Amazon is full of science fiction novels split into short novellas across a larger series. So you’d be forgiven for overlooking the Siege of Praetar by David Kristoph. If you are a lover of dystopian science fiction this would be a mistake.
The story takes place on and around a desert planet that circles a dying star. If you read ‘on and around a desert planet’ and thought immediately thought of Dune, I wouldn’t blame you. There is definitely a whiff of the Frank Herbert classic in Siege of Praetor, but this work is far from derivative and certainly stands on its own two feet.
The story is told through the viewpoints’ of three tangentially connected characters. This both gives the reader a broad view of the siege and the galaxy in which it takes place and makes the story seem personal and character driven. This is a great way to build a science fiction world without wasting words or needless exposition.
The most interesting viewpoint is perhaps that of the first narrator: Hykan. Hykan is a member of an underrepresented class of people in science fiction. The middle management of ‘evil’ empires. Hykan is far from a sympathetic character but appears to be quite the model citizen as far as his warped society goes. Characters in these positions are most often overlooked in fiction. Their only purpose in a story is being crushed by their superiors or shot by the ‘good’ guys. To open a novel from such a viewpoint is a bold move that pays off.
What marks the Siege of Praetar out as a good read is that it manages to introduce a host of interesting characters and build a realistic world without ever becoming overly verbose. This is the sign of a quality writer, so fans of science fiction literature should seriously consider taking a look at David Kristoph’s work.
Sound good? What to do next
If the Siege of Praetar is something you would like to read then you should probably check it out on Amazon.
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We write a lot about books here on Stranger Views, and you can find all of these posts here. These posts are largely split between book reviews and analysis of classic science fiction. The book reviews tend to be of works by self-published/independent authors, so if you have any suggestions of who we should review next please get in touch.