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The Quantum Rose [Mass Market Paperback]

Catherine Asaro
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb. 18 2002 Saga of the Skolian Empire (Book 6)
A New Adventure in the Saga of the Skolian Empire.

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.

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From Amazon

The beautiful young noblewoman Kamoj Quanta Argali rules a declining province on a distant planet that has lost the high technology of its original colonists. To save her people, Kamoj has contracted to marry Jax Ironbridge, the moody, unpredictable ruler of a prosperous land. Then a mysterious stranger from another world proposes a marriage that neither honor nor law will allow Kamoj to refuse.

The Quantum Rose is the sixth novel in the acclaimed Saga of the Skolian Empire, following the novels Primary Inversion, Catch the Lightning, The Last Hawk, The Radiant Seas, and Ascendant Sun. This intelligent, entertaining series combines space opera, hard SF, future history, military SF, and romance in a rare and potent blend. The Quantum Rose is an interplanetary adventure, but the space-opera and hard-SF elements are less prominent, as the plot focuses on a compelling and complicated love triangle, the clash of very different cultures, and an approach to war that SF has almost never considered.

A Nebula Award finalist, Catherine Asaro has won the Analog Readers' Poll, the Sapphire Award, and the Homer Award. In addition to the Saga of the Skolian Empire, she has written the near-future SF novels The Veiled Web and The Phoenix Code. --Cynthia Ward --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

