Review - By Imperial Decree by Angel Martinez

book cover

By Imperial Decree

by Angel Martinez

My rating:

Tags: Science Fiction ESTO Universe

Posted in Book Reviews on April 19, 2021

Marsh is effectively the master mechanic for Bremen Station. He's the guy they call when just about anything breaks down. It keeps things interesting, but sadly that's the only part of his life that has any activity. Although he gets along well with just about everyone, for the most part, his only social interaction outside of work is an on-line book club where he shares opinions with a few anonymous regulars. Things begin to change quickly when a mysterious ship is bought into the station's docks and Marsh is given the task of getting it open. Not only does he accomplish that, but he finds a life pod with a body that turns out to be Prince Shiro of the Altairian royal court. Shiro is sort of on the run, and in need of a true friend, but can there really be anything more between a prince and an everyday mechanic?

“By Imperial Decree” is part of the author's ESTO Universe stories, a collection of effectively unrelated books set in the same distant future where humans have spread across the galaxy and formed various alliances. You can read the books in any order or even skip ones that don't appeal. This book was originally published a while ago but has been republished as of November 2020.

Marsh is a very relate-able everyman. He's good at his job, and he doesn't let a disability hold him back. Having been raised in the egalitarian society of the station, Marsh doesn't know how to treat someone like the Prince, and they quickly settle into dealing with each other on the same level, which is just what Shiro needs and wants.

Shiro is a surprisingly down to earth royal. We get a rather good picture of him as a bit of a misfit in a family of high achievers. Although, the young prince definitely has talents. They just aren't the kind that the rest of his family has, and aren't necessarily what society expects of royals.

In addition to the two main protagonists, there's a nice set of supporting characters, like Marsh's moms, with enough interactions to get an idea of their personalities. This rich background of characters makes the story much more believable than romances that focus everything on the two main characters.

“By Imperial Decree” is available from Amazon.

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