SKYFALL (4.5), the latest in Catherine Asaro's excellent Saga of the Skolian Empire, combines hard SF with evocative, personal storytelling. Beautiful stateswoman Roca is trying to get home before her son can start an interstellar war when she is stranded by a storm with Eldri, a provincial ruler, on a primitive planet. Linked by a strong empathy, Eldri and Roca fall in love, but imperial politics and the warlord Kurj—Roca's son—threaten to tear them apart. Asaro's saga merges sweeping space opera, military fiction and exhilarating romance. Impeccable world-building, flawless plotting, intriguing characters—there is not a fault to find with this book. SKYFALL is a gift to established fans and the perfect chance for new readers to become addicted to Asaro's unique brand of storytelling. (Oct., 304 pp., $24.95)

Reviewed by: 
Jen Talley Exum