Title: The Solar Realm: The Silver Slayer
Author: P M Black
Publisher: Self published
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction
First Publication: 2021
Book Summary: The Solar Realm by P M Black
Empress Saltome, sovereign of the eight planets, has been captured through an act of betrayal by blood-thirsty demons who plan to make the billions under her rule their personal livestock.
Hope for the survival of her people lies in Kora, an infamous assassin and loyal protector of the Empress who evaded capture with the Imperial Orb, the source of the Empress’ power. Kora is charged to deliver the orb and protect seventeen-year-old Jenanine Blackwater, the secret heir apparent of the realm and, outside of the Empress, the sole individual with the ability to wield the orb’s power.
Growing up in a hidden palace kingdom void of the racial hate plaguing her two largest neighbors, Jeanine can’t wait to begin her training as Empress. She wants to bring peace and well-being throughout The Eight while wearing the most fabulous dresses and hosting the most lavish balls.
When Kora crash lands on their planet, she brings with her a league of demons and assassins hunting to destroy the Imperial Orb. The fate of The Eight now rests on a small band of warriors and a wide-eyed, young girl who has never left the hidden valley of her home. But what will happen when the few allies Jenanine has turn out to be her biggest threat?
Book Review: The Solar Realm by P M Black
The Solar Realm is an intelligent and well-crafted engrossing science fiction story that combines amazing worldbuilding with the political intrigue and mystery, and a fascinating exploration of the culture clashes and colonialism experience. The story follows two main characters – an inexperienced daughter of an empress who became the sole heir unexpectedly and the Empress’s loyal protector and notorious assassin.
Blood-thirsty demons have taken control of the world’s sovereign and captured Empress Saltome through a betrayal. They plan to exploit the billions under Saltome’s rule as their personal livestock. Kora, a notorious assassin and loyal protector of the Empress, evaded capture with the Imperial Orb, the source of the Empress’ power, and provides hope for the survival of her people. Kora was tasked with protecting Jenanine Blackwater, the secret heir apparent to the realm and the only person in the entire realm who could wield the power of the orb.
Since Jeanine grew up in a palace kingdom free of the racial prejudices that was plaguing her two biggest neighbors, she can’t wait to begin learning about the responsibilities of her new title. Her vision is to bring peace and harmony to The Eight while wearing the finest dresses and hosting the lavishest balls. Upon crash landing on their planet, Kora has an army of demons and assassins in pursuit of the Imperial Orb. As a result of this, The fate of The Eight now rests in the hands of a small group of warriors and a young girl who has never stepped out of her hidden valley.
Written with finesse, The Solar Realm didn’t feel like a debut effort at all. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have guessed this is a debut if I haven’t checked about the author. The prose was so vivid, engaging, and easy to follow despite a myriad of terminologies and unique names to remember. The Solar Realm is one of the cleverest sci-fi debuts I’ve read. Most impressive is PM Black’s ability to deliver a lot of action, background, exposition and character through dialogue.
I liked the way that author built up the different conflicts from the potential collapse of the empire to issues with the Imperial Orb. What author builds over the course of the story is the very human conflict between the different countries. PM Black has created a bunch of characters that are easy to understand, unique, adventurous and awesome. Kora is one of my favourite female characters ever. She’s tough and takes no nonsense from anyone and was the highlight of the book for me.
From my experience so far, the world-building in sci-fi/space opera rarely reach the intricacy that can easily be found in epic fantasy. However, The Solar Realm amazed my vision and imagination with its super detailed world-building, and its seamless integration into every aspect of the book. Technology, culture, legacy, language, citizen’s behavior, crisis, and history, they were all written impeccably. After all, what distinguishes this space opera is not just its memorable and extremely likable characters, but also how smoothly it transitions from daily conversations to intense space battles, awkward situations to complex political scheming, and from wry humor to sudden tragedy.
It was hard for me to believe that it was PM Black’s debut novel. It just feels like the work of more seasoned, more experienced – which bodes very well for her future books. She balances all the themes and threads with skill. Her worldbuilding is complex and elaborate, yet stays over from over-exposition. The book proceeds at the measured pace with an adrenaline-fueled ride which is very interesting in the space opera. If you love sci-fi books or space opera books involving different cultures, then you should pick this book up. It’s just the type of book that will capture your imagination while also treating you to a fun and entertaining story in the process.