From American science fiction and fantasy author Catherine Asaro, the Saga of the Skolian Empire is an epic space series mixing elements of romance with hard science fiction.
As the title suggests, the Saga of the Skolian Empire is about characters from the interstellar Skolian Empire. They are caught in a multigenerational power struggle with the rival Eubian Concord. Political intrigues, science, romance, and military conflict are at the center of their world, affected by supraluminal space travel.
How to read the Saga of the Skolian Empire Series in Order?
In the Saga of the Skolian Empire, the stories were published in a non-chronological sequence, from the perspective of the characters. There are two ways to read them.
Reading the Saga of the Skolian Empire Books in Publication Order
The following reading list only includes the novels of the Saga of the Skolian Empire.
- Primary Inversion – The Skolian Empire rules a third of the civilized galaxy through its mastery of faster-than-light communication. But war with the rival empire of the Traders seems imminent, a war that can only lead to slavery for the Skolians or the destruction of both sides. Destructive skirmishes have already occurred. A desperate attempt must be made to avert total disaster.
- Catch the Lightning -In the distant future, the Skolian empire rules one third of the human galaxy, and is the most powerful of all. For the ruling family has the power of telepathy, and through it, the ability to communicate faster than light across the interstellar space. but their most determined enemy, the traders, who thrive on human pain, need to interbreed with a Skolian to gain their powers. And now they have her.
- The Last Hawk – When Kelric, a scion of the imperial family of Skolia, crash-lands his fighter on the off-limits planet of Coba, he figures it will be only a short time before he makes his way home. But he fails to account for the powerful matriarchy of Coba, the mistresses of the great estates who do not want the Empire to know about their recent cultural advances.
- The Radiant Seas – In a sequel to Primary Inversion, Sauscony and Jaibriol are confronted with new problems as Jaibriol is adbucted and forced to rule over the Higton Aristos, and Sauscony has to launch an invasion against the realm in order to get her back.
- Ascendant Sun – Ascendant Sun is the direct sequel to The Last Hawk, in which Kelric, heir to the Skolian Empire, crash-landed his fighter on the Restricted planet of Coba. He was imprisoned by the powerful mistresses of the great estates–women who, over time, fell in love with him. After 18 years of living in their gilded cage, Kelric finally made his escape.
- The Quantum Rose – Kamoj Argali is the young ruler of an impoverished province on a backward planet. To keep her people from starving, she has agreed to marry Jax Ironbridge, the boorish and brutal ruler of a prosperous province. But before Argali and Ironbridge are wed, a mysterious stranger from a distant planet sweeps in and forces Kamoj into marriage, throwing her world into utter chaos.
- Spherical Harmonic – Separated for decades by circumstance and political machinations, the Ruby Dynasty, hereditary rulers of Skolia, struggle to bring together the tattered remnants of their family in the shadow of a disastrous interstellar war. Too many have died, others are presumed lost, yet Dyhianna, the Ruby Pharaoh, must move quickly if they are reassume their rightful place as rulers of the Skolian Empire.
- The Moon’s Shadow – Born of a clandestine liaison between a renegade daughter of the Skolian Imperialate and a scion of the genetically engineered Eubian Traders, Jai Qox grew up in exile, unaware of the powers that coursed through his noble blood. In the waning days of the bloody Radiance War, which ravaged the galaxy, Jai was captured, and returned to the Traders to play a role as a puppet Emperor in their scheme to consolidate their domination of space. Now Jai must walk a razor’s edge, to seize the power that is his by birthright, without succumbing to its dark seduction, in order to avert a conflagration which threatens to engulf a thousand worlds.
- Skyfall – Eldrinson, a provincial ruler on a primitive planet, is plagued by inner demons. But when he meets Roca, a beautiful and mysterious woman from the stars, he whisks her away to his mountain retreat, inadvertently starting a great interstellar war, and birthing the next generation of rulers for the Skolian Empire.
- Schism – Twenty-three years have passed since the fateful vote in the Skolian Assembly that Roca missed in Skyfall. It created the first open hostility between Eube and Skolia, which has only deepened over the ensuing years. Now, Eube senses an opportunity, for strife has riven the first family of the Skolian Empire. Sauscony, the daughter of Roca and Eldrinson, is ready to seek her fortune as an officer-in-training in the Skolian military.
- The Final Key – The Skolian Empire comes under all-out assault from its nemesis, the Euban Concord, who have undermined the Empire via subterfuge and assassination, leaving it ripe for conquest. The Skolian Empire’s only hope? A young woman barely out of her teens who hasn’t even complete her training as a cadet.
- The Ruby Dice – Despite their own aversion to war, Jaibriol and Kelric, the leaders of two powerful interstellar empires, find their realms plunging toward possible conflict as each man hides a secret that could bring about his downfall.
- Diamond Star – Del Valdoria was an heir of the Ruby Dynasty, rulers of the interstellar empire called the Skolian Imperialate. But he had no interest in being associated with the draconian measures his brothers used to maintain power. He just wanted to sing holo-rock-not a respectable activity for a Ruby prince. To make things more complicated, he was on Earth, far from home, and the Earth government wasn’t willing to let such a potential source of information and valuable bargaining chip leave. And then a major entertainment corporation took an interest in his music.
- Carnelians – Assassins are poised on both sides. Their mission: eliminate the leaders for the “crime” of striving to end half a millennia of hatred between empires. And as the main players in the peace process attempt to navigate the Byzantine convolutions surrounding the negotiations, an explosive pop anthem, Carnelians Finale, sweeps across three civilizations, its message inflaming passions.
Reading the Saga of the Skolian Empire in chronological order
The following reading list includes some of the short stories and novellas that were written by Catherine Asaro as part of the Saga of the Skolian Empire.
- “The Wages of Honor” – novelette collected in anthology Infinite Stars.
- “Stained Glass Heart” – novella collected in the anthology Irresistible Forces.
- “Echoes of Pride” – short story collected in anthology Space Cadets.
- The Final Key
- “The Edges of Never-Haven” – short story collected in the anthology Flights: Extreme Visions of Fantasy.
- “Light and Shadow” – novelette collected in the Aurora in Four Voices anthology book.
- “Aurora in Four Voices” – novella collected in the Aurora in Four Voices anthology book.
- “Walk in Silence” – a novella.
- “The Pyre of New Day” – novelette collected in anthology The Mammoth Book of SF Wars.
- The Last Hawk
- Primary Inversion
- The Radiant Seas
- “Soul of Light”- short story collected in the Sextopia anthology book.
- “The Shadowed Heart” – novelette collected in anthology The Journey Home.
- Ascendant Sun
- The Quantum Rose
- Spherical Harmonic
- The Moon’s Shadow
- Diamond Star
- “A Roll of the Dice” – a novella.
- The Ruby Dice
- “Ave de Paso” – short story collected in the Aurora in Four Voices anthology book.
- Catch the Lightning