"A one of a kind space opera"
The salvagers of the Henry Morton Stanley space ship land
on the planet due to the town that looks like a rich find.
Randy Queson, known for her ability to decide what has
salvage value amidst tons of junk, finds the structure out
of synchronization with what should be expected by this
planet in which the colonists apparently abruptly left.
Randy and crew soon learn why no humans are on site as
vicious aliens, who enjoyed snacking on the settlers as
part of their lunch, attack the Stanley crew. Randy and
most of her mates escape, but the damage is astronomical
and their creditors want payment right now.
Desperate, the crew excepts a suicide mission offered by
wealthy Norman Sanders. He will cover their debts and more
if they follow the alleged route to the legendary Three
Kings and return with the magi stones. Assuming that
Sanders has provided them with the correct coordinates that
he allegedly obtained from the lost Woodward venture, Randy
wonders what they will find amidst the three planets that
they seek, not yet knowing that aliens control their
The sequel to BALSHAZZAR'S SERPENT, MELCHIOR'S FIRE is an
exciting science fiction tale centering on a piratical crew
struggling to survive among aliens and creditors. The
story line is fun and filled with action, but is not very
deep or loaded with strong characters. Instead, Jack L.
Chalker's tale is for those readers who relish a non-stop
adventure thriller that rides faster than the speed of
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted July 6, 2001