As an Imperial Guard, Arden Grenfell was one of the elite. But after failing her duty, she fell into disgrace. Now she has one last chance to restore honor to her name - find the runaway Princess and bring her back...
How does Arden fit the Mary Sue stereotype? Well (and this this backstory not a spoiler), she is raised as the only female in a monastary after her father's death. The Abbott becomes a second father to her and she is taught both meditative techniques and martial arts. Everyone at the monastary just loves her. After leaving the monastary she becomes the first female in the Imperial Guard and the bodyguard to princess Jessa.
Arden of course is also psychic, armed with just her katana, she sucessfully fights off repeated attacks by trained assassins, and manages to make a couple of guys fall in love with her.
When the book begins Princess Jessa is escaping from the planet of Glory because she fears to share her mother's fate if she remains. Jessa's mother, the Emperor's concubine, is addicted to a substance called Live Weave. Arden gives herself up as soon as Jessa is gone and is imprisoned for six years which gives her a chance to practice her meditation and something that sounds like Tae Bo. She was sentenced to execution soon after her capture, but somehow the people in charge never got around to doing it. Now they need Jessa back and Arden is the person they want to send after her.
Mary Sue? You bet. Probably the author should be cut some slack if this was her first book but this is about her fourth so there's no mercy on that score.
Recommendation: Don't bother.
The one complaint I have is that Jenna, the princess, is more a peice of the background. This is also true in the sequel, Darkloom. Jenna has the potential to be a very multi-faceted character and I would like to know more about her as well.
I particulary like when Cary Osborne refers to Earth as "old Earth".