Kersei Dragoumis was born into a fantasy world. She has the wealthy family and the warrior-princess training montages. To her chagrin, she also later faces the arranged marriage, all to benefit her homeworld of Drosero.
That was before the massive explosion that, by all accounts, killed her entire family. And before she was snatched away, just in time, by relatives running a flying machine. For it seems that Drosero is but one world among several in the Tertian Space Coalition—and, in fact the only planet whose people reject technology. Such is the genre-blending ‘verse of Ronie Kendig’s space-opera opener Brand of Light.
For Kersei, it’s a rude awakening in a medical pod aboard the TSC Macedon, which has space marines and everything, including Symmachian Commander Tigo Deken.
Meanwhile, Deken and his team have been ordered on a capture mission whose purpose grows all the more suspicious. Then, when Tigo finds Kersei’s ship, adrift in space, he becomes certain he smells something reeking in the stellar bureaucracy.
Meanwhile, amongst quasi-medieval royalty and space soldiers, Marco Dusan, a master hunter of the Kynigos order, can smell plenty more. Since childhood he’s been gifted with the power to detect scents of human emotions, such as the fear of the hunted. But when Marco is summoned to hunt down Kersei, they will both discover the secret of an ancient prophecy symbolized by the brand they share.
Blood and boil! With this much action, readers might struggle to tell the coordinates without a comm screen. Yet for dedicated hunters, warrior princesses, or soldiers, Brand of Light beckons with complex worlds of potential, and at least one lurking entity that promises even more space-operatic mystery in The Droseran Saga.
Best for: Young-adult readers and older readers, space opera fans.
Discern: Light to moderate sci-fi violence; one person suffers traumatic flashbacks to a terrible event; some sensuality, including kissing, men without shirts, and general physical attraction; one attempted rape that is cautiously described.