The sole surviving member of the galaxy’s imperial family comes out of hiding to fight for the future of the known world.
Seventeen-year-old Stacia, an apprentice mechanic, lives quietly on her father’s vineyard on the purple planet of Amethyne with her best friends Pol and Clio. When Amethyne is invaded, Stacia discovers that she is actually Anya Petrovna Leonova, youngest child of slain Emperor Pyotr, spirited away by rebels and hidden since she was a baby. Anya/Stacia escapes Amethyne with Pol only to run afoul of a gravity witch, a young man named Riyan, who’s a tensor from the planet Diamin. It turns out that Anya/Stacia’s royalty is encoded in her DNA. Crystals called Prisms fuel the entire galaxy; their source, the Prismata, is accessible to Leonova royalty alone through something called the Firebird. Anya/Stacia must solve the mystery of the Firebird, decide whose side she is on, rescue her friend Clio, and save the known world. It’s nonstop action, but it doesn’t make much sense; the emotional arcs don’t ring true, and the Anya-Pol romance feels obligatory. The writing combines canned dialogue with way too many present active participles. Characters’ skin tones cover all the colors of the rainbow and beyond.
If Princess Anastasia, youngest daughter of the last Russian czar, survived the family slaughter to have a love child with the Star Wars franchise, this is what you’d get. A hot mess. (Fiction. 12-16)