Series: The Sectors #5
on May 10, 2016
Genres: Romance, Science Fiction
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Mark Denaltieri, ex-Sector Special Forces, has been hired by the Outlier Empress to rescue her granddaughter, Princess Alessandra, from kidnappers. Since the Empress once had him tortured and banished, she’s the last person Mark wants to work for. But he takes the job. He’ll save Alessandra, his first love, and discover why she didn’t speak for him when he desperately needed her. Then he’ll be on his way, finally free of his past.
Alessandra would rather her rescuer was anyone but Mark–after all, he let her believe he was dead all this time. But when the couple are forced to flee her captors by Traveling via a strange crystal globe, they find themselves in a lovely Oasis on a desert planet, the old attraction sizzling between them again.
They soon discover they are far from alone. The Oasis holds the entrance to another world, one in which the inhabitants are convinced Sandy and Mark are the Lady of the Star Wind and her Warrior, come to free them from an evil Queen.
Coming off the exciting star cruise ship adventure of the last book, I was rarin’ to go into the next The Sectors installment. One never knows what one will get when it comes to this series and that is part of the attraction.
Lady of the Star Wind is the fifth standalone entry in the series and takes the story from a one worldscape into another in this sci-fi- portal fantasy crossover.
Lady of the Star Wind introduces series readers to yet a new ‘empire’ and race of humans. The Outlier Empire shares a border with The Sectors and the border is mostly peaceful though Cold War style situation, but not open. The hero is a commoner Outlier security guard type who had the unfortunate honor of falling in love with one of the ruling family’s minor princesses. He is tortured, put through a mind-altering experience that doesn’t quite take and sent across The Sectors border to become a sleeper agent for the empress. Instead, he becomes a stellar Special Forces assassin for The Sectors and finishes out twenty years in the military even though he got back his full memories of who he really is at some point.
The story begins when the empress accepts him back as a mercenary to take back from her kidnappers the very same princess he’d fallen in love with earlier. And, this very same princess was given to believe he was tortured and killed, but has gone on to a fulfilling life as a doctor. She is still a pawn for the powers that be who threaten the throne and even for her own grandmother who sits on the throne. It is with shock, and then anger she allows herself to be rescued by the presumed dead Mark.
At this point, I was surprised when the story pulled an Alice in Wonderland and this pair, fleeing from pursuit, went through a portal that took them to another world where the people are still bronze age chariots, swords, and superstitious. There are gods and magic in this world. Because of their futuristic technology, the people take Mark and Sandy’s gadgetry as ‘magical’. Mark and Alessandra find themselves hunting down magical artifacts and attempting to put the true king on the throne while discovering the people think they are a goddess and her consort.
Honestly, I’m not sure what to make of it. I was perfectly satisfied with either world (the Outlier rescue and situation) or the fantasy realm. I had a big adjustment getting both in one book. And, I was left with some confusion as a result.
There were good action sequences, but I did have a point in the middle where I got impatient for things to get going. The romance was something of a slow burn back burner affair. It was second chance and not much barrier to it happening so I felt it was more an understood thing than a source of tension.
I know it sounds like I didn’t like the story, but that is not the case. Once adjusted to fantasy mode, I was all in to see this pair help the would-be king and his wife beat out the baddies and save their kingdom.
So, as long as readers can go from futuristic sci-fi to fantasy and appreciate both, this one will be a delight. I find it rather entertaining, at this point in the series, never knowing just what sort of story I’m going to get. Looking forward to the next installment and happy to push this series as recommended to others.
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