Book Review: Schism

Schismby Michael D. Pederson

 

Schism: Part One of Triad
by Catherine Asaro
Tor Books, 395 pp.

For the few people that haven’t had the joy of discovering Catherine Asaro yet, here’s the perfect novel for you to start with. Schism returns to the Saga of the Skolian Empire that Asaro has been developing for ten books now. Fans that have read the previous nine books will be thrilled to learn some more of the back story of the Ruby Dynasty. Newcomers will discover this a thrilling place to begin—the start of the war with the Euban (slave) Traders and the introduction of the Eldrinson family to Imperial affairs. Earlier books in the series have been a bit more physics intensive but this one keeps things a little simpler, more space opera than hard SF, but there is enough here to please fans of both sub-genres. As usual though, it’s Asaro’s strong characterizations and tense but realistic family dynamics—along with a touch of romance—that makes this such a pleasing read. Set primarily on the pre-industrial world of the Eldrinson family, there’s even an element to appeal to fantasy fans. This is easily a book that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to anybody. Asaro’s already won a Nebula for one of the books in this series and I predict that it’s only a matter of time before she has a Hugo to keep it company. Lois McMaster Bujold had better watch her back.

 

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