bronze skiesAfter I finished this novel, staying up until past midnight on a work night, I posted a complaint on Facebook. Not about this novel, but about how I had over 100 more books on my “to be read” shelf, but all I really wanted to do is go back and re-read everything else in Catherine Asaro’s Skolian Empire series.

Despite the fact that I write in a different genre, it’s safe to say that the space opera universe created in this book series is my favorite of all time. That this is my favorite author. That reading new stories set in this world is like wrapping myself in a cozy blanket and feeling very much at home. As a new addition, The Bronze Skies did not disappoint (see again staying up late to finish). 

While I loved that the first Major Bhaajan novel explored life outside of the complicated and dramatic Ruby Dynasty while sacrificing none of the intrigue and complexity that I adore about Asaro’s books, it was awesome to see worlds collide in this follow-up novel.

There’s not a lot I can say about the plot and story line without giving away moments that I’d rather readers discover for themselves. Instead, I can safely say that Major Bhaajan continues to be a well-developed character that is just different enough from Sauscony Valdoria of previous Skolian Empires series to show Asaro’s depth of character creation while also remaining a fantastic example of what a strong female character can be without falling into tired tropes.

A major strength of the Skolian Empire series is how Asaro’s scientific expertise helps breath realism into the fantastical world(s) she has created. However, this newest addition is also a major credit to Asaro’s ability to use anthropology to the same effect. World-building on a massive space opera scale is almost easy, because a light brush can say so much when letting the readers fill in the blanks themselves — world-building a tiny portion of a specific culture and having it be an inextricable element of the narrative is a major feat.

As always, I can’t wait for my next visit to this world. Even if it means revisiting old friends and re-reading the series because I can’t wait until another new book is written.

Editing note: Obviously this has no effect on my rating, but I was incredibly disappointed with how many random proofing errors the text of my hardcopy contained. Baen should do better by one of their best authors.

Rating: 5 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

Currently reading: The Shattered Visage Lies by Brian Koscienski & Chris Pisano