In this debut novel, magic and technology fuel a conflict between two sisters and the galactic empires over which they preside.
The Great War occurred 500 years ago, during which humans defeated elves, dwarves, centaurs, and other magical races for control of the known universe. The planet Carlon, home to humans and elves, is within the Grand Utopian Kingdom and ruled by the 17-year-old Princess Asora. There’s also a facility on the colony that specializes in laser technology. One day, spaceships from the Darkcon Empire arrive, delivering Queen Laxur and her monstrous army—including the werewolf Gen. Obsidian—to the planet’s surface. She hopes to seize this military target, but Asora (Laxur’s sister) and Supreme Commander Adm. Yane stand in her way. After the ensuing firefight, Laxur escapes with a briefcase full of valuable tech to Dorien, her throne world. Meanwhile on the planet Evorn, the home world of the Grand Utopian Kingdom, Asora holds a science fair to hopefully ramp up her people’s ability to combat the technologically savvy Darkcon threat. Prince S’tie agrees to visit Laxur, whom he knew years ago as the innocent Asaria. Asora hopes that Laxur’s childhood love can temper the fires of conquest that burn within her sister. Opening an eventful new series, Darcey brings numerous fantasy creatures—like mermaids, dragons, and vampires—into a far-future setting. Even angels reside here, as creators of the “divine paths” by which ships travel the stars. Concepts like lost elemental coins and a dragon prophecy, sometimes appearing like narrative gold in a sifting pan, should keep readers turning pages. Most successful is the commentary regarding gun violence, piracy, and terrorism, all of which continue to prevent humanity from maintaining a utopia among the stars long after Earth has become a myth. But the author has a penchant for lumping dialogue from multiple speakers into single paragraphs, which impedes the story’s flow. And the worldbuilding, while layered, is often loose because the author imports phrases like “right wing nut jobs” from 21st-century America. The final chapter points toward a sequel in which violence begets more violence.
A busily imagined fantasy tale focused on war and with political overtones.