(AKA Trojan Horse for the Force Part II)
As promised, I went back after finishing DragonKnight and I've started Kathy Tyers' Firebird trilogy, starting with, appropriately enough, Firebird. Like I said before, this book is the reason I read Christian Sci-Fi/Fantasy at all. Simply put, this is one of the best.
Firebird is the story of Firebird Angelo, the third-born daughter of the ruling family of a planet called Netaia. Because of her position in her family, Firebird is what's known as a "wastling". She is a back-up heir for her mother, the queen of Netaia. Should anything happen to her two older sisters, Firebird would be able to assume the throne. But as soon as her older sister, Carradee, gives birth to her second daughter, Firebird's life is forfeit and she will be expected to die for Netaia. In Firebird's case, this death will come during an invasion of a planet called Veroh.
Firebird's plans, however, don't work out when she is captured by Veroh's defenders, members of the Federacy, a galaxy-spanning government. More specifically, she's captured by Brennen Caldwell, an ace pilot on the fast track to the High Command of the Federacy. Brennen is also a Sentinel, a member of an ancient and somewhat secretive religious order. Brennen surprises Firebird by not only treating her with great dignity and respect, but by insisting that she not throw her life away for Netaia. Why would he do that?
Well, you're gonna need to read the book to find out!
The one thing I noticed during this second re-reading is how closely parallel some of the concepts of this story are to another epic space opera set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. The Sentinels especially sound like Christianized Jedi more than once. But that's not necessarily a bad thing; it gives readers a "point of contact" that allows them to slip into the story a bit easier. They're dealing with familiar concepts with a not-so-subtle twist. Hence my "Trojan Horse for the Force" comment.
Tyers does a marvelous job working with this story and she really captures the emotional content of Firebird's journey from death to new life. You won't be disappointed with this one.
As for me, now it's on to the next book, Fusion Fire.