A Quick Note of Apology: Before I get into my review, I’d just like to apologize to Bryan and any of the fans/readers who have been awaiting the next leg on The Worker Prince blog tour. I live out in the boonies, and have been on the phone with Verizon for 30 minutes after fussing and cussing my new MiFi and not being able to get an internet connection for more than a few minutes at a time for the past three hours! Imagine my embarrassment when I got the coolest and nicest tech to walk me through all kinds of cool things to get it optimized for my rural area, and whatnot. So, it was bad enough I had to wait until after my day job to post it already. All in all, this wasn’t professional and not “the way I roll” at all. I’m sorry guys. Hope you’re all still in the mood for a really good story by an insightful and creative writer.
This past week, or so, I’ve been reading Worker Prince by Bryan Thomas Schmidt to be prepared for the author’s blog tour push. I first volunteered for a spot in the tour a couple of months back. At the time, I only did it because it sounded like a fun way to help out. I really only knew Bryan from Twitter and his weekly chat sessions there. I have really enjoyed the atmosphere on his #sffwrtchat author spotlights and chat sessions. And the guy did help me come up with the term Slushpimp. So, I had to help out, didn’t I? The book blurb sounded solid, so I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed at the very least.
What if everything you thought you knew about yourself and the world turned out to be wrong?
For Davi Rhii, Prince of the Boralian people, that nightmare has become a reality. Freshly graduated from the prestigious Borali Military Academy, now he’s discovered he was secretly adopted and born a worker. Ancient enemies of the Boralians, enslaved now for generations, the workers of Vertullis live lives harder than Davi had ever imagined. To make matters worse, Davi’s discovered that the High Lord Councillor of the Alliance, his uncle Xalivar, is responsible for years of abuse and suppression against the workers Davi now knows as his own people.
His quest to rediscover himself brings him into conflict with Xalivar and his friends and family, calling into question his cultural values and assumptions, and putting in jeopardy all he’s worked for his whole life. Davi’s never felt more confused and alone. Will he stand and watch the workers face continued mistreatment or turn his back on his loved ones and fight for what’s right? Whatever he decides is sure to change his life forever.
See what I mean about not being disappointed?
The first volume in the <cite>Saga of Davi Rhii</cite> trilogy really draws the reader into a character-driven, fun science-fiction story with an organic religious overtone at its pulse. While some of the races found throughout the 13 planets which form Schmidt’s solar system have four arms, orange skin, or red eyes, the characters themselves are undoubtedly human in nature and action. We’re not all perfect. In fact, I can only name one who is. Keeping with greatest SF tradition, Schmidt uses this story of futuristic space travel to look at some of the imperfect decisions we’ve made as a race. Some of these darker subjects include racism, slavery, class-ism, war, and the general gaining of pleasure at the expense of others.
But the author also shows what we love about ourselves: the flip side to that darkness. The human soul has so much potential for forgiveness and love, acceptance and understanding. Faith, hope, and love. Worker Prince shows us a universe where what the government, our leaders, and even our families isn’t always right. Just because we were raised or trained to believe one doctrine doesn’t mean we cannot make our own decisions as to whether or not to continue down that path. This is the center turmoil, surrounding Davi Rhii.
All in all, I very much enjoyed coming home to this book. It was very refreshing to see the unapologetic religious overtones that directed the characters, namely Prince Rhii, throughout the book. It is something I’ve tried here and there and which Bryan pulls off brilliantly.
I give <cite>The Worker Prince</cite> 4.5 out of 5 stars.
For more on Bryan Thomas Schmidt, please check out his blog, here: http://www.bryanthomasschmidt.net/
You may also tweet with him, here: http://twitter.com/#!/BryanThomasS
And please, check out the next addition to the fun tour, right here: http://laurakreitzer.com/