The Barnes & Noble Review
Matthew Kameron (Loki), Martin Konner, and Mark Kimmer O'Hara are three brothers whose lives have been full of adventure and danger since birth. Having been born on a bush planet, they are not considered citizens and therefore are not allowed to follow their dreams. Under their mother's direction, they become top-notch pirates, stealing in order to purchase their citizenship papers. With one mission left before they can meet this goal, a problem occurs. The IMPs, a militaristic police agency, are hot on their trail, and the only way they can elude them is to jump to an uncharted area of space.
Thus the true story begins in Irene Radford's The Hidden Dragon. On a planet that they believed was uninhabited, the brothers find living beings. Some are human, descendants of colonists that must have come to the planet hundreds of years before. As such stories go, the initial meeting between the brothers and the planet's inhabitants doesn't go well. However, they save a young woman and then find something has landed on their scout ship that cannot possibly exist: a dragon. (L.H.)
A mesmerizing storyteller.
A mesmerizing storyteller.
Three brothers crash on an unknown planet while trying to escape the Empire. Repairs to their shuttle require that they find the needed resources—and deal with the local population. In the process, they run into two surprises: a bloodthirsty tyrant and dragons. And in the process of overcoming the tyrant, the three are proclaimed to be gods by a sharp-witted female. By assuming that role, the brothers also have to assume the responsibility of the heretofore slaves of the tyrant. Rather than escaping, the new "stargods" find themselves increasingly tangled in an alien—yet human—culture. They realize that they need the people in order to find the natural resources, and then they must civilize those people from stone age to bronze and then iron stage. They must also contend with the resurrected evil tyrannical priest and the ever-present tendency towards violence. At least one of the brothers realizes that this planet may actually be humanity's salvation: a fresh chance to do things right for once. How strong is the pull back to the brothers' beginnings? This action-packed plot makes for engaged and thoughtful reading. The author manages to keep the story clear, and the characters interesting to follow. Several themes interplay successfully, with the reader caring what happens. Not surprisingly, the volume resolves one conflict, but keeps the door open for continuing obstacles. And the brothers are still stuck on the planet waiting for the next volume or two to encounter their eventual destinies. This reader, for one, is eager... (The Stargods, #1). KLIATT Codes: SA—Recommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 2002, DAW, 396p., Farmer