Empress of a Thousand Skies

Rhoda Belleza. Razorbill, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-10199-910-3
Sixteen-year-old Crown Princess Rhiannon “Rhee” Ta’an is the Rose of the Galaxy, the only survivor of a crash that killed her parents and sister. Rhee is out for revenge, certain that Crown Regent Andres Seotra betrayed her family and plots to take over the throne. When Rhee is attacked by someone she trusts on the eve of her coronation, a Fontisian named Dahlen comes to her aid, but his motives are suspect. Meanwhile, 17-year-old reality star Alyosha Myraz and his best friend Vincent, who track renegade ships and poachers, are thrust into the wrong kind of spotlight when Alyosha is accused of Rhee’s assassination. When Rhee discovers a plot to hijack people’s cubes (which record memory and allow instant memory playback), her plans for revenge take a backseat to new concerns. Rhee and Alyosha are compelling characters, and the back-and-forth between their story lines keeps the pace fast; explorations of family, identity, and the power of memory are punctuated by exciting action scenes. Fans of calculating political maneuvering and expansive, interplanetary plots will find much to enjoy in Belleza’s Firefly-esque debut. Ages 12–up. Agent: Stephen Barbara, Inkwell Management. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/12/2016
Release date: 02/07/2017
Genre: Children's
Compact Disc - 978-1-5247-5090-9
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-1-101-99911-0
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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