The Worker Prince by Bryan Thomas Schmidt

Davi Rhii is a prince of the Boralian people and a newly-minted military officer, but he’s about to find he’s much more than that. After discovering his roots as the son of Workers (people on another world enslaved by the Boralians), he is forced to decide to which side to support–and is drawn into a solar-system-spanning battle for freedom. Along the way, he has to face down his own entrenched cultural assumptions, and finds a new faith by embracing the one God of the Workers.

Bryan Thomas Schmidt’s debut novel is a fast-paced and deftly-told space opera adventure set in a well-envisoned political and social environment. It is classic space adventure in all the right ways, with plenty of action, twists, and characters with emotional depth. (It also has one reversal of a ‘classic’ trope that I liked–instead of the main character starting as a worker and discovering he’s really a prince, it’s the other way around.) Schmidt also pulls off the tricky task of incorporating religion into his story without alienating non-religious readers; it is plainly expressed but never ‘preachy.’ I very much enjoyed the tale, and look forward to further volumes in the series.

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Gary W. Olson is the author of the dark fantasy novel Brutal Light and several previously published and forthcoming short stories. He can be found via his website, his blog A Taste of Strange, as @gwox on Twitter, and in many other far-flung places on the Internet.