THE RUBY DICE
This newest novel in the Skolian series may be interesting for current fans but will fail to capture new readers. Asaro relies on backstory for nearly the first half of the book, rehashing history and making it hard to become involved. Unsympathetic characters also are hard to connect with.
Jaibriol, the young, untested emperor of the Eubian Concord, is not without his own secrets. Will centuries of cold war between the empires result in war or everlasting peace? (BAEN, Jan., 400 pp., $23.00)