Star Hunters

The Diadem Saga

Book 5
Open Road Media
Free sample

Intergalactic voyager-turned-mercenary Aleytys risks death on a planet overrun by madmen in the thrilling fifth installment of the Diadem Saga.
 
Brave and beautiful Aleytys has been gifted with mental abilities far beyond those of ordinary humans—thanks to her genetic heritage as a homo superior Vyrhh as well as the alien technology she wears called the Diadem, which, once donned, can never be removed. Her long, strange journey across the galaxy in search of her past now takes an unexpected turn as she accepts a position with Hunters Inc., and begins training as an interstellar mercenary.
 
Aleytys’s first assignment comes before her schooling is even complete as she finds herself dispatched to Sunguralingu, a planet owned by the powerful Chwereva Company. The world and its endangered humanoid population are being ravaged by telepathic creatures spreading a plague of chaos, destruction, and madness, and the Vyrhh’s intervention has been specifically requested.
 
There is more transpiring on Sunguralingu than meets the eye, and Aleytys and her ex-lover, Grey, set out to track the civilization-obliterating insanity to its source. But their perilous hunt leads Aleytys into an insidious web carefully woven by a psychopathic member of her superior species and, once ensnared, her only possible escape will be death.
 
Thrilling science fiction with strong elements of fantasy, author Jo Clayton’s epic Diadem space opera saga stands with the best of its genre, from the novels of Andre Norton, C. J. Cherryh, and Marion Zimmer Bradley to the humanist sci-fi masterworks of Ursula K. Le Guin. In the enthralling fifth installment of this classic series, a courageous star-traveler’s new life as an intergalactic soldier for hire begins—and nearly ends—on a distant planet in turmoil.
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About the author

Jo Clayton (1939–1998) was the author of thirty-five published novels and numerous short stories in the fantasy and science fiction genres. She was best known for the Diadem Saga, in which an alien artifact becomes part of a person’s mind. She also wrote the Skeen Trilogy, the Duel of Sorcery series, and many more. Jo Clayton’s writing is marked by complex, beautifully realized societies set in exotic worlds and stories inhabited by compelling heroines. Her illness and death from multiple myeloma galvanized her local Oregon fan community and science fiction writers and readers nationwide to found the Clayton Memorial Medical Fund.
 
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Aug 9, 2016
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Pages
176
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ISBN
9781504038430
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Science Fiction / Action & Adventure
Fiction / Science Fiction / Alien Contact
Fiction / Science Fiction / Space Opera
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Abandoned on an alien planet, a young woman gains remarkable powers from a mysterious artifact, in the first installment of a sprawling, unforgettable science fiction saga.
 
A magnificent combination of space opera and epic fantasy quest in the beloved science fantasy tradition of Andre Norton and C. J. Cherryh, author Jo Clayton’s masterful Diadem Saga begins with an unforgettable tale of destiny, self-discovery, survival, and an extraordinary young woman’s coming of age in a world that is not her own.
 
Raised, but never loved, by the barbarian valley people of Jaydugar, a planet of two suns, young Aleytys has always known she did not belong. Abandoned by her space-traveling mother and barely tolerated by a superstitious primitive tribe fearful of divine reprisals, Aleytys is forced to flee for her life following the catastrophic appearance of a fireball in the sky. Guided by her absent mother’s journals, the young outcast must now journey alone across an unfamiliar world of perils in search of an escape from this planet that holds no hope for her future.
 
But her pursuit of a spacecraft and the parent who inexplicably left her behind leads young Aleytys instead to the miraculous device that will determine her destiny. An object of unimaginable power—a magical technology stolen from a vengeful alien arachnid race determined to recover it at any cost—the Diadem instantly becomes an integral part of who and what Aleytys is and will be. Once its great energy is transferred to her she will never be free of it, and mastering the Diadem’s wonders is Aleytys’s only hope for survival now that she has become the most wanted woman in a dangerous universe.
 
