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Ascendant Sun (2000)

Ascendant Sun (2000)
3.89 of 5 Votes: 2
0312868243 (ISBN13: 9780312868246)
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Ascendant Sun (2000)
Ascendant Sun (2000)

About book: The premise: ganked from Ascendant Sun is the direct sequel to The Last Hawk, in which Kelric, heir to the Skolian Empire, crash-landed his fighter on the Restricted planet of Coba. He was imprisoned by the powerful mistresses of the great estates -- women who, over time, fell in love with him. After 18 years of living in their gilded cage, Kelric finally made his escape.In Ascendant Sun, Kelric returns to Skolian space, only to find the Empire in control of the Allied forces of Earth. With little more than the clothes on his back, Kelric is forced to take work on a merchant vessel. But when that vessel enters Euban space, Kelric finds his worst nightmare realized: he becomes a slave to the cruel Aristos -- humans who use torture and sex as the ultimate aphrodisiac. My Rating: It's a GambleI actually enjoyed this more than I was expecting, and I wasn't expecting much, thanks to the cover and some of the negative reviews I'd read of this book before reading. But thankfully, while the ick moments are certainly ick, and while the reader must roll his or her eyes every time Kelric meets a straight female, because inevitably sexual attraction becomes part of the narrative, the story read very quickly and I was engaged in learning how Kelric would (if he even could) find a way to claim his role of Imperator. Also seeing him interact with Jay Rockworth, whose true identity is revealed in The Radiant Seas, is quite the hoot, and interesting besides. I'm slowly growing more invested in seeing how the Skolian and Aristo societies rebuild after the Radiance War, and Kelric's personal philosophy and observations touch on some things I wondered myself: why can't there be peace? And depending on how's in charge, peace is very well possible. So I enjoyed this, despite all indicators saying I wouldn't. Asaro's writing still leaves me a little meh, and I'm starting to think it's because the author oscillates between super technical and super erotic without striking the right tone that makes those extreme oscillations okay, if that makes sense.Still, despite enjoying this, I'll be moving on to another series, simply because I don't want to spend half the year catching up on my Skolian Empire novels. I do plan to come back to the series, don't worry, but I want to knock out some trilogies, so the next series I'll be focusing on is Elizabeth Bear's Jacob's Ladder.Spoilers, yay or nay?: Yay. For those who want to remain surprised and unspoiled, do not read the full review, which is at my blog and linked to below. Everyone else, comments and discussion are most welcome! REVIEW: Catherine Asaro's ASCENDANT SUN Happy Reading!

Ascendant Sun (2000) 365 pages by Catherine Asaro.Kelric crash landed on Coba 18 years ago (story told in The Last Hawk) with no contact with outside civilization and presumed dead for all that time. He escapes Coba and arrives on the planet of Edgewhirl to find that the Allieds have a major presence and that Skolians and Traders are coexisting in the same city. He learns of the Radiance war his mother and father being "protected" on Earth, the rest of the Ruby dynasty either dead or on Lyshriol which was also under Allied protection. If you read Radiant Seas you know what happened, if not you're getting caught up on events along with Kelric.The psiberweb was down. It had been powered by three Locks and a Triad of Rhon psions called keys. Dehya the assembly key, Kurj the military key and Eldri the web key. Control of the psiberweb gave the Skolian an advantage of instant communication allowing them to balance the superior forces of the Traders. The war had decimated the military forces on both sides. The Traders had captured one of the Locks. Kurj and Dehya were dead, Eldri trapped on Earth. Now the fear is that the Traders have a Lock and have captured a member of the Ruby dynasty that could act as a key. If Kelric could get back to a Skolian base he would be the imperator. Showing his true identity would mean certain death or worse for Kelric so he has no special resources other than his good looks and Rhon ability. The economy being destabilized by the war and now billions of refugees. Plus Kelric isn't in tip top shape the food and air on Coba had degraded nanobots that slow down his aging. The story follows Kelric the entire time. Action, fight sequences, chases, escapes, encounters with beautiful women, erotic scenes, and never really a chance to rest and recuperate. It was a very quick read. Very enjoyable. I suggest reading at least Primary Inversion, The Radiant Seas first. The Last Hawk, too, to have references to Ixpar and quis/quis dice to mean more, but you could read it stand alone.
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One of the better entries in the Skolian Saga series by Catherine Asaro. Kelric has been missing for eighteen years, but his journey home would not be properly thrilling without a capture by Eubian traders and a mission to ensure peace between two galactic powers. And, as always, where the beautiful, golden Skolian prince goes, women fall into bed with him. As one of the central characters in the saga, this chapter of Kelric's life is essential reading for proper appreciation all the nuances of later novels (chronologically). It's also a nice epilogue to his imprisonment on Coba.
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