- File Size: 4076 KB
- Print Length: 248 pages
- Publisher: Solstice Shadows (August 28, 2013)
- Language: English
As new writers continue to emerge and earn recognition in the eyes of fandom, it is no coincidence that many of them find their work reviewed here at Amazing Stories. But sometimes the deserving looks can come from within our own ranks. Mark Iles is an established author who also happens to be a member of our review team, and this week we take a look at his science fiction novel A Pride of Lions from Solstice Publishing.
It’s over 700 years in the future. After the failed assassination attempt of a ruthless queen which included the death of two members of her guard, young Selena Dillon and her five male comrades are given a choice. They can either serve a twenty-five year term as a member of the feared military force known as the Penal Regiment or they can accept execution. Though the others chose to die in martyrdom, Selena decides to bide her time in the dangerous ranks as a soldier with hopes of eventually getting revenge on the queen.
Once in the service, Selena finds herself nicely suited nicely for the role of soldier and quickly becomes a successful leader. The harsh training in the violent art of warfare comes into play as an alien force begins tearing through the galaxy and the future of humanity rests in the hands of Selena and her fellow warriors.
A Pride of Lions begins with the obvious emotion of a revenge story as an adolescent Selena reflects on the death of her mother at the hands of the evil queen. But once she becomes comfortable in the horrific world of the Penal Regiment, the story shifts to a complex adventure with the violent reality of war. Readers may take heed to not become too attached to the characters because true to life, death can come quickly to the good as well as the evil.
It should also be noted that the fast pace of the story does not take away from the development of Selena’s character. Her growth and maturity evolves concurrently with each new character she encounters and her abrasive hardness becomes the necessary armor she needs for survival in such a macabre environment. Readers will see her confidence build as she rises through the ranks and by the last page, a powerful hero emerges.
A Pride of Lions is the first book in the complex Darkening Stars Trilogy by Mark Iles and it will be interesting to see how the author completes the journey in just three installments. This is an action filled story with unforgiving realism where nobody is safe and the future of mankind rests in the hands of one determined woman with an agenda. It will be interesting to see how this turns out.