- € 5,49
'A chilling account of a dark past wrapped in the warm blanket of a promising future . . . A pleasure to read' Ann Leckie
'A stunning new space opera debut' K. B. Wagers
The Iskat Empire rules its vassal planets through a system of treaties - so when Prince Taam, key figure in a political alliance, is killed, a replacement must be found. His widower, Jainan, is rushed into an arranged marriage with the disreputable aristocrat Kiem, in a bid to keep rising hostilities between two worlds under control. But Prince Taam's death may not have been an accident, and when Jainan himself is a suspect, he and Kiem must navigate the perils of the Iskat court, solve a murder, and prevent an interplanetary war . . .
'Has everything you could ask: impossible choices, divided loyalties, dry wit . . . charming slow-burn romance, and an adventure in space politics' A. K. Larkwood
'Dazzling . . . Its characters stayed with me long after I raced through the last chapters' Aliette de Boddard
Everina Maxwell's debut is a space opera with high-stakes multi-world politics and irresistibly engaging characters, perfect for fans of Gideon the Ninth and The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. Find her on Twitter at @av_stories
The intricate royal protocol of The Crown intertwines with the adventure of Louis McMasters Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga series in Maxwell's gorgeously plotted LGBTQ space opera debut. After Prince Taam of icy planet Iskan V dies, his wayward, charismatic cousin Prince Kiem is drafted into a political marriage to Taam's flinchingly self-effacing widower, Thean Count Jainan. Through their marriage, Kiem and Jainan hope to salvage Iskan's imperial treaty with Thea and satisfy a visiting galactic superpower that Iskan is stable enough to continue accessing the faster-than-light link network and through it the wider universe. But when Taam's death proves suspicious and secrets about his past come to light, Jainan and Kiem must navigate both their budding mutual attraction and the political minefield surrounding the treaties binding worlds. Maxwell's plot elegantly combines clan politics, galactic power struggles, and marriage dynamics, though the delicate handling of abuse and trauma enabled by Kiem's un-self-conscious sweetness in his relationship with the skittish Jainan gives way to heavy-handed melodrama in the story's climax. Despite the soapy conclusion, this exciting adventure is sure to win Maxwell many fans. \n