Sisters of the Forsaken Stars
The sisters of the Order of Saint Rita navigate the far reaches of space and challenges of faith in Sisters of the Forsaken Stars, the follow-up to Lina Rather's Sisters of the Vast Black, winner of the Golden Crown Literary Society Award.
“We lit the spark, maybe we should be here for the flames.”
Not long ago, Earth’s colonies and space stations threw off the yoke of planet Earth’s tyrannical rule. Decades later, trouble is brewing in the Four Systems, and Old Earth is flexing its power in a bid to regain control over its lost territories.
The Order of Saint Rita—whose mission is to provide aid and mercy to those in need—bore witness to and defied Central Governance’s atrocities on the remote planet Phyosonga III. The sisters have been running ever since, staying under the radar while still trying to honor their calling.
Despite the sisters’ secrecy, the story of their defiance is spreading like wildfire, spearheaded by a growing anti-Earth religious movement calling for revolution. Faced with staying silent or speaking up, the Order of Saint Rita must decide the role they will play—and what hand they will have—in reshaping the galaxy.
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Rather tenderly explores the nuances of moral obligation and faith against a backdrop of government conspiracy in her second Our Lady of Endless Worlds space opera (after Sisters of the Vast Black). The Catholic nuns of the Order of Saint Rita are on the run from Central Governance after witnessing its attempt to wipe out the inhabitants of a newly colonized moon in the Phoyongsa system using the highly contagious ringeye plague. One of the most captivating worldbuilding elements here is the Order's living spaceship, and Rather skillfully folds in biological details of this massive life-form while developing the emotional bond between the sisters and their ship as they struggle to survive their exile. During a supply stop, the sisters learn that rumors about the ringeye outbreak on Phoyongsa III have become a rallying cry for a group of religious radicals, who've weaponized the disaster to foment revolution. Despite the overt religious aspects, Rather focuses on faith instead of dogma and the sisters' personality quirks and lightly explored backstories build empathy as they head for the University of St. Ofra to find out who's behind the cult. The quirky premise will draw readers in while the depth of the characters and mounting stakes will keep them hooked. This is a worthy sequel.