|Submitted by Michael Dennis|
(Aug 11, 2000)
The Lost King is the first book of Margaret Weis' "Star of the Guardians" trilogy. In this novel, Weis recounts mankind's continual struggle with the most appropriate form of government: republic or monarchy.
The galaxy has survived a short "reign of terror" where the monarchy is overthrown, the ruling class annihilated, and a president (and would-be dictator, named appropriately Peter Robes) installed.
In the previous regime, genetically enhanced humans called Guardians are trained to power to protect and preserve the galaxy and monarchy. One of their own betrays his king and country to remove the weak monarchy. Now, decades later, disenchanted with the new rule of law, he searches for the scion of the royal house to be used for his own puppet rule.
Weis has constructed a believable political web. All of her "evil" characters have rationales for their actions and believe that they are doing good. They are so convincing that I couldn't decide whether I wanted them to fail or not.
Look for some interesting technological/biological weapons such as the Guardians' "bloodsword" which has five needles in the hilt. When grasping the hilt, the needles break the skin and a specialized virus is injected into the wielder's bloodstream. If the swordbearer is not a Guardian, he/she dies soon after. Else, the Guardian receives enhanced abilities and shielding.
Although I haven't yet read books 2 & 3 (King's Test and King's Sacrifice), this was a very strong start to the story.
Only difficulty is finding the books as they have been out of print for several years. Most difficult to locate was book two.