In an astonishing feat of science fiction world-building and quest fantasy storytelling that rivals the classic works of Mercedes Lackey, Anne McCaffrey, and Marion Zimmer Bradley, Clayton opens wide the portals into a magnificent galaxy of marvels and terrors with Diadem from the Stars, ushering speculative fiction fans into an unforgettable universe and series.
Savage barbarians enslave Aleytys, the wearer of the Diadem, as she sails the stars in her quest to find her truth and her history in this science fiction adventure.
 
The second book in author Jo Clayton’s phenomenal Diadem science fiction space opera series continues the adventures of Aleytys, blessed and cursed by an alien power that has both marked and altered her, as she crosses the galaxy on an epic fantasy quest that rivals anything imagined by Andre Norton or C. J. Cherryh.
 
When she donned the Diadem, Aleytys was changed forever. An artifact of tremendous power, it has given her psychic abilities beyond her comprehension or complete control, while making her a target of the distant, dangerous alien race that created it. However, survival for herself and her infant son is Aleytys’s first priority as she searches for a home and a history. Her quest has brought her to the barbarous planet Lamarchos, where she intends to aid her companions—the thief Miks Stavver, the native Kale, and the psychotic criminal mastermind Maissa—in the theft of a valuable cache of powerful poaku stones.
 
Moving across the perilous alien landscape in the guise of a mystical healer, Aleytys cannot help but attract the attention of the local gods, who expect her to do their bidding. But neither godly intervention nor the Diadem’s awesome power can prevent the treacherous betrayal that will leave Aleytys stranded on this wild and dangerous planet—or save her from capture by the terrible zombie-like horde bringing chaos and horror to their world.
 
Ingeniously melding science fiction space opera with fantastic invention, alien worlds and technologies with epic quest adventure, Clayton has created a unique universe of wonders and terrors. With her extraordinary Diadem Saga, she joins such acclaimed masters as Anne McCaffrey, Mercedes Lackey, and Marion Zimmer Bradley in the pantheon of speculative fiction’s most revered science fantasists.
Blending epic fantasy with space opera, Jo Clayton continues her classic Diadem series, the thrilling saga of resourceful nomad Aleytys.
 
A true master of swords and sorcery adventure in outer space, author Jo Clayton rockets science fantasy into new heights of ingenious invention in the third installment of her sensational Diadem Saga.
 
The torments that courageous young Aleytys has endured throughout her lifetime have only intensified since she first donned the alien Diadem, which permanently connected with her central nervous system to grant her astonishing psi abilities. But never before has she faced a greater—or graver—trial.
 
Drugged and sold into slavery by the evil Maissa—the twisted villain who stole her infant son, Sharl—Aleytys must now serve the hive queen of an alien insect/humanoid race on the planet Irsud. She has been purchased to act as host body for the queen’s consciousness, which she is to carry in a surgically implanted egg. Facing a truly horrifying fate, Aleytys must submit to the nightmare now growing inside of her as, little by little, it attempts to take control of her body before devouring it completely. But Aleytys is determined to survive the ordeal by any means necessary, for a force even greater than the Diadem compels her: a mother’s undying love and need for vengeance.
 
Irsud is a masterful feat of uniquely imaginative storytelling and world-building à la Andre Norton and C. J. Cherryh that seamlessly weaves fantasy and science fiction together, creating a breathtaking tapestry of alien worlds, beings, and cultures that is guaranteed to enthrall fans of both genres.
Aided only by the powers of the Diadem, Aleytys must battle a powerful corporation to save an endangered planet, in this thrilling science fiction adventure.
 
Author Jo Clayton’s sensational space opera saga continues in this fourth magnificent excursion to the universe of the Diadem as her incomparable heroine lands in the center of a devastating conflict between an insidious planet-devouring corporate entity and native forest folk and city dwellers who are facing extinction.
 
