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Title: A Thousand Words for Stranger
Series: Trade Pact #1, Clan Chronicles #4
Author: Julie Czerneda
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Format: Digital Edition
A young woman comes to consciousness without her memory but with something inside insisting she get to the spaceport and get off whatever world she is on. After several mishaps, kidnapping by slavers being one, she gets on board Jason Morgan’s ship and signs on as a crew. Without her memory, Jason chooses the name Sira Morgan for her.
What Sira doesn’t know is that The Clan, a race of humanoids with telepathic powers, has contacted and contracted Jason to bring Sira to a particular destination. Morgan has had dealings with the Clan before and even though fully human has some small telepathic power himself. Due to his previous dealings, Morgan doesn’t feel it is safe to deliver Sira to anyone, so he keeps an eye on her and reveals what little he knows to Sira.
Sira is captured by a rogue Clan member who wants to marry her, mind wipe her and then impregnate her so his offspring will have her ultrapowerful Clan power. Morgan rescues her and brings Sira’s sister and guardian into the picture. They deliver Sira to the Clan Elders and Sira’s father reveals that everything was all according to Sira’s own plan and that Sira Morgan will die when Sira di Sarc regains her memory. Sira Morgan has fallen in love with Jason and he with her. He comes up with a plan to rescue her but Sira recovers her memories and realizes everything, even her own plans, were a ruse by her father to brainwipe her and use her like an auction piece to gain power for his own House.
Somehow Sira and Morgan escape without alerting any of the Clan that Sira has recovered her memory but not reverted back to Sira di Sarc. She and Morgan are now on the run and just one mis-step away from disaster and annihilation.
For some time I was on a real kick with the Liaden Universe books by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. I had to stop reading them due to some of the moral content but I enjoyed them as they scratched that Jane Austen in Space itch that I had but didn’t know I had until I read those books. This book had that exact same vibe. So much so that I went and did a little investigating, thinking that maybe Czerneda had got the idea from the other duo. Turns out this book came out the year BEFORE any of the Liaden books came out (as far as I can tell).
So to set the stage, this IS a romance book. However, unlike that horrible, horrible woman Lindsay Buroker, this is definitely more Austinesque in the romance. It is NOT about beating hearts, or smoldering glances, or tight pants or revealing of various body parts. Nor is it like a Janette Oak book that is nothing but feelings dumped like a hogshead of maple syrup all over the reader. In other words, this is romance that I, the manliest man I happen to know, like. Considering that someone once asked me if it was true that I beat Chuck Norris at Arm Wrestling, I think I’m pretty bleeping manly!
There were times I was a bit frustrated with Sira’s memory loss and how she reacted but that was strictly because I had more information than she did. It’s always easier to tell somebody what to do when you have more information than them. The other thing that left me a bit confuzzled was just WHAT the Clan actually is. It is never spelled out and little hints are given here and there about their history. Knowing, or not, doesn’t affect the story as far as I can tell, just one of those things that I as a reader “want”.
When I started this I was not sure what I was going to get. Thankfully, the book and I hit it off right from the start and I enjoyed my time reading this. Looking forward to the rest of the trilogy. There is a prequel trilogy, the Clan Chronicles but since they were published AFTER this Trade Pact trilogy I plan on reading everything in publication order.
So remember, Telepathic Jane Austen, In Space and you should be good to go!