Published in 2005, this is the fourth book in Anderson's long running 'Saga of the Seven Suns' series. To truly understand the work, one needs to have read the previous three but it does work as a stand alone novel. Scattered Suns is written along the lines of a Sci Fi soap opera and technology or 'weird sciences' are not the centre of attention. Its plot centres around the people in the story and the trials they must endure, which are numerous. Love stories, pain and incredible feats of skill abound within the text making it a book that is very difficult to put down once started. Each Chapter links almost seamlessly into the next and the prose is exceptionally well written. On reading this work, one feels that they are part of the story to the point they actually start to think of possible scenarios and answers to the problems posed on the pages whilst going through normal everyday life!
To attempt to explain a story of this complexity would be futile, but it centres around a number of key characters - The charismatic and potentially dangerous Chairman Basil Wenceslas, leader of the Terran Hanseatic league. Cesca Peroni - Leader of the Roamer Clan and Jora'h, the recently crowned leader of the Ildiran Empire. Essentially, these three key members hold the power within the novel and it is these who send the story on its inumerable twists and turns. Add to this at least three intertwined love stories plus three groups of hostile aliens and the complex nature of this work becomes apparent. As is normal in this type of work, the main plot line centres around a power struggle between the three main characters and the lengths that they are prepared to go to to achieve their aims.
A beautifully written book where time has been spent on characters and detail. As previously mentioned, it is the fourth in the series and one feels that time should be spent on the previous three to fully appreciate the story.
The three previous works are - 1) Hidden Empire
, 2) A Forest of Stars
, 3) Horizon Storms.