of the tattoo job Kelric had acquired to mask his golden coloring, Tarquine is well aware of his indentity, having coveted this particular provider since she had seen the broadcast of his first wedding when he'd been a wenty two year old man. Yet she does not reveal his identity to the others. She has other uses for him in addition to the obvious ones. She expects him attend a reception to "feel out" the other guests for intrigue. Kelric is horrified at the thought of being in the same room with so many Aristo minds oppressing him, but he has made a startling realization. Tarquine does not appear to have that mental cavity that he associates with her kind. He is even more surprised to find that although Tarquine's inbred attitudes regarding the basic role of providers has not really changed, she has voluntarily given up the ability to transcend with them.

This information opens Kelric's mind to some new thoughts about the Traders, and for once he has hope that there might be other ways of dealing with the Aristo's. That is if he survives to become Imperator. The opportunity to excape presents itself at the banquet, while an unexpected Trader broadcast has all the Aristo's mesmerized.

If he is able to escape Kelric hopes to deactivate the Lock that is in their possession, but not before he joins the Triad as the Military Key. He realizes that he has only one chance at this and that the odds of success are small. While he has little, his people have everything to lose. This time the Aristo's ingrained expectations regarding providers may actually benefit him. He needs only to be himself, a provider completely opposite of the norm to get around them. Not surprisingly, his Quis skills point out the way. Will Kelric succeed in his quest? We he find a way home before his life ebbs away? The answer lies in the hands of two people, a enigmatic young Emperor, and a former slave. What of love you ask? Well if he had his druther's Kelric would not doubt be a lover not a fighter and just maybe, for once, he will find it on his own terms. Another compelling tale in the Skolian Saga.

BTW while in the web Kelric detects and unexpected presence. Look for SPHERICAL HARMONIC in November 2001 to learn more.

Copyright 2001

Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted October 2, 2001

SUMMARY

Kelric returns to Skolian space, only to find the Empire in control of the Allied forces of Earth. With little more than the clothes on his back, he is forced to take work on a merchant vessel, and ends up being sold into slavery.

 

Ascendant Sun
(Skolian Empire: Book 5)
by Catherine Asaro

Tor Books
February 1, 2001
ISBN #0812566653
EAN #9780812566659
365 pages
Paperback (reprint)
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Other Books by
Catherine Asaro

Charmed Destinies
Diamond Star
The Ruby Dice
The Night Bird
The Ruby Dice
The Fire Opal
The Dawn Star
The Final Key
The Misted Cliffs
The Journey Home
Schism
Sunrise Alley
The Moon's Shadow
Irresitible Forces
The Charmed Sphere
Charmed Destinies
Skyfall
The Moon's Shadow
Spherical Harmonic
Spherical Harmonic
The Quantum Rose
The Phoenix Code
The Veiled Web
The Radiant Seas
The Last Hawk
Catch The Lightning
Primary Inversion


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