Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Kindle Spotlight -- Sacred Planet

Austin Rogers recently sent me a pre-release copy of his novel Sacred Planet. Quite a lengthy read, it took me some time but now I'm finished and ready to give you my review.

The story begins in the Carina Arm of the Milky Way Galaxy. The scavenger ship Fossa arrives at the wreck of a yacht in hopes of scoring a huge payday. But what they find instead is Sierra Falco, the daughter of the Carinian prime minister and the only survivor of a vicious attack on the yacht. Sierra pins the blame on Abramists, a religious sect within Carina that seeks war with the nearby Sagittarians. Davin, the Fossa's captain, takes a liking to her and decides to help her get home. It won't be easy, though. All stargates leading to Carina have been closed following the attack, and the Abramists are hot on their trail, intent on keeping their involvement in the attack secret.

Meanwhile, in the Sagittarius Arm of the galaxy, on the planet Triumph, the nobleman warrior Kastor claims victory in a battle royale to become Champion to the Grand Lumis Zantorian. But Zantorian wants absolute loyalty, and the only way for Kastor to gain that is to kill his soul mate Pollaena. After some tragic bloodshed, Kastor is sent to the planet Upraad to convince their king Radovan to allow their world to be absorbed into Zantorian's empire. Radovan refuses, however, and since Kastor can't go back empty-handed, an alternative solution must be found. Kastor instead sides with Radovan's illegitimate son Abelard to overthrow the king. Cue an epic battle, some betrayals and more bloodshed (and we're only getting started).

Meanwhile, the Abramist Morvan is pushing Sierra's father to authorize an invasion of the Sagittarius Arm, blaming the attack on Zantorian. Morvan also wants to annex the holiest site in the galaxy, the Sacred Planet--Earth. But he also has designs on Upraad. He wants to control that planet as well, so he sends backup to help its ruler fight off a Sagittarian invasion (which leads to...guess what...more bloodshed). Kastor is then called upon to finish what he started, but the fruit of failure is bitter indeed.

Austin Rogers hasn't been shy in describing this as Game of Thrones in space, and that's an apt description. It switches between different characters who never meet, at least not in this book. There are power struggles, betrayals and, of course, bloodshed. The only thing missing is gratuitous nudity. I will say that what works for Game of Thrones works for Sacred Planet. The story is suitably epic in scope, and if you like GoT you'll like this. It's also pretty darn well-written and Rogers has a way with prose.

However, Sacred Planet also suffers from the same problem as GoT: too many characters. A lot of faces pop up in this book and I had a hard time keeping tabs on who was who, particularly in scenes that focus on ancillary characters.

Still, I consider that a minor quibble. I enjoyed Sacred Planet and have no problem recommending it.

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