The planet Maeve is the next stop on the intergalactic journey of the star voyager Aleytys as she searches the universe for her son, others of her advanced human race, and the mother who abandoned her in a dismal barbarian world. Permanently enhanced and cursed by the Diadem, the stolen technology of a vengeful alien society, she is determined to find her way back to Jaydugar, where she was raised and where she hopes to reclaim her kidnapped child. But securing transport will be difficult in this world steeped in political turmoil, as the destructive machinery of a heartless and powerful Company strips the planet bare of its natural riches.
 
The Diadem-induced personalities who share Aleytys’s mind also experience her outrage over the greed of an insidious corporate monster that would heartlessly displace an entire forest-dwelling native population. Compelled by conscience and a hunger for justice, Aleytys will do everything in her substantial power to help the citizens of Maeve fight back. But the secret plans of the Company go far beyond the despoiling of the woodlands, and neither guerilla warfare nor the remarkable abilities Aleytys brings to the battle may be sufficient to turn back the terrible tide of destruction that threatens the future of a planet and every creature inhabiting it.
 
The many fans of Andre Norton, Marion Zimmer Bradley, C. J. Cherryh, and other master world-builders known for their adept blending of science fiction and fantasy tropes will thrill to the fourth unforgettable installment in a much-beloved science fantasy saga that grows deeper and richer with each succeeding volume. Clayton’s Maeve enchants and enthralls, while brilliantly expanding an already breathtaking universe.
 
 THREE CRITICALLY-ACCLAIMED EPIC SCIENCE FICTION NOVELS TOGETHER FOR THE FIRST TIME from the Under Jurisdiction series by John W. Campbell award finalist Susan R. Matthews. THE SECOND OF TWO SERIES OMNIBUS VOLUMES following Fleet Inquisitor. This volume includes series entries Hour of Judgment, The Devil and Deep Space, and Warring States. Fleet Renegade will be followed by the new Under Jurisdiction novel Blood Enemies.

Hour of Judgment
Burkhayden is a subject colony, leased by the Bench to a Dolgorukij familial corporation for economic exploitation. When a Nurail woman from the service house is brutally raped and beaten, Andrej Koscuisko –- Ship’s Inquisitor on board the Jurisdiction Fleet Ship Ragnarok –- is called upon to render services under contract. Before one fateful night is out Andrej Koscuisko will put himself under sentence of death by doing what he realizes at last he should have done from the beginning.

And Port Burkhayden will burn.

The Devil and Deep Space
Andrej Koscuisko, the Ragnarok’s Ship's Inquisitor, is going home on leave. His ship of assignment is participating in training exercises, and when an observer station unexpectedly explodes. Andrej will have to fight Fleet itself to bring the Ragnarok the only thing that can save the ship and crew from destruction –- a single piece of evidence with the potential to change the course of the history of Jurisdiction Space forever.

Warring States
Chilleau Judiciary’s senior administrative officer has been murdered in the very heart of Chambers. Bench Intelligence Specialist Jils Ivers has been unable to ferret out the perpetrator, and that means she’s the Bench’s prime candidate for execution –- so that justice may be seen to have been done, whether or not she is guilty.

Andrej Koscuisko means to take this opportunity to execute a daring theft. And if he is successful, the rule of Law will be rocked to its very core, and the fundamental nature of the Bench will be changed forever.

At the publisher's request, this title is sold without DRM (Digital Rights Management).

About Fleet Renegade:
"Starting with An Exchange of Hostages, I devoured Susan R. Matthews 'Koscuisko' novels—all six of them—when they first appeared. Books with this much courage, clarity, and empathy are rare. The Under Jurisdiction series is a remarkable and unprecedented accomplishment.”—Stephen R. Donaldson, New York Times best-selling author of the Thomas Covenant series.

