SPHERICAL HARMONIC, is quintessential Catherine Asaro. It is a complex narrative. Using the printed page for wave imagery, the mathematical influence is cunningly portrayed. Machiavellian plots surface in a tightly woven story of deception and rebirth. It is both fitting and very moving that Ms. Asaro dedicated this book to the memory of Melinda Helfer, who much enjoyed the Skolian novels.

This is the eighth installment in The Saga of the Skolian Empire. However, it overlaps events from earlier works in the series.

Now, the creator of the psiberweb becomes its destroyer when the Ruby Pharaoh Dyhianna Selei tries to materialize in psiberspace but is distracted by Traders when they kidnap her husband. The Radiance War has been fought with both sides claiming victory, but with the psiberweb gone, gathering intelligence is at a standstill. As Dehya tries to rebuild the web, she stretches her mind toward other planes of existence and hears voices. The Traders have a Lock and Key and could create their own web if she doesn't stop them.

(Nov., 512 pp., $27.95)

Reviewed by: 
Kelly Rae Cooper