Lady Firebird Angelo has grown up knowing she might someday die for her people. As the thirdborn daughter of the royal family of the planet Netaia, she has trained for combat as a “wastling,” destined for suicide. Unfortunately, during her first engagement in space, she fails. Firebird is captured alive by the enemy. This galactic Federacy employs Firebird’s new captor, Field General Brennen Caldwell, who is both intriguing and supernaturally telepathic.
Their encounter leads to the first of Lady Firebird’s drastic life changes in Firebird, book 1 of Kathy Tyers’s Firebird series. Tyers described Firebird’s original version, from Bantam Books, as a “cultural conversion story.” Yet since then, newer versions from Christian publishers enhanced Brennen’s commitment to an Eternal Speaker. That unseen entity has promised a divine messiah who hasn’t yet arrived.
Book 2, Fusion Fire, and book 3, Crown of Fire, follow Firebird’s journey in the stars, confronting the wars between them and the evils of her narcissistic sister, Phoena.
Meanwhile, Firebird gets to know her new people, including the telepathic Sentinels who gained their abilities from forbidden science. She also discovers supernatural gifts of her own, with great power to wield for good, or else to bring destruction.
All throughout, Tyers deftly describes other worlds, adding color to landscapes and intensity to emotions, especially in those my-mind-to-your-mind entanglements. Firebird’s musical talent adds even more atmosphere, not often seen in fiction, much less space opera. This trilogy—continued years later in books 4 and 5, Wind and Shadow and Daystar—marks a fantastic find for Christian fans and beyond.
Best for: Older teen and adult readers who love space opera with romantic flair.
Discern: Suicidal thoughts, intense and possibly sensual telepathic encounters, emotional abuse and manipulation, effects of torture, alternate-universe timeline in which Jesus Christ didn’t become incarnate until centuries after space travel began.