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Publisher's Summary

In a space-faring civilization where a single woman is increasingly disenfranchised, the star pilot Silence Leigh is defrauded from her inheritance by a greedy competitor. Forced to ally with two men, Silence is dragged into a deadly political struggle, and is tantalized by the hints of the legendary Earth, as well as the dread and the glory of Magi's power. Her dreams of having her own ship and of escape from the Hegemony's oppressions take on new direction and focus when she joins the crew of "The Sun-Treader".
©1985 Melissa Scott (P)2012 David Wilson
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By E. McKee on 05-01-14

Glad to see it in audio book

What did you love best about Five Twelfths of Heaven?

I read this story many years ago when it came out and loved it then. I was so glad to see it in audio book. It's even better in audio. I hope they release the other two books in the trilogy: Silence in Solitude and Empress of Earth.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By LarryB on 05-25-17

An epic story ruined by amateurish narration

The Empress of Earth trilogy, of which Five Twelfths of Heaven is the first volume, is one of my all time favorite reads. This production? Not so much. The narrator, Arielle DeLisle, has a very young-sounding voice and ends every sentence by accenting the penultimate syllable. Her weak timbre and rising pitch reduce every speech to a whine. Tragic. Regretfully, I cannot recommend it. But by all means, buy the book!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By M K D'israeli on 04-08-16

Feminist high adventure in space

From the very starting passage I fell in love with the story. Silence, the main character, is still just as captivating a character as she was thirty years ago when the book was published. A rare female pilot, she finds herself on a world (like many in this setting) in which women are treated as second class citizens, but determined to return to the life she loves - that of a pilot.

Whilst considered science fiction, the setting is one in which high technology has been limited and instead society is based on principles closer to what you might call magic. But it is ordered, studied and practiced in manners no different to any high science found in science fiction or conics. I found myself regularly listening to entire sections again purely to enjoy the deep descriptions of the science of the world Melissa Scott has built.


Throughout the book, the narration was excellent. Arielle speaks clearly and put a lot of feeling into the performance. Different characters and their emotions were always clear. Melissa Scott's character and place names were always very distinctive, and combined with Arielle's performance this meant I never felt lost or confused.

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