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Ascendant Sun: A New Novel in the Saga of the Skolian Empire [Mass Market Paperback]

Catherine Asaro
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 15 2001 Saga of the Skolian Empire (Book 5)
Ascendant Sun is the direct sequel to The Last Hawk, in which Kelric, heir to the Skolian Empire, crash-landed his fighter on the Restricted planet of Coba. He was imprisoned by the powerful mistresses of the great estates--women who, over time, fell in love with him. After 18 years of living in their gilded cage, Kelric finally made his escape.

In Ascendant Sun, Kelric returns to Skolian space, only to find the Empire in control of the Allied forces of Earth. With little more than the clothes on his back, Kelric is forced to take work on a merchant vessel. But when that vessel enters Euban space, Kelric finds his worst nightmare realized: he becomes a slave to the cruel Aristos--humans who use torture and sex as the ultimate aphrodesiac.

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From Amazon

The adventures of super-sexy space-stud Kelric Garlin continue, as he comes back from the dead in Ascendant Sun, the fifth--and so far raciest--installment in Catherine Asaro's popular Saga of the Skolian Empire series (which kicked off with 1995's Primary Inversion). But Kelric needs to keep his miraculous resurrection hush-hush: presumed dead after crash-landing on Coba 18 years ago in Last Hawk, love-prisoner Kelric endured and finally escaped the lusty attentions of the planet's swoony ruling matriarchy. Back at last, the bronze-god telepath finds that his world has been turned upside down: The galaxy-uniting psiberweb has collapsed, the Allied Worlds of Earth control the Skolian Empire, and his family, the Ruby Dynasty, are all either dead or held hostage, leaving him as the sole and long-lost Imperial Heir, a man nearly everyone in power would see imprisoned or assassinated--if they knew he was alive.