The sixth volume in the Saga of the Skolian Empire (Primary Inversion; The Radiant Seas; etc.) is a freestanding page-turner as a romance, with a hard science framework. It begins in an idyllic forest bathing pool on the backwater world of Balumil. Kamoj Quanta Argali, attractive young female governor of a poor province with decaying traces of millennia-old technology, notices the mysterious off-worlder, Havyrl Lionstar, watching her dress. Retreating in consternation, she also attempts to hide fromDand thus offendsDher lifelong fianc , Jax Ironbridge, overbearing governor of a wealthier neighboring province. Soon Havyrl (brother of previous protagonists in the series) blunders into outbidding Jax for marriage with Kamoj. Jax objects violently and reclaims Kamoj by force, puzzling the off-worlder, whose presence by then is entangling the provincial governors in the imperial politics of the wider universe. The gender-role elaboration in the maneuvers that follow will seem overdetailed to some readers, but fascinating to others. To Havyrl and his staff, Balumil is a rediscovered colony; hence they spend a lot of time explaining to Kamoj the significance of the quasimagical remnants of technology in her culture. Desperate for clues to understanding the wider universe as her planet's isolation ends, Kamoj proves to be as brainy as she is beautiful. Agent, Eleanor Wood of Spectrum. (Dec. 18)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
By A. Ryan
Format:Mass Market Paperback
"...a science fiction author who is not only a talented writer but an accomplist scientist"; "A deeply romantic novel set in space that was also an allegory for quantum physics..."; and "Wow, what a fabulous story!" I had heard so many wonderful things about the Skolian Empire Saga (and its brilliant author) that I just had to give The Quantum Rose a try.
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Romance Meets Science Fiction, and Sci-Fi Wins Nov. 5 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When I heard that Catherine Asaro's The Quantum Rose had won the 2001 Nebula Award for best novel my first reaction was, who is that? After reading The Quantum Rose my reaction was, why had I not heard of her sooner. The Quantum Rose is a well-crafted story that works on several levels. At first glance it is a cross between a romance and a science-fiction novel. But ignore the awful cover and plough through the first few chapters. The story delves into the interplay between personalities and how social and economic forces can influence people. It also deals with abuse and its consequences, which makes this book tough slogging in parts. Not because the book is badly written, but because the writing is good enough that the reader is drawn into the characters emotional problems. My one complaint with The Quantum Rose is that the romantic elements of the book feel like they were taken from a drugstore romance novel. This is not surprising since Catherine Asaro has written several dugstore romances, but it does weaken the book since I found myself skimming these sections. The author includes an appendix where she explains the novel in terms of quantum scattering theory. This was amusing, and fairly clever, but it is almost meaningless to anyone who has not taken an advanced class in quantum mechanics. Ms Asaro's physics are correct, and the structure of th metaphor works very well, but unless if you are intimately familiar with the details of scattering theory you will just be taking her word for it. Fortunately the metaphor works even if it is not explained, which is the hallmark of a good mataphor, so I suggest skipping this appendix and simply enjoying the story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Boy, Did This Break My Fiction Doldrums! June 4 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Thank you Catherine Asaro for breaking my doldrums in fiction reading. I've been deploring the scarcity of good novels in the romance genre and many books in the sci-fi-fantasy genre are just too weird to work as an alternate genre. Thankfully, this isn't weird. I also loved Asaro's "Veiled Web" which was not a Skolian Empire book. This one is a Skolian book and it is my first of those. That I am reading them out of order seems to make no difference. Asaro grabs me right from the beginning by introducing me to the heroine, who seems to be right out of a medieval novel and consigned to living in a culture that is that primitive. But lo and behold, she lives in the future and the man who rents a palace from her on her world is from an advanced culture that's knowledge is way ahead of where we are now. She marries this man in an arranged marriage, breaking her engagement to another who will give this couple lots of problems. Just one contrast between the two characters' worlds is that the medical treatment she is used to receiving is that of a medieval herbalist whereas the medical treatment he receives, from the doctor stationed with him, involves his skin regenerating over a wound in hours. Her culture is also very passive and seems on its way to extinction which his is not. Asaro's knowledge and training (PhD in hard science) pay off here big time as she can write very well layered fiction yet she is also able to pack emotion into page after page, something often missing from a male sci-fi author's work. A friend told me this just won the Nebula award and I'm not surprised. I am not a science person and she did not lose me with the science in her novel. There are many plot twists along the way but at heart this story never departs from being a love story about the two lead characters. I'm happy with that.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling!
Kamoj Argali is a young ruler, engaged to marry a brutal man who has the ability to help her impoverished people. Then a stranger arrives and changes everything. Read more
Published on Aug. 13 2003 by Holly Fuhrmann
2.0 out of 5 stars A Surprising Choice For A Nebula Award
I bought this book because I had heard it won a Nebula award, but I should have been forwarned by the blurbs that were not from SF sources but rather from the Romance Novel set. Read more
Published on Nov. 17 2002 by Peter M. Ravdin
3.0 out of 5 stars May be upsetting to sensitive readers
I thought that this book was well-crafted, but I didn't enjoy it. The main character, Kamoj, is abused by one of her lovers - I won't say which. Read more
Published on July 27 2002
3.0 out of 5 stars Could Be Better--But eventually I liked it
This was given to me as a birthday present by my best friend and after I read the first couple of pages I called her to say, "What did you give me! Read more
Published on April 3 2002 by Kate Byroade
2.0 out of 5 stars Writing level isn't professional, strangely.
I am a faithful Asaro fan who dutifully buys her hardbacks as soon as they come out. I expect to love her work, and so came to this book with high hopes. Read more
Published on April 3 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars A Scientific Romance
"The Quantum Rose" is another winner in Catherine Asaro's provocative and compelling "Skolian Empire" series. Read more
Published on March 28 2002 by lb136
4.0 out of 5 stars Not up to Ms. Asaro's usual standards.
I was somewhat disappointed in Ms. Asaro's "The Quantum Rose". I can't quite put my finger on it, but the story never really captured my attention as her previous novels... Read more
Published on July 21 2001 by L. Coltharp
5.0 out of 5 stars the saga continues...
I had the privelege of copyediting this book. I discovered Ms. Asaro when I was assigned her first book, Primary Inversion--the first time a book I worked on made me cry. Read more
Published on June 7 2001 by Honoria Winchester
4.0 out of 5 stars World-building aspects most interesting, good love story
The young ruler (Kamoj) of a desperately poor province is forced by societal traditions to marry a mysterious stranger (Vryl), who - we soon discover - is stranger than anyone on... Read more
Published on May 13 2001 by bookjunkiereviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Memorable
This is a thoughtful, quiet story that stays with you long after finishing. I always look forward to this author's special way with words, a way of writing that is lyrical,... Read more
Published on April 16 2001 by Helen Selmek
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