cover image The Bronze Skies

The Bronze Skies

Catherine Asaro. Baen, $16 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-4814-8258-5

In this riveting sequel to Undercity, series heroine Bhaajan, the retired major of the Pharaoh’s Army within the interstellar Skolian Empire, returns in her capacity as an investigator for the noble House of Majda. As the Majda’s only real link to the underground slum called the Undercity, Bhaajan is sent to locate Calaj, an elite soldier thought to be hiding there. The world is rich and vivid, with two distinct cultures in the Undercity and the aboveground City of Cries. The story includes a number of minor plot threads, mostly regarding the bridge Bhaajan hopes to build between the cities, that feel enriching rather than distracting. Even while Bhaajan conducts her investigation for the Majdas, she continues to live her life and work on personal projects—such as the martial arts training of some of the Undercity’s young people and guiding a good friend through a bureaucratic tangle. Bhaajan’s unique access to both cultures may be the only hope for saving not only the people of her planet, Raylicon, but the entirety of the empire. Not just for fans of Asaro’s Skolian Saga, this exciting novel stands alone for anyone who enjoys science fiction adventure. (Sept.)