Tor, Oct 2003, 25.95, 336 pp.
The Risen Immortal Emperor blames Imperial frigate Captain Laurent Zai for the death of his sister, the Child Empress. Though innocent, Zai handles suicide missions with little chance of survival. His ship the Lynx's current assignment is to keep a more powerful vessel of the enemy the machine-human Rix from reaching the planet Legis. Zai knows his crew will pay the price for the Emperor's belief that his actions killed his sibling.
On Legis, the Rix have been forging a special combine that interconnects all artificial intelligence into one mind. Plan A of the Emperor is to destroy the orb in anticipation of Zai's failure. Only Zai's lover Senator Nara Oxham, who has doubts about the impact of immortality on humanity, stands in the way of the Emperor bombing the planet causing millions of humans to die unless somehow Zai succeeds in time to stop him. She also wonders what the Emperor has to fear from the Rix.
The sequel to THE RISEN EMPIRE, THE KILLINGOF WORLDS, is a taut military-political science fiction thriller. The story line is loaded with action while encouraging the audience to ponder the effects of immortality on humanity. That latter subplot especially espoused by Oxham is the key additional element that adds a cerebral philosophical feel and deep characters to an action packed military tale. Those fans of both sub-genres will cherish.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner