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The Courtesan Prince: Part One of the Okal Rel Saga [Paperback]

Lynda Williams
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 9 2005 The Okal Rel Saga (Book 1)

In this volume: When Earth's first attempt to conquer the far reaches of space was thwarted by the failure of a faster than light transportation system, the first colonists were abandoned.

Subsequent colonizations were successful but ideological differences in cloning caused renegade scientists to sever their contact with Earth and establish their own unique world.

Now, thousands of years in the future, the scattered descendents of humanity have evolved into two distinct planetary societies: the Reetions of Rire, who rely on advanced computer technology to regulate every aspect of their lives, and the genetically superior and honor bound Sevolites, of Gelion.

With one conflict already behind them, these two cultures are once again on the brink of war. But one last desperate mission is launched and somewhere within a dark region of space, Reetions and Sevolites find themselves torn between their own alliances and the inexplicable desire that constantly draws them closer together.

Will the brilliant anthropologist, Ranar of Rire, find out more than he bargained for in the strange undercity of Gelion?

Will the hot-headed Reetion pilot, Ann, learn that true love has a price? Will the Sevolite blade-dancer, Von, discover the dark secrets which hold the key to his world's survival? And will Di Mon, the proud Highlord of Gelion somehow find the strength to face the chaos that may destroy them all?


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Review

"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.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sizzling new Science Fiction series Jan. 9 2006
Format:Paperback
George Lucas move over! Here is a new constellation of soul-stirring characters, with an adult EDGE - conflicted sexual attractions, occasionally consummated, with thrilling and sometimes jarring results. From EDGE Science Fiction/Fantasy Publications in Calgary, "Courtesan Prince" by Lynda J. Williams takes off where "The Wedding Date" begins!
"Courtesan Prince" introduces the intriguing Okal Rel universe, which unfolds in a series of novels set thousands of years in the future. The descendants of old Earth are able to "reality-skim" through vast distances of space, although the brave pilots who do so suffer the debilitating effects of "space gap". Human beings live only on Gelion and Rire, two radically-different worlds separated by millions of light years, which no longer maintain contact.
"Courtesan Prince" explores the idea that a compassionate poet, cast by fate in the role of providing sexual satisfaction to wealthy women for money, is a man you would be proud to introduce as your mate. Amel, Prince of Gelion, grows to manhood unaware that he is a pure-blood Gelack, in a world obsessed by genetically-determined status.
Gelion's thriving society is based on "Okal Rel", a religion and philosophy of life which promotes survival of the fittest. Social stability is maintained by disputes between Sevolites - the ruling class - being settled by the sword, sometimes in duels to the death. Sevolites are genetically-modified self-evolved human beings. They are an elegant, pale-skinned people. Both sexes remain youthful and fertile well into their 80s.
Reetions, the people of Rire, are a remarkably rational, peace-loving and compassionate people. They live in a transparent society, regulated by benevolent if somewhat intrusive "monitors".
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast-paced and Fun Jan. 20 2006
Format:Paperback
As a fan of the Okal Rel Universe, I am glad that this book, "volume one" in the 10-volume series, is now published. It is a fast-paced read, with articulate and interesting characters living in a truly complex world. If you are new to the series, start with this one and then read the previously-released "Throne Price" (volume 4, 2003) which raises the bar a notch in terms of intrigue and inter-cultural tensions. A finely-crafted series, looking forward to future installments!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Waiting with Anticipation for the Next Book Jan. 7 2006
Format:Paperback
This is a fascinating new world of rich, complex characters, relationships and cultural conflicts! I love how Lynda has chosen to grapple with difficult social issues by presenting them through a "safe" distant world.....
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4.0 out of 5 stars the courtesan prince Oct. 20 2005
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Lynda William's Courtesan Prince is a good example of her ability to write within a world of shifting complexity. It's also an example of her excellent ability to create that complex world in the first place. If you ever thought the world should settle its disagreements by fighting with swords, then this is the world for you. Reminiscent, in its own way, of Dune. Well written. Engaging.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Imagine a far future ... June 9 2011
Format:Paperback
Imagine a far future where two separate colonies from Earth, one genetically-modified, jump through deep space to begin visiting each other's worlds after evolving in isolation for thousands of years. The genetically-enhanced Sevolite culture of Gelion is class-conscious, flamboyant, and prone to bloody infighting, while the Reetion culture of Rire is casual and unpretentious. We experience the strangeness each culture feels toward the other through the characters' eyes and thoughts, and understand the reasons behind their mistrust and misconceptions.

This is the background for the life-and-death struggle to capture Amel, a young man from Gelion raised as a courtesan in a society that has no shame regarding sex as long as it is heterosexual, who is discovered to be the lost Prince of the Sevolites. It is also the story of the romance between him and Ann of Rire, a Reetion space pilot, and the story of Di Mon, a Sevolite nobleman who finds his physical, intellectual and spiritual soul mate in another man, a Reetion anthropologist named Ranar who is studying the people of Gelion. Lynda Williams uses this fantastical setting to explore societal taboos and the strength of human character in adverse situations. One also senses that Lynda Williams had fun writing this novel, as she depicts the characters' bold actions and reactions, their thrusting and parrying as they act on their motivations. At the end you don't want to say good bye to Amel and Ann, Di Mon and Ranar ' you want to follow them through the rest of their lives. And the good news is you can! This is only volume one of a 10-volume series.
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