Recommended for ages 13+
Three interplanetary systems ruled by three royal families: Fane, Westlet, and Galton. Each family wants something the other families have, be it fuel, food, or other resources. Wren, the eldest daughter of the House of Fane, is on life support after a tragic accident off-world; Asa, the youngest daughter, scrambling to keep Wren on life support, takes her middle sister’s place in marriage to the House of Westlet.
There is political and familial intrigue aplenty in this story, with a budding romance set against this sci-fi tale. I kept thinking of Frank Herbert’s Dune, which seems to have influenced the familial/political plotting and counter-plotting. While this is the first part in a new science fiction duology, readers are dropped into the story without much origin or background, and it took me a little bit to get my sea legs as I read and tried to work my way into the story. I hope to see some richer background information in the next book.
Inherit the Stars takes place in a feudal society, with the view that marriage is primarily an arrangement. The main characters’ parents vacillate between apathy and concern for their children, but more likely, concern for their own standing. Asa meets her husband, Eagle, at their arranged wedding, but sees something in him that appeals to her, and their love develops fairly quickly. For this first book, eldest sister Wren exists primarily to set Asa’s plot in motion, but I hope that we learn more about her in future stories.
Inherit the Stars is a good example of the conflicts that arise when politics invades families’ personal lives. It’s light science fiction for readers who want to dip a toe into the sci-fi pool, but want something heavier on relationships and lighter on spaceships. Collections that could use some lighter sci-fi should add this one to their shelves.