Saturday, September 16, 2017

Book Review: 'Children of the Empire' by Lara Nance


Virginia author Lara Nance has some twenty seven books to her credit and her range of novels takes the reader from thrilling mysteries and steampunk tales to paranormal romance and adventure, exploring stories full of danger and suspense…and romance. Her paranormal romances have garnered a wide audience and a list of awards.

One of the many aspects of Laura’s writing style that makes her works contagiously entertaining is her ability to insert moments of humor where least expected – little breaths of air as her compelling stories unwind. For example, opening her first chapter of this fine novel CHILDREN OF THE EMPIRE she writes, ‘A blue Zicca lizard ran across my foot as I left the laundry room. I squeaked and jumped a foot in the air as it disappeared into one of the many crevices of the rocky tunnel. Blue Ziccas were rare, and everyone knew it was bad luck for one to cross your path. I had a few choice curse words for the scurrying creature. Seriously, Mr. Lizard? Like I needed bad luck. Nothing could be much worse than my current situation as an indentured servant to the Entertainment Masters. Take your ill fate with you into the darkness and leave me alone. I picked up the rolled towels I dropped and continued on to the levels above where the gladiators had their rooms. It was still early and hardly any of them were up. Great. I might make it through distributing their clean laundry without being hit or kicked. The whistle of a saucy tune ahead stopped me in my tracks. That came from Ruffian for sure. He was the best of the boisterous, smelly lot that fought every day in the heliodrome for the citizens’ pleasure. Even the women fighters liked to rough up lowly servants like me. But Ruffian didn’t beat me when I brought his food, or throw a boot at me when I came to clean his room. Occasionally, he’d toss me a hunk of bread or a sweet pellet from his meal and laugh to see me jump for it.’

As for the plot line, ‘Ten years ago, Emperor TaSherion and his wife were murdered by a traitor. Their five children were taken by loyal friends and scattered across the galaxy, their memories wiped to protect them. Parts of their father’s plan for an unfinished secret weapon have been microchipped and implanted in each sibling. An invasion by the reptilian Crogians sets into motion a series of events that forces one of the children to regain her knowledge of the past. Min, working as a lowly servant in a space-gladiator complex, escapes the attack with one of the gladiators named Ruffian, and together they race across space hunting down her remaining siblings. Now, it’s up to these children of the empire to restore their father’s secret weapon, and lead the rebellion before the Crogians complete their evil plan to destroy humanity.’

Forget reality (and what a relief that can be at the moment!) and escape with Lara in her beautifully Space Opera. Pure entertainment! Grady Harp, June 17




Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.

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