Reviewed by Riley
Jehan might have been born Az-kye but growing up in exile as the son of a disgraced warrior has left him with nothing but contempt for his own kind. Caught in a storm at the edge of Tellaran space he answers a distress call barely in time to save the ship’s sole survivor—an Az-kye slave girl, Liri.
Though living in the Badlands has taught Jehan not to care about anyone but himself, he soon finds that rescuing this lovely creature is turning into a habit. But the woman who calls herself Liri isn’t who she says she is and loving her might just get him killed…
Review of The Princess
As a fan of this series, I had to read The Princess, book 4 in Ariel MacArran’s Telleran series. I just had to. You see, book 3, The Consort, kind of sets you up for the events in book 4. And I liked book 3 so…..
Having said that, I must also tell you that both books do stand alone. Reading one or the other is fine. But if you think you might read both, start with book 3.
For me, the universe of the Telleran series is the draw. The Az-kye homeworld and its complex but ancient society are the backdrop for the political events leading up to and encompassing the story in The Princess. Steeped in history and tradition, the caste-based society is ripe for conflict and maybe even a bit of upset. The interesting thing is, most of the action of The Princess does not even occur on the Az-kye world, but that culture is diffused throughout the story.
During an attack on Princess Saria’s ship, Jehan Dekra boards, with rescue in mind. Not rescue of people. No, Jehan is a pirate and is determined to “rescue” the valuable ship’s crystals. On the way to engineering, Jehan runs into Saria, now in servant’s clothing. Maintaining the servant ruse and renamed Liri, the princess convinces Jehan to take her with him. And so the adventure begins.
Most of the action takes place on the Telleran world of Halea. A world ruled by a corrupt government, Halea is the home of Tellerans and a few Azk-Kye, pirates and criminals. The criminal organization, the Brethren, is run by the ruthless Helock. The Brethren are not above betrayal in order to move up in the organization, encouraged as they are by Helock. Jehan has a tenuous business arrangement with Helock, but circumstances force him into a more permanent association with the Brethren. Which leads to Jehan and Liri being surrounded by people they can never trust. The dilemma lends an edginess to the story. It feels like any situation could erupt into something violent, or unexpected and most certainly, undesirable.
When I read The Consort, I noticed a particularly Star Trek-like scene. In The Princess, Star Trek returns. Though in a bit of a reverse scenario. Helock has modeled the Brethren organization after the Az-kye government. This criminal organization modeled after a government reminded me of the Star Trek episode A Piece of the Action, in which a government is modeled after 1920’s gangsters. The overall theory is “fascinating” (to quote Mr. Spock) – the fact that criminal organizations and government are not really all that different and have the potential to blur if the line between them is not solid enough.
The Princess is not just action. It is also a romance. The situation on Halea brings Jehan and Lira closer together. All the while Lira maintains her facade, telling herself that this relationship with Jehan cannot be anything but temporary. But, romance will prove her wrong. The question is, just how can a space pirate and an Az-kye princess ever be anything but ships passing in the dark of space. Jehan will go to personal great lengths to prove to Lira/Saria that he is the one for The Princess. I loved the romance part of this book!
When you add the romance to the politics, action and spaceships, you get a SciFi Romance that any reader of this genre could enjoy. I think the entire Telleran series is great, so I recommend you read them all. Any of them could be read as a standalone though, including The Princess.
The author provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Add The Princess to your Goodreads shelf:
And now, for a little extra, here is a bit of A Piece of the Action: