The first volume in Cash’s The Battle for Darracia trilogy is an emotionally resonant tale of a young alien prince trying to salvage meaning from an increasingly fragmented world. On the planet Darracia, an ever-widening social gap between its inhabitants is wreaking havoc, creating rifts between its people. Struggling with his identity as a half-breed, nineteen-year-old Prince V’sair must learn to harness the power of the mysterious Fireblade if he wants to overcome his uncle Staf Nuen’s lust for supremacy. It’s the energy of the Elements that can guide the young prince to his true destiny, but time is of essence here. Poetic imagery and hefty emotion move the engrossing narrative along with a somewhat sublime tone poignantly in contrast to the background of hard SF/high fantasy events. V’sair is a compelling character—sensitive, intuitive, slightly disconcerted by his circumstances but ready to change himself. As he combines his search for identity with purpose, readers will root for him to come out a winner. The bold, spirited Tulani stands on her own. Cash’s richly textured, atmospheric novel alternates among dark, melancholic moods; a sweet if gloomy, romance between V’sair and Tulani; and acute violence and bloodshed. Fans of hard SF with a dash of fantasy will appreciate this fascinating tale enriched with fantastical futuristic detail.
Categories: Science Fiction