In an age a thousand years after humanity has discovered time-travel technology in the remains of an ancient alien civilization....
Twins, Princes Leonidas and Calanus, are born to the Emperor Ptolemy and Queen Eugenia. Their mother dies in childbirth, and the twins are separated when Calanus is kidnapped by a radical group whose leader is known only as The Stranger.
On the same day an elderly scholar named Nur'ed'Din hides a mysterious box within the walls of his crumbling house; moments later he is murdered by soldiers searching for the box and its secrets. The box remains hidden, awaiting a time of awakening.
A hostile alien race, called the Rifters, threatens mankind with destruction: every hundred years a fleet of powerful alien warships attempt to enter humanity's territory on the edge of the Rift Nebula. It is feared a fleet greater than any seen before is gathering ready to crush humanity completely.
It is in this time that the boy Leonidas grows to become a man under the enlightened teachings of his tutor Theolon. Leonidas is tested by extraordinary events which shape, and prepare, him to lead mankind against ancient enemies; events which will alter the course of humanity's future forever....
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imaginative world building
There is a subtle connection between mythology and science fiction—and listening to the audiobook edition of THE SONG OF KINGS has brought it into focus. Describing an ancient world as well as a future universe both require a leap of imagination and the skill of world building. The future, as described by RJ Chance, is infused with names that resonate with histories, such as Emperor Ptolemy and Queen Eugenia. Even as you are swept away to witness heroic struggles, the past of this future world is ever present: “King Ptolemy would often stumble upon broken bones, sand scoured skulls; and every now and then a mummified body. With skin stretched upon their skeletons as thin as paper, but as hard as leather; kept preserved for all eternity in the dry conditions inside the trap.”
While humanity has branched out into the stars using warp drive, the basic urges and the struggle for power remain in place. It is against a very real prospect of death that three young princes—Calanus, Leonidas, and Ja’din—must survive, and as they find ways to overcome obstacles, their actions have far reaching affects, influencing the galaxy’s future forever.
The audio narrator, Don Warrick, goes out of the skin of one character and into the skin of another with quick, nimble leaps. Through a variety of accents we sense all the characters as they change, as they fight their way through the dramatic unfolding of this story. At the center of it all, amidst all the vocal contrasts, is his warm, intimate tone, the tone of a storyteller, singing the song of kings.