More praise for Susan R. Matthews:
“[Matthews] brilliantly uses science fiction’s freedom of creation to make a world in which she can explore deep moral conflicts.”—Denver Post

“. . . has a dark energy . . . an extremely compelling read.”—New York Review of Science Fiction

“A chilling and engaging novel of false accusation and the power of personal responsibility.”—Booklist on Angel of Drestruction

“A tightly woven space opera full of grand heroic gestures and characters strong enough to sustain all the action.”—Booklist on The Devil and Deep Space
The third novel in Cherryh’s Foreigner space opera series, a groundbreaking tale of first contact and its consequences…

Six months have passed since the reappearance of the starship Phoenix—the same ship which brought a colony of humans to the hostile environment of alien atevi nearly two hundred years ago. During these six months, the atevi have reconfigured their fledgling space program in a bid to take their place in the heavens alongside humans. But the return of the Phoenix has added a frighteningly powerful third party to an already volatile situation, polarizing both human and atevi political factions, and making the possibility of all-out planetary war an even more likely threat.

On the atevi mainland, human ambassador Bren Cameron, in a desperate attempt to maintain the peace, has arranged for one human representative from the Phoenix to take up residence with him in his apartments, and for another to be stationed on humanity's island enclave. Bren himself is unable to return home for fear of being arrested or assassinated by the powerful arch conservative element who wish to bar the atevi from space.

Responsible for a terrified, overwhelmed young man, and desperately trying to keep abreast of the atevi associations, how can Bren possibly find a way to save two species from a three-sided conflict that no one can win?

The long-running Foreigner series can also be enjoyed by more casual genre readers in sub-trilogy installments. Inheritor is the 3rd Foreigner novel. IT is also the final book in the first subtrilogy.
The second novel in Cherryh’s Foreigner space opera series, a groundbreaking tale of first contact and its consequences…

Nearly two centuries after the starship Phoenix disappeared into the heavens, leaving an isolated colony of humans on the world of the atevi, it unexpectedly returns to orbit ovenhead, threatening the stability of both atevi and human governments.

With the situation fast becoming critical, Bren Cameron, the brilliant, youngpaidhi to the court of the atevi is recalled from Mospheira where he has just undergone surgery. But his sudden and premature return to the mainland is cause for more than mere physical discomfort. For during his brief absence, his government has sent his paidhi-successor, Deana Hanks—representative of a dangerous archconservative faction on Mospheira who hate the atevi. And though she should depart when Bren is once again able to fill his post, no recall order comes.

Cut off from his government and haunted by the continuing threat of assassination, Bren realizes his only hompe may be to communicate directly with the Phoenix as the spokesman of the atevi—an actuan which may cut him off for good from his own species. Yet if he doesn't take this desperate and illegal action, he may be forced to helplessly bear witness to the final destruction of the already precarious balance of world power. 

The long-running Foreigner series can also be enjoyed by more casual genre readers in sub-trilogy installments. Invader is the 2nd Foreigner novel. It is also the 2nd book in the first subtrilogy.
Abandoned on an alien planet, a young woman gains remarkable powers from a mysterious artifact, in the first installment of a sprawling, unforgettable science fiction saga.
 
A magnificent combination of space opera and epic fantasy quest in the beloved science fantasy tradition of Andre Norton and C. J. Cherryh, author Jo Clayton’s masterful Diadem Saga begins with an unforgettable tale of destiny, self-discovery, survival, and an extraordinary young woman’s coming of age in a world that is not her own.
 
Raised, but never loved, by the barbarian valley people of Jaydugar, a planet of two suns, young Aleytys has always known she did not belong. Abandoned by her space-traveling mother and barely tolerated by a superstitious primitive tribe fearful of divine reprisals, Aleytys is forced to flee for her life following the catastrophic appearance of a fireball in the sky. Guided by her absent mother’s journals, the young outcast must now journey alone across an unfamiliar world of perils in search of an escape from this planet that holds no hope for her future.
 
But her pursuit of a spacecraft and the parent who inexplicably left her behind leads young Aleytys instead to the miraculous device that will determine her destiny. An object of unimaginable power—a magical technology stolen from a vengeful alien arachnid race determined to recover it at any cost—the Diadem instantly becomes an integral part of who and what Aleytys is and will be. Once its great energy is transferred to her she will never be free of it, and mastering the Diadem’s wonders is Aleytys’s only hope for survival now that she has become the most wanted woman in a dangerous universe.
 
