"Suspenseful Science Fiction Thriller"
I have to admit that I love star-crossed lovers, so
Jameelah and Mac's story grabbed me right from the start.
Ms. Murphy gives us two very amazing and strong characters
who should be enemies, but who instead come to fill the
void left in each other's hearts.
The Imsada Legate known as Jameelah, is known by many
names. Her birth name had been Jemma -- a name she had
forsaken when she joined the cause. Throughout the story
Mac refers to her as "Jamie dear" much to her
consternation. Jameelah is carrying out the legacy of her
late husband, who had supposedly been a man of peace and
the Imsada's greatest martyr. The Imsada have been at war
for five hundred years.
Mac, also has had numerous identities for a different
reason. In actuality he is Alec, brother and heir to the
newly appointed emperor. He had been the invisible brother
since birth for it is the Tridan elite's habit to farm out
second sons for reasons of security. He would be produced
as heir only if something should happen to his brother.
Alec himself had not known of his relationship for several
years of his childhood.
The tale begins at one of the many decoy receptions held
for the newly wed Tridan Emperor and his politically chosen
bride, a member of the New Alliance. Alec and his half
sister are in attendance. The Imsada had mistakenly chosen
this reception as the one most likely to be authentic. Had
they known Alex's identity they would have discovered their
error. Jameelah, on a mission to peacefully gain the
attention of the new Emperor, is to plant a smoke bomb in
Alec, in one of his many incarnations, is dressed as a
Tridan warrior. He is in fact rather drunk. His brother's
chosen bride had been a woman he once dreamed of having as
his own. Recklessly he asked the very attractive Jameelah
to dance. Jameelah agrees to dance knowing it will provide
a distraction as to her true motives, but declines an
invitation to visit him later on his ship. By then she'll
be long gone.
Jameelah's plan is sabotaged as someone among the Imasada
has replaced her innocent smoke bomb with a real one. Now
escape is imperative, but the she soon finds that her
escape pod hosts an unexpected and very battered guest.
When Alec had made his proposal to Jameelah, he had
expected a night of passion. He never dreamed he'd she'd
hold him prisoner on his own ship. How could he have been
so drunk that he didn't recognize his famous captor? How
could he have been so careless as to let his little sister
be separated from him, captured by the terrorists?
Her plans gone awry by the betrayal, Jameelah and the man
she knows as Mac must work together to find a place where
they both will be safe. She soon learns of the many facets
of her captive. In addition to soldier, he had been pilot,
doctor, farmer, and a good brother. He soon becomes known
to her as a great friend, lover, as well a kind and caring
man. Alec's impression of the Imsada wavers as he comes to
know Jameelah's strength, caring, and compassion. They
fall in love, but realize that their inevitable discovery
will no doubt lead to the death of one of them. At this
point either would gladly give their life for the other.
But the real dilemma, lies in the chance that both would
survive, knowing that they are honor bound to go separate
ways to fulfill their destinies. Can they give up
everything they have come to cherish FOR THE EMPEROR.
Ms. Murphy maintains the suspense right up to the last
minute, making this novel a real page turner. Filled with
intense emotions: hate, jealousy, greed, and a grand love,
this book was a truly superb read. I highly recommend it.
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted December 3, 2001