The first book in the Dancer series, published in 1982.
She is Rheba, the sole survivor of a blaze that destroyed her planet – harnessing energy with her body and dazzling men with her glittering sensuality. He is Kirtn, the Bre’n warrior sworn to protect the exquisite fire dancer as they embark on a perilous journey to a far-off planet … where there is no danger greater than losing each other – and no rapture stronger than daring to love …
When Rheba was 15, the young Senyas firedancer and her mentor and protector Kirtn, a Bre’n warrior, barely managed to escape the destruction of their home planet. Rheba is still learning how to control and use her magic, and Kirtn is the only one left to help and guide her. Usually, both their parents would have helped. It is tradition to pair a Senyas dancer (fire, water, earth or wind) with a Bre’n warrior. The Bre’n are usually older then their dancer, and trained to help them and withstand a lot of pain.
They don’t want to believe they are the only ones to have survived their planets destruction by their sun, and are searching for others. A clue leads them to a planet and a man, Jal trader. Rheba beats him at a game of Chaos, and Jal will be her slave for 3 weeks. Instead, Jal betrays them and sells them as slaves on his home planet. They will have to survive a lot of creatures and then impress the Imperial Twins with an Act.
What follows, is a really fantastic tale, not only of the many different species and creatures, but also of Rheba learning her magic, and becoming an adult way too fast. The bond between Senyas Dancer and Bre’n Warrior is not only that of mentor and pupil, they are meant to be lovers as well, but Rheba is too young to handle Bre’n rex.
But I have to warn you, there are some gruesome scenes in this book. Horrible things do happen while they are on their way to the supposedly safe center of Loo-chim Fold.
I seem to be drawn to older books the last days, and I am not sorry to have picked up this 30 year old one. It is pure science fiction, with space travel and lots of different races. Ann Maxwell has built a great universe, with characters you really have to fall for.
I liked Rheba, even though she has to learn a lot, she is not young in her manners. She is confident, and does what needs to be done, and in the process, tries to safe as many other slaves as she can. She is their leader.
And Kirtn is strong, but he lets Rheba make the choices. What was interesting, is that Rheba belongs to a smooth humanoid race, and Kirtn is a so called furry. And socializing between smoothies and furries is severely frowned upon. Furries are looked at as being animals, even though they are intelligent and talk and everything.
When they do find an other pairing, an older Bre’n female and a very young Senyas waterdancer, they are very happy, but they will have to escape first. Still, there is a small hope they will be able to rebuild their races, and perhaps find more.
I am really looking forward to reading the rest of this series. The age of the book does not make it less good, that is the fun of science fiction. It doesn’t really age.
Warning This is a three book series, and it will never be finished. After book three, there is no closure, you really do expect more books. Both for the storyline, and for the personal relationship. Still, I really enjoyed reading them.