Fire Star, Dec 2003, 26.96, 292 pp.
On a world that is mostly water and where humans live in gigantic trees, the royals along with the aristocracy control the scientific knowledge that enables them to use the drug Zabba that enables the user to read minds, heal and communicate with other species. Mahri is a Wilding, a genetic anomaly capable of using use Zabba and harness its power even though she doesn't have the knowledge to heal the people of her village who are dying of a plague.
Though she is a swamp rat and a smuggler, she navigates her boat into the city to kidnap a healer and take him to her village. Along the way she learns he is Prince Korl and though he is a royal and she is a swamp rat, there is a deep mutual attraction that neither wants but neither can deny. During their time in her village they Bond. When they return to the city, Korl marries her to protect her from the laws she broke, never realizing his actions put them in dangers from someone very close to the throne.
BENEATH THE THIRTEEN MOONS is a terrific science fiction romance that will appeal to fans of Anne McCaffrey and Catherine Asaro. The natives of the water world play a key role in the actions of the protagonists though most people don't know just how intelligent this sentient species is. The romance is an integral part of the storyline and readers will love watching these darling lovers face up to their true fantasies. If this is an indicator of her output, Kathryn Kennedy is destined to be one of the sub-genre's superstars.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner