This book forms the first novel in a series: an ongoing saga of futuristic action, adventure, and romance.
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After fighting for ten Earth years against the Columbian invaders who conquered and pillaged the thirty-nine inhabited planetoids known as Gaea, Signe, a charismatic warrior of legendary prowess, drives Norman, Commander of Columbia's Third Military Corps, off Main World. Lacking ships of any class, the female military leader of a peace-loving, patriotic, cooperative, clannish citizenry launches a strike on a nearby enemy base by employing a cleverly modified robotized cargo-carrier.
Having sprayed the drone with a microlayer of a rare mineral found only on the planetoids of the Gaean Group, thereby making the craft invisible on the scanning screens of the enemy, the intrepid strategist captures one of the small number of Earth-built military ships still in existence among the warring descendants of Earth-born spacefaring pioneers. Employing that captured vessel, which she likewise renders undetectable, she leads a series of lightning strikes. Boldly, Signe targets ships docked on military bases in the heart of Columbia itself, and gains a fleet. Regarding freedom in perpetuity for her Gaean countrymen as worth the sacrifice of any comrade, however dear—of any life, including her own—she pursues that goal with determination bordering on the fanatical.
Arlen, warrior, statesman, and brilliant intellectual, values his honor above his life. A daring Columbian military commander who two Earthyears earlier seized dictatorial power over his militaristic, fiercely competitive, male-dominated society, he now finds himself besieged on two fronts. Even as he deploys his most trusted spacer-captains to fight Signe in space, four high-ranking rivals intrigue against him from within his world's military organization.
Adept at ruthless political infighting, Arlen enmeshes one traitor in the trap that wily plotter hoped would eliminate the dictator, and so encompasses that enemy's demise. The coolly daring head of state next wrests the majority of Columbia's Earth-built military ships from his rivals, thereby rendering his grip on power unassailable. Unwilling to initiate a system-wide bloodbath even after losing eight irreplaceable ships to his militant Gaean archenemy, Arlen fights a defensive war while striving to achieve a scientific breakthrough that will render Columbia impregnable. Despite his suffering a tragic personal loss, he attains his goal.
Because Signe and Arlen never meet face to face during this initial phase of their relationship, their perception of each other's motives grows ever more dangerously flawed. Arlen's scientific triumph nullifies Signe's strategic advantage. Just as a breakthrough in the war waged by two gallant archfoes seems imminent, a heart-wrenching, climactic development irrevocably changes the course of the conflict.
The review of this Book prepared by Mary Ann Steele