When you have Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin giving praise about this book, it got my attention. The High Ground – The Imperials Saga is the first book in an epic science-fiction trilogy by author Melinda Snodgrass. The heart of the story, a handsome lower-class boy Thracius Belmanor aka Tracy working his way up the class-system falls in love with Princess Mercedes Adalina Saturnina Inez de Arango. It’s mix of BBC drama and a Kdrama love triangle set in outer space worlds.
By year 2100s the Earth is mostly uninhabitable and humans have conquered other worlds in galaxies far away. In Gene Roddenberry’s Star Trek when Warp engine technology was discovered it was about the search of new worlds and exploration, but here in this universe, when Fold technology is discovered, humans created a backward class-system hierarchy to control the galaxy and subjugated all the aliens they have conquered like the Haijin, Isanjo and Cara’ot races into “servants”. The Imperial Family, the father and king Fernan Marcus Serverino Beltran de Arango has a dilemma on his hands. His 5 wives only gave him daughters and no sons to inherit the throne. He wants his eldest daughter Mercedes to inherit the kingdom. The Princess has other plans like attending the military school – The High Ground. She will be the first woman admitted to school on a large city-port space station. On the other side, is Tracy whose father is tailor to the “rich” and while Tracy wants none of the class system BS, he is “forced” to go to the High Ground military school.
During the course of the school year, we find that outside forces are trying to undermine the King’s leadership and Mercedes attendance at the High Ground. Tracy and the Princess relationship grows over the months. Tracy foils a plot by terrorist to capture Mercedes on the space station. In the end, Tracy and his cadets become heroes, while the Princess delivers a heartbreaking message to Tracy that she will marry somebody else.
I have to say, I was a little overwhelmed when I flipped through the first couple of pages, and saw a list of 40-plus characters. I was like great, a bunch of characters I have to remember when reading this, but it was fine. Author Melinda Snodgrass does a wonderful job of easing the reader into this world and universe of characters. The author also takes time to explain the class system, the origins, and of course the aliens. I definitely would like to try some Isanjo spicy food in Pony Town. I can’t wait to see what happens to Tracy and Princess in the next book. If you like Downton Abbey/Sense & Sensiblity drama with a mix of science-fiction action, then I suggest reading Melinda Snodgrass’ The High Ground.
Paperback Title: The High Ground – The Imperials Saga
Author: Melinda Snodgrass
Publisher: Titan Books