Tales of a Dying Star, by David Kristoph


The supplies have been gathered, the passengers are boarded, and the mighty Olitau–the greatest ship ever built–is complete. But all Admiral Acteon can think about is the dead son before him, killed on a routine patrol above a planet far away. His legacy is surely shattered… until an unexpected visitor presents him with another option. An impossible option. On the planet’s surface stands a boy caught between two rivaling worlds. Without the proper Academy marks Charlie has no hope of becoming a pilot for the Empire. Yet the Children of Saria, the sun-worshiping religious cult, refuse to trust someone raised in the privileged inner city. Until a mission surfaces that only Charlie can complete. Is this his chance to prove his value, or will he remain loyal to the world he grew up in? Does the survival of civilization rest in the decision of one boy?


The Exodus is in shambles, the Fleet captured and crumbled. Commander Jayce leads the remnants of the Gold Wing back to the planet’s surface when an unexpected responsibility is thrust upon him. Will he step up to the challenge, or will the weight of duty crush him? Meanwhile, the Children’s forces march on Luccar, armed and prepared to attack the Empire and oust the false god’s heir. Although Katy has risked her life for the cause more than most, there are those who still doubt her resolve. Will they manage to topple the Empire, and can Katy prove her dedication in the process?

[Reviews: Book 1, Book 2 & Interview]

I’ve gotta say, I’m definitely a David Kristoph fan. We all knew what was going to happen in Sword of Blue because books one and two lead up it. Like The Ancillary, Sword of Blue chronicles one major event, and tells the story from several perspectives.

We learn a lot about the emperor, the empire, and the resistance against them. There is more about the society in the universe, and Sword of Blue fills in a lot of backstory I was curious about in books one and two.

I did notice the change in cover artists from the first two books. There is definitely a difference, but not so much that you cant tell it’s a series.
Like The Ancillary, I enjoyed Sword of Blue, and look forward to the finale in Drowned by Fire.

Drowned by Fire wraps up the events that transpired in Sword of Blue. The same alternating perspective appears, and some of the events from Sword of Blue are retold in that different perspective.

The ending will surprise some people. I was surprised, and I like it when that happens. The Children of Saria play a very important role in this book, and it’s a fun read from cover to cover.

I recommend the TOADS series to any sci-fi fan. Pick them up, you’ll be glad you did. I did see that the first book in the TOADS series has had its cover updated. Also, for you Kindle Unlimited subscribers, books 1 – 3 are free to you. If you’re a sic-fi fan, you’d better pick up this great series.

David Kristoph

David Kristoph lives with his wonderful wife and two not-quite German Shepherds. He’s a fantastic reader, great videogamer, good chess player, average cyclist, and mediocre runner. He writes mostly Science Fiction and Fantasy. Check out his work if you want to help pay for his beer.


About Mark Gardner

Mark Gardner lives in northern Arizona with his wife, three children and a pair of spoiled dogs. Mark holds a degrees in Computer Systems and Applications and Applied Human Behavior. View all posts by Mark Gardner

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