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The Quantum Rose (The Saga of the Skolian Empire) Mass Market Paperback – February 18, 2002

3.8 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The beautiful young noblewoman Kamoj Quanta Argali rules a declining province on a distant planet that has lost the high technology of its original colonists. To save her people, Kamoj has contracted to marry Jax Ironbridge, the moody, unpredictable ruler of a prosperous land. Then a mysterious stranger from another world proposes a marriage that neither honor nor law will allow Kamoj to refuse.

The Quantum Rose is the sixth novel in the acclaimed Saga of the Skolian Empire, following the novels Primary Inversion, Catch the Lightning, The Last Hawk, The Radiant Seas, and Ascendant Sun. This intelligent, entertaining series combines space opera, hard SF, future history, military SF, and romance in a rare and potent blend. The Quantum Rose is an interplanetary adventure, but the space-opera and hard-SF elements are less prominent, as the plot focuses on a compelling and complicated love triangle, the clash of very different cultures, and an approach to war that SF has almost never considered.

A Nebula Award finalist, Catherine Asaro has won the Analog Readers' Poll, the Sapphire Award, and the Homer Award. In addition to the Saga of the Skolian Empire, she has written the near-future SF novels The Veiled Web and The Phoenix Code. --Cynthia Ward --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The sixth volume in the Saga of the Skolian Empire (Primary Inversion; The Radiant Seas; etc.) is a freestanding page-turner as a romance, with a hard science framework. It begins in an idyllic forest bathing pool on the backwater world of Balumil. Kamoj Quanta Argali, attractive young female governor of a poor province with decaying traces of millennia-old technology, notices the mysterious off-worlder, Havyrl Lionstar, watching her dress. Retreating in consternation, she also attempts to hide fromDand thus offendsDher lifelong fianc , Jax Ironbridge, overbearing governor of a wealthier neighboring province. Soon Havyrl (brother of previous protagonists in the series) blunders into outbidding Jax for marriage with Kamoj. Jax objects violently and reclaims Kamoj by force, puzzling the off-worlder, whose presence by then is entangling the provincial governors in the imperial politics of the wider universe. The gender-role elaboration in the maneuvers that follow will seem overdetailed to some readers, but fascinating to others. To Havyrl and his staff, Balumil is a rediscovered colony; hence they spend a lot of time explaining to Kamoj the significance of the quasimagical remnants of technology in her culture. Desperate for clues to understanding the wider universe as her planet's isolation ends, Kamoj proves to be as brainy as she is beautiful. Agent, Eleanor Wood of Spectrum. (Dec. 18)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Saga of the Skolian Empire (Book 6)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Science Fiction; 1st edition (February 18, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812568834
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812568837
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #787,030 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on January 6, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Quantum Rose is more than simply a science fiction romance. Asaro devotes considerable time to issues of physical/sexual abuse, gender expectations, societal change in response to rapid introduction of advanced technology, and the responsiblity that those in positions of power owe their constituents.
When Analog serialized the first half of QR last year, depictions of the heroine's abuse (physical and later sexual) by her originally intended caused quite a stir. Rape is a motif that Asaro returns to repeatedly: Soz in "Primary Inversion", Tina in "CTL", and Kelric (too many times to list here). But here it is presented graphically, not as an isolated incident, but in conjunction with brutal physical mistreatment. Long-term abuse is an issue that we tend to down-play because it makes us uncomfortable. Too often we blame the victim rather than the abuser. It is to Asaro's credit that she forces us to look at the ramifications of such behavior for the victim.
Both the hero and heroine serve their respective peoples by acts of extreme self-sacrifice necessitated by desperate situations. Asaro tackles the question of, "When is enough enough?" She also explores gender expectations and how differing worldviews lead to conflict between cultures. She does this much more subtley than she did in "The Last Hawk".
The romance between hero and heroine is intense and satisfying. There is far less sex than in "Ascendant Sun" and "The Last Hawk", and it is portrayed much less graphically. The heroine's planet is believable, although the author should have paid more attention to language and naming practices.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a faithful Asaro fan who dutifully buys her hardbacks as soon as they come out. I expect to love her work, and so came to this book with high hopes. I was _really_ puzzled when I realized about a hundred pages into it that it was boring, meandering, confusing, and just plain sub-professional, writing-wise. I am only giving _Quantum Rose_ two stars as opposed to one out of respect for the author, who has done much better with other tales.
Please: if you haven't bought the book yet, consider holding off from doing so. It's not a page-turner, the plot is not compelling, and kudos to you if you can finish it. I could not, and I'm really sad about it.
I have to wonder if multiply-published authors get a free pass with their subsequent books, no matter how bad. I also am wondering if this book was written BEFORE some of the others, as I know Ms. Asaro has published other books in a different order than they were written in. I would not be surprised if she had written this book first, at the beginning of her writing career -- I KNOW she is currently a much better writer than this.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Kamoj Quanta Argali is the 18 yr old governor of a planet of former slaves. When a newcomer on the world Havyrl arrives to recover from an ordeal which left him half mad, he spies Kamoj taking a bath in a river and falls for her. Impulsively Havryl offers to marry her which causes strife and conflict throughout the region, as Kamoj's spurned fiancee vows revenge.

I looked forward to this novel, but I admit I didn't care for Havryl. The drunken binges, the whining, and his 'tragic past' was a bit overdone. The relationship between Kamoj 18 year old (I don't care how biologically mature) and the Havryl 64 year old guy skeeved me out. I just don't like huge age differences between my romantic couples. At one point Havryl is talking about being a grandpa and described as being a hot-looking 40. Umm.. No.

There isn't much sci-fi in this one except for the revelations about Kamoj's people. I felt this was an okay book, which could've been better.

3 stars.
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"...a science fiction author who is not only a talented writer but an accomplist scientist"; "A deeply romantic novel set in space that was also an allegory for quantum physics..."; and "Wow, what a fabulous story!" I had heard so many wonderful things about the Skolian Empire Saga (and its brilliant author) that I just had to give The Quantum Rose a try.
Catherine Asaro invented a universe in which humans had spread among the stars ages ago through time travel. Some colonies, such as the one on planet Balumil, had been lost to their parent civilizations long enough to forget their origins, regressing into a sort of dark ages as their ancestors' technology slowly faded. Kamoj Argali is a beautiful young ruler of a province on Balumil who is being forced by circumstances into marriage with another governor who could only be described as a sociopath. Without warning Vyryl Lionstar steps in and claims her away from her sad fate; he has fallen in love with her at first sight. In the days to come Kamoj learns some uncomfortable truths about not only her planets' people, but the civilizations beyond. Now, it looks as if Lionstar needs her to stretch her psychological endurance to its limits so that together they can save the Skolian empire together.
I got almost what I had expected from this novel. Yes, it is a romance. Yes, it is science fiction. Yes, it is an allegory for quantum physics, employing clever wordplays and terms to complete the analogy. There is plenty of adventure among the stars, interesting cultural speculation and psychology explored in The Quantum Rose. The problem is, although I am otherwise well-educated I have never taken a physics class in my life and I cannot remember much about high school chemistry.
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