Tor, Jan 2002, 27.95, 428 pp.
Though both sides claim victory, the interstellar war devastated the Skolians and the Aristo Traders. Pharaoh of the Ruby Dynasty, Dyhianna Selei, obtains a fragile peace with the nefarious Aristo Traders, but both entities know that hostilities will continue anyway.
Dyhianna learns first hand that the “cold war” remains hot as she surfaces on a humanoid planet after making a desperate leap to escape her enemies' effort to kill her and her family. Her foes pursue Dyhianna, but she is rescued by a Skolian battle cruiser, only to learn that her invention the psychic-Internet no longer exists and that the Aristos haves captured her husband, Prince Eldrin. A desperate Dyhianna knows that Eldrin's psychic abilities accompanied by the ancient Lock the enemy controls will give the edge to the Aristos. She turns to her former spouse and his special kids on Earth as a last resort to stop the Aristo Traders from conquering her people.
SPHERICAL HARMONIC, the seventh Skolian tale is an engaging outer space novel that will excite fans of the series. The story line hops around the galaxy faster than the speed of light, but that is a two edged light saber as the action never stops, but the subplots do not fully mesh. Catherine Asaro's audience will enjoy this novel because it is fun to watch the wonderful gender bender heroine struggle to save her people at what might cost her the lives of her family.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner