Synopsis: Princess Snow is missing.
Her home planet is filled with violence and corruption at the hands of King Matthias and his wife as they attempt to punish her captors. The king will stop at nothing to get his beloved daughter back—but that’s assuming she wants to return at all.
Essie has grown used to being cold. Temperatures on the planet Thanda are always sub-zero, and she fills her days with coding and repairs for the seven loyal drones that run the local mines.
When a mysterious young man named Dane crash-lands near her home, Essie agrees to help the pilot repair his ship. But soon she realizes that Dane’s arrival was far from accidental, and she’s pulled into the heart of a war she’s risked everything to avoid. With the galaxy’s future—and her own—in jeopardy, Essie must choose who to trust in a fiery fight for survival
There’s quite a bit of action in this novel.
To earn extra money, Essie participates in cage fights. A ship crashes, catching on fire and rendering a character unconscious. Essie is kidnapped (puts up a bit of a fight), gets burns and cuts as she fiddles with the wires while the ship is running, survives several assassination attempts and starts a war from the inside-out. Characters fight to leave a planet, some are shot during the book. Entering into a (staged) war zone, they visit the injured and are caught in a crossfire. Prisoners of war had their throats injured so that they would be unable to talk. Someone is burned alive, and another character’s leg is caught in a metal door and has to be amputated.
Mentions of war and the princess’ escape from her stepmother is told.
Essie was raped as a young girl, almost taken advantage of twice in the book. (The latter ended in the man killed). Essie falls in a sinkhole…
… and has to change out of her clothing to warm up by the fire (Dane looks away). Brief mention of ‘good time’ girls (and how Essie is not one), and the miner’s 5-day vacation with lovers/wives. Characters kiss and hug. There’s a proposal. (It’s tense while training to fight). Someone implies the nature of Dane and Essie’s friendship isn’t platonic.
Essie was sexually abused as a young girl (see above).
Cage fights take place in a pub. Drunks place bets on the fight. They drink jack-ale. Characters are poisoned, the injured sedated and someone is knocked out after being injected.
A corrupt king, a conniving queen, staged war and a hiding princess… It’s all about replacing the corrupt system with a just, peaceful, diplomatic one.
One of Essie’s mechanical robots is named Cusser because he curses (never explained which words he uses.) An exclamation of b*stard.
Monk-like scholars. (Unidentified deity or system. Mentioned briefly.)
Overall feel: The heroine starts out selfish, the hero naive. Of course, this all changes as the novel progress, the characters improving vastly. Although an expertly retold story in an intricate-political solar system, the royalty is quite corrupt- the king sexually assaults his daughter and the queen poisons various people. But then, that is exactly what the princess overthrows, changing the lives of her people and ruling justly.
“Life was so much easier when I was selfish.” – Essie