Harvard-trained physicist Asaro continues to astound by straddling the SF and romance genres so adroitly, alternating between chin-rubbing speculations on quantum theory and blushingly steamy sex scenes with all the skill of an accomplished ballet dancer (which, coincidentally, she also is). Surely junior-high kids will get their paws on this title tout de suite (and quickly skip to the "good" parts), but Asaro's award-winning prose, her knack for high-adventure story-telling, and her equal expertise in both science and romance make this a worthy read for any fan of either genre. --Paul Hughes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The follow-up to The Last Hawk, which was a Nebula nominee, picks up with Kelric, a cybernetically enhanced Jagernaut warrior and member of the Skolian Empire's ruling family, on his way home after 18 years on the Restricted world of matriarchal Coba. Kelric arrives only to learn that Earth's Allied Forces have assumed the job of local peacekeeper in space after the devastating Radiance War caused the Collapse, the destruction of the telepathic communication web through "psiberspace" that once linked the three vast empires of Skolian, Euben and Aristo space. With most of Kelric's family dead, he is now the only heir to a throne that may not exist much longer. Kelric isn't in great shape, though, with his Jagernaut cybernetics failing from damage incurred during his Coba getaway. Hoping to avoid detection by his enemies, he assumes a false identity and takes a job aboard a merchant spaceship--only to be taken prisoner by the Aristos, an advanced race that obtains its greatest pleasures from the pain and discomfort of its "provider" sex slaves. Even worse, the Aristos have captured Kelric's brother Eldrin in hopes of not only using his psibernetic abilities to restore and control interstellar communications, but also to open the Lock, a space-time portal that will give them incalculable power. Kelric must risk everything to foil the Aristo plot. While readers new to Asaro's world may be confused at times by how every element in the novel fits together, series veterans will find this to be yet another fast-paced and pleasing entry in the Saga of the Skolian Empire.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Eighteen years after Kelric died, he came home. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Asaro at the top of her game May 23 2001
By lb136
Format:Mass Market Paperback
_Ascendant Sun_, another in Catherine Asaro's "Skolian Empire" series, features Kelric (who was freed from his captivity on the female-dominated Coba at the end of _The Last Hawk_) and now finds himself heir apparent to the Skolian Empire. The trouble is, everybody thinks he's dead, and his "jagernaut" biological enhancements are failing. But of course, he seeks to regain power, although turns out to be yet another of Asaro's reluctant heroes (they always do what they have to do but they're seldom happy about having to do it) as he tries to pick up the pieces left by the destruction of the radiance war (told in _The Radiant Seas_).
Asaro writes like an outfielder who makes catching fly balls seem easy. About three-fourths of the way through the novel, Kelric seems to have completed one part of his quest when, at the end of a chapter he apparently stares into the face of his enemy (how _did_ he get there??!!). A sentence later, at the beginning of the next chapter, he thinks otherwise, and then discovers the truth--which turns out to be the key to the whole novel. Asaro does all this in half a page. Half a page!
The whole novel is filled with the same kind of faultless, seemingly effortless technique--you'll find in it good science, good sex, good adventure, and sassy AI's, to say nothing of good old plot, character, and action.
Like all the books in the series _Sun_ has an electric charge to it. This is what science fiction should be and seldom is any more. Grab it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Read "the Last Hawk" first... May 4 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is a direct sequal to the "last Hawk" by this author, and it is highly reccomended that you read that title first, before attempting this book. Otherwise, you'll probably be totally lost to references such as "quis","coba" and "Ixpar".
In this book the Hero, Kelric is in bad shape when he finally escapes the planet Coba. He's also 18 years out of date and totally bewildered when he gets back into Skolian space only to find that the empire, to which he is heir, is effectively gone.
This is a full on space opera - with one event straight after the next, which (almost) suitably leaves Kelric exhusted. Unfotunatley, not exhaused enough. At times I felt like I was reading Kelric's-sexual-conquest-of-known-Eubian-space. He was like James Bond, a girl in every port, not to mention every space ship.
Still, despite this, it's an enjoyable novel that also feeds into "radiant seas" and is obviously a set up for (hopefully) a third book with maybe Kelric as the main character to "finish" his story.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Read "the Last Hawk" first... May 4 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is a direct sequal to the "last Hawk" by this author, and it is highly reccomended that you read that title first, before attempting this book. Otherwise, you'll probably be totally lost to references such as "quis","coba" and "Ixpar".
In this book the Hero, Kelric is in bad shape when he finally escapes the planet Coba. He's also 18 years out of date and totally bewildered when he gets back into Skolian space only to find that the empire, to which he is heir, is effectively gone.
This is a full on space opera - with one event straight after the next, which (almost) suitably leaves Kelric exhusted. Unfotunatley, not exhaused enough. At times I felt like I was reading Kelric's-sexual-conquest-of-known-Eubian-space. He was like James Bond, a girl in every port, not to mention every space ship.
Still, despite this, it's an enjoyable novel that also feeds into "radiant seas" and is obviously a set up for (hopefully) a third book with maybe Kelric as the main character to "finish" his story.
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Format:Hardcover
Despite the stupidity of the cover, this is a good book. The cover art would have you believe you are going to be reading yet another fluffy romance "sci-fi" story about futuristic sex slaves. While the main character (Kelric) is undoubtedly described as sexy and is taken a slave, his career as a Provider is a short one and there is lots more space given to his physical survival and political struggles to reclaim his empire than the cover would suggest. Fans of Skolia should not be concerned that Asaro is running downhill! The story survies! And hopefully Asaro will be blessed with better cover art next time!
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Format:Hardcover
Male-female relations are thoroughly explored in Asaro's Skolian Empire series. In this universe, humans are separated into three major political configurations-the Skolians, ruled by the Ruby Dynasty (a family of empaths who run the "psiberweb," a network of pure thought that permits fast interstellar travel, among other things), the Trader Concord, ruled by the cruel (and anti-empathic) Aristos, and the Allied Worlds of Earth, a.k.a. "us." The first two are descendants of humans removed from Earth c. 4,000 B.C. by an alien race and transplanted to the planet Raylicon. In those times, women were dominant and treated men as their slaves. That legacy lingers on (particularly in some backwaters, such as the planet Coba), alough in the Skolian and Trader empires the two sexes enjoy a rough equality. In fact, the hero of her latest hardcover, Ascendant Sun, often finds himself being treated as a sex object, a role reversal which Asaro handles quite nicely, avoiding cliched images of leather-clad dominatrices. Her men and women are both fully realized humans. When Asaro learned that I had just read Ascendant Sun, she laughed. "It's controversial, because of the sex scenes. Everyone focuses on that. But I was trying to say something with that book." The source of a lot of the confusion is the cover, which depicts the hero as a Fabio-like hunk. And in fact he is a hunk, but hardly a brainless one. Kelric, heir to the Skolian Empire, is an introspective empath who returns to Skolia from a long sojourn on matriarchal Coba, where he married several times and became the catalyst for a war to possess him (a tale chronicled in her first Kelric adventure The Last Hawk) only to be captured and enslaved by the sadistic Aristos, rulers of the Eubian Concord. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Ascendant Sun by Catherine Asaro
I have to tell you I am hooked on Catherine Asaro's Saga of the Skolian Empire and all her glorious larger than life characters. Read more
Published on May 23 2000 by Suzanne Coleburn
5.0 out of 5 stars Yet Another Great Chapter in the Skolian Empire Saga
Continuing where both Last Hawk and Radiant Seas left off.
For the first time we begin to really see the Trader's point of view and find that they are not all the same -... Read more
Published on March 28 2000 by Lee Thompson
5.0 out of 5 stars Dr. Asaro prepares the stage for an epic sequel
While Ascendant Sun concludes a handful of plotlines from The Last Hawk and Radiant Seas, it evolves the Skolian/Eubian/Allied politcal atmosphere into a scenario of both hope and... Read more
Published on March 18 2000 by Randall Miyashiro
3.0 out of 5 stars I agree with Ms. Glover
This book almost seems to be something Ms. Asaro wrote to fill in some blanks for herself before moving on with the greater narrative of the Skolian Empire. Read more
Published on March 17 2000
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit of a letdown
I was really disappointed when I got to the end of this book. Actually, I was disappointed when I got to page 300 and realized I was almost to the end and I had not read the story... Read more
Published on March 13 2000 by C. Glover
3.0 out of 5 stars OK but not the best
If you've read the rest of the Skolian books you'll need to read this one, but don't expect a lot of your questions to be answered. Read more
Published on March 6 2000
4.0 out of 5 stars A good sequel to LAST HAWK
My favorite of Catherine Asaro's books is still THE LAST HAWK. There, the blend of worldbuilding, character development, social commentary, nifty science, and romance seemed a... Read more
Published on March 2 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars Stupendous!
A great book. Fast-paced, exciting. I'm having a difficult time picking my favorite book and hero/heroine from Catherine Asaro. Read more
Published on Feb. 26 2000 by Jill A. Alters
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