- 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 (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 28 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,287,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Quantum Rose (The Saga of the Skolian Empire) Mass Market Paperback – February 18, 2002
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From the Back Cover
Kamoj Argali is the young ruler of an impoverished province on a backward planet. To keep her people from starving, she has agreed to marry Jax Ironbridge, the boorish and brutal ruler of a prosperous province. But before Argali and Ironbridge are wed, a mysterious stranger from a distant planet sweeps in and forces Kamoj into marriage, throwing her world into utter chaos.
"Fans of futuristic romance will revel in the delights of a top notch romantic adventure set against an impeccably crafted, richly imagined background. . . . Connoisseurs of good science writing, vivid imagery and powerful emotional intensity are in for a real treat."-Romantic Times (4 1/2 stars)
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Sounds familiar? But be not afraid, Toto. We're not in Darkover any more. Asaro has a new angle on the old idea, filling it with romance, high tech, low tech, dance, horselike critters (two brands) telepathy, and oh yeah. Quantum physics.
There's enough action for the space opera fans; steamy romance for the romantically inclined; and hard science for those who like their science fiction to emphasize, well, the science (an early version of the first half, we're told, appeared in _Analog_).
At heart, though, the story is about growing up and taking charge, as young Kamoj, torn between two men, Vryl of the Skolians and Jax of her own world, eventually finds love in all the right places, and grows as a person. So, in the end, the story is more about the development of character than anything else. And how many genre novels can you say that about?
There's enough material here for a 1200-page by-the-numbers trilogy, but Asaro, with her lean, mean, prose style, doesn't waste our time--she keeps things down to a reasonable 403 pages (plus appendixes).
This is a must-have for Asaroistas although newcomers would probably be better off starting with _Primary Inversion_ , which led off the series, before they tackle this one.
All in all another example of what science fiction can be in the right hands.
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. Let's just say that the clever physics allegory flew right over my head, leaving me with...a nice romance that did an abrupt about-face in the middle and turned into a pedestrian interstellar adventure. Maybe if I'd had a better head for mathematics and science I would have found the alleged brilliance in this book more than enough to make up for its lack plot originality. As it is however, I can only judge TQR on its storytelling merit, which was just average in my opinion.
Asaro deserves credit for well-thought-out universe building and unusual insight into the complex relationships between her characters. I think of her writing style as having the potential to become very good, but unrefined here. Indeed, maybe her later books show improvement. The romance plotline was nice and standard, but gratifying to somebody who would like to see more such good sci fi/romance hybrids make it into the mainstream. BUT, unless you're a chemistry/physics/mathematics wiz, there is nothing particularly special about TQR beyond that.
-Andrea, aka Merribelle