Daw, Feb 2002, 6.99, 384 pp.
When the O'Hara clan resisted the Galactic Terran Empire planetary governor's takeover, he declared them outlaws and claimed the family shipping business. When the O'Hara home exploded, the oldest sister Katie disappeared. The family matriarch became determined that the family would regain their citizenship rights so that they could have access to the databases and thus find out what happened to Kate.
The three O'Hara boys (Kim, Konner and Loki), take to smuggling so that they can bribe a corrupt official into returning their citizenship. On their latest run carrying valuable pearls, they are almost caught and have to make a FTL jump into unknown space to avoid getting captured. The ship is damaged and the O'Hara brothers are forced to land on a planet inhabited earlier by earlier GTE colonists who have sunk into a hunting and gathering type society. In a battle with a corrupt tribal official, the brothers liberate the slaves, build their own nation where the inhabitants regard them as the STARGODS. Their adventures become the stuff that legends are made of.
Irene Radford has begun a new series that is very different in tone and style than her previous Merlin's Descendants. The story line is sophisticated yet the interactions between the brothers is both witty and slapstick. There is enough action in THE HIDDEN DRAGON to keep readers turning the pages until they reach the end of the book. It will be very hard to wait for book two in the series so we can revisit those darling O'Hara men.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner