- Series: The Okal Rel Saga (Book 1)
- Paperback: 464 pages
- Publisher: EDGE Science Fiction & Fantasy Publishing; 1 edition (May 9, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1894063287
- ISBN-13: 978-1894063289
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,161,945 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Courtesan Prince: Part One of the Okal Rel Saga Paperback – May 9, 2005
"The Courtesan Prince is a space adventure charged with sexual energy and ambiguity. Though not heavily laden with technology, it is clear that Williams possesses a strong technical mind. As a writer and computer programmer, I enjoyed the references to "blits" and other subtle touches that leant to greater believability. I look forward to reading more of the Okal Rel series."
- Brian Rathbone, podcaster, Blogtalk Radio.
"The strength of this book is its complex and detailed setting with these two distinct cultures."
-Liz Dennett, Canadian Book Review Annual
"I just wanted to send you a quick note about one of your books, The Courtesan Prince.... I have to say I was presently suprised when the book entirely sucked my attention in. I haven't read about a universe so interesting as when I read Dune, or the Fire and Ice series by George R. R. Martin for quite a while, and your book definitely builds an interesting scene and story."
-Honey-Marie Giroday, Reader
"Readers who enjoy hard and gritty science fiction won't find much of it here; this is a novel about people and cultures, honor and duty, and love and hatred. Featuring gunfights and swordfighting, rodeo-quality spaceship manuevers and murderous nobles, The Courtesan Prince is an enjoyable stand-alone read and a promising start to what is to be a 10-volume saga."
-Dru Pagliassotti, The Harrow
About the Author
Lynda Williams, teaches computer literacy at the University of Northern BC and holds an M.L.S. from the University of Toronto and a M.Sc. from McMaster. She was born in Prince George, British Columbia and graduated from the University of Victoria with an emphasis in Chemistry and Creative Writing. She currently lives in British Columbia, Canada.
Top customer reviews
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The Reetions of Rire regulate every aspect of their lives with advanced computer technology. The Sevolites of Gelion are much more of an honor-bound people. The wearing, and using, of swords in public is a normal part of daily life. It is also a rigidly class-defined culture, where one is expected to use the proper pronouns when speaking "up" or "down" to someone else.
The two civilizations fought a major war about 200 years previously, which left large regions of space uninhabitable. Despite severing all relations with each other, another war between them is increasingly likely.
Ann, a Reetion pilot, meets, and falls for, Von, a Sevolite male courtesan and sword-dancer (who Ann calls Beauty), who may be an actual Prince. Ranar, a Reetion archaeologist with dark skin (a novelty in Sevolite society), meets Di Mon, a high-ranking member of Sevolite society, who is also in love with Von. Unintentionally, perhaps they can prevent another major interstellar war.
This is a good piece of society-building. Since this is not the usual sort of new world, this novel will require some patience on the part of the reader (it takes a while to get going). It is also the first of a projected ten-book series. It's very much worth reading.
Set in a future of inter-stellar space travel and abandoned earth colonies, The Courtesan Prince is a space opera of the best variety. The story centers around two distinct civilizations, Reetions and Gelacks, and four main characters. The action begins when a small group of Gelacks attempts to reestablish contact with the very distant, (and very different), Reetions, 200 years after their devastating war.
The adventure and romance are enough to keep readers interested but, for me, the heart of this story was the interaction of the two civilizations through the main characters. Ann and Ranar are Gelacks, theirs is an egalitarian world, steeped in equal parts reason and bureaucracy. Von and Di Mon belong to the mysterious Reetions, to whom ancestry is everything and whose society is bound by strict rules of conduct, (often enforced at the end of a sword).
Through these characters, Williams touches on issues of gender and social equality, personal responsibility, sexual orientation, and cultural relations. By turns, she titillates and informs, and never leaves the reader with the sense that they are being given the dreaded "message".
I think this novel would appeal to fantasy and sci-fi lovers alike, as it has elements of both genres. Even better, this is only the first in a ten book series, so if you're hungry for more after the final page, you'll have lots to keep you entertained!
My only note would be not to let the prologue fool you. It's quite detailed and lengthy, which I found a bit intimidating, but it's nothing like the rest of the story, which moves at a fast pace.
I will definitely be reading more in this series!
One of the aspects I most enjoyed with this book was the dialogue; the interactions between the handful of primary characters. This book is far more engaging than any movie could ever be. It rivals Herbert's "Dune", both in its complexity and in its richness.
Williams takes a brilliant and complex universe and invites us in, pulls us in, and keeps us there, turning pages, wanting more, voraciously lapping up everything she tosses our way. I should like to thank her for creating this wonderful thing, this series of books that will be treasured for years to come.
"Why only four stars then?" you ask.
Only because it helps to be familiar with Okal Rel before diving in. It helps to know a little about the history - a little more than what's in the preface - and to have read some of the Okal Rel novellas to familiarise yourself with the background of the universe. It isn't strictly *necessary* to do so, but I recommend it. Luckily, all of this is available: [...]