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A matter of profit

by Hilari Bell


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School Library Journal :

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Gr 7 Up-The Vivitare are warriors-at least, the men are. Women have little power. Ahvren, 18, is a decent fighter, but dreads the thought of heading off to conquer another planet, while his foster sister, Sabri, who would actually make a brilliant warrior, dreads the thought of marrying the emperor's heir, who is weak and abusive. Ahvren and his father make a wager. If Ahvren can figure out who is behind the plot to assassinate the emperor, he will have a year to figure out what he wants to do with his life. He will also, he thinks, be able to convince the emperor to stop the wedding. It doesn't seem that difficult-obviously members of the conquered T'Chin Confederation are behind the plot. But there is something strange about this group. All but one of its 40 planets simply surrendered to the Vivitare. They are cowards--or are they? And what is the real difference between an informagoth (one who sells information) and a bibliogoth (one who figures out what information is needed, where to get it, and how to organize it)? As Ahvren learns more about the various species who make up the T'Chin Confederation, he also learns more about himself and his own people. This is well-written, thought-provoking, and exciting science fiction. It's got cool weapons and weird aliens, but it's also got some meat to it. Fans of "Star Trek" will find it just to their taste.-Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library

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