AUDIO

The Stars Undying

Hachette Audio (Empire Without End, Bk. 1). Nov. 2022. 16:32 hrs. ISBN 9781668611173. $38.99. SF
COPY ISBN
Gracia is the rightful ruler of Szayet, but she is now fleeing the planet after her twin sister usurped both the crown and the Pearl of the Dead, the vessel said to house the immortal soul of her planet’s god. Exiled and in hiding, the deposed princess makes a desperate bid to reclaim her birthright by throwing herself on the mercy of the galaxy’s most powerful man, Matheus Ceirran, Commander of the Empire of Ceiao. In addition to the commander’s bed, Gracia’s gamble forces her to navigate a world of dangerous politics while also contending with her god, who speaks to her through the recovered Pearl. Inspired by the lives of Cleopatra and Julius Caesar, Robin’s space opera is a little light on action, and its language tends toward being long-winded and vague, often to the detriment of the pacing. This debut possesses a satisfying philosophical depth, however, and Esther Wane and Tim Campbell provide exemplary narration with an emotional intensity and exactness of speech befitting their respective characters.
VERDICT An epic space opera perfect for listeners craving interstellar flare and political conflict interwoven with themes of immortality, personhood, and artificial intelligence.
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