In an astonishing feat of science fiction world-building and quest fantasy storytelling that rivals the classic works of Mercedes Lackey, Anne McCaffrey, and Marion Zimmer Bradley, Clayton opens wide the portals into a magnificent galaxy of marvels and terrors with Diadem from the Stars, ushering speculative fiction fans into an unforgettable universe and series.
Trapped in an alternate dimension, the tough and self-confident Skeen confronts slavers, monsters, and alien assassins in a fast-paced space adventure.
 
Skeen is back! Sexy space pilot and larcenous scoundrel—a tomb raider who could give Lara Croft a serious run for her money—the tough, cunning, and seductive master thief takes on a series of Herculean trials in her attempts to escape an alternate dimension in a witty and wonderful hybrid of science fiction and fantasy, space opera and quest adventure, that will enthrall fans of Andre Norton, Anne McCaffrey, and Alan Dean Foster.
 
A fugitive “rooner” wanted by law enforcers throughout the known universe, Skeen has grit, cunning, and a closet full of more skeletons than a suburban cemetery. Now, the intergalactic outlaw is stuck in a dimension that is not her own, surrounded by a small mob of new friends and followers representing the eight different races that inadvertently stumbled into Mistommerk over the centuries. Each member of the motley entourage shares the same goal: to find a way out through the elusive Stranger’s Gate.
 
Their road to a possible exit is twisted and dangerous, with all sorts of nastiness waiting around every turn, from hired killers to bizarre ravenous beasts to the terrible shape-shifting Sea Min. Skeen is proving to be a most wily, brave, and determined, if reluctant, leader. But with a confusing plethora of portals leading to numerous strange dimensions and worlds overlapping other worlds, she may be hard pressed to find the right way back—even if she does somehow manage to survive.
 
A masterwork of ingenious world-building and wild invention, beloved science fiction author Jo Clayton’s Skeen’s Return is a welcome return to the delightfully bizarre universe and alien life-forms so brilliantly imagined in Skeen’s Leap, the first volume in an enthralling trilogy featuring one of the most endearingly outrageous heroines in contemporary speculative fiction.
 
A space outlaw must rescue the remnants of an ancient alien race—before her galaxy explodes—in the conclusion to an action-packed science fiction trilogy.
 
An unrepentant scoundrel and collector of priceless alien artifacts and treasures—like a tomb raider Lara Croft with issues and a spaceship, or a female Indiana Jones with a looser moral code—the inimitable Skeen makes her final appearance in a thrilling galaxy-hopping adventure that blends science fiction and quest fantasy in the finest Andre Norton tradition, inserting a healthy dose of Terry Pratchett Discworld wackiness for good measure.
 
After stumbling through a one-way dimensional gate constructed eons earlier by the enigmatic and nearly extinct Ykx, Skeen has finally found her way off Mistommerk. Despite numerous trials and great turmoil, Skeen is at long last free, with a ship and crew that includes her new friends, shapeshifter Timka and Ykx keyholder Lipitero..
 
But freedom always has a price, and Skeen must pay for her deliverance. She’ll have to make her way through a treacherous galaxy to locate the planet Rallen—which may or may not actually exist—gather up any remaining Ykx she happens to find there, and bring them back to Mistommerk before the gate closes permanently.
 
Their journey is about to take Skeen and her crewmates through some of the nastiest corners of a particularly nasty galaxy and towards an inevitable confrontation with the war vessels of a powerful and distinctly unfriendly Empire. But the biggest threat of all is the solar system itself: Its sun is about to go supernova, which could result in a very explosive finale indeed for Skeen and her space-going misadventures.
 
With her exciting, ingenious, and wildly entertaining Skeen’s Search, author Jo Clayton offers a fitting and supremely satisfying climax to her thrilling outer space saga, as one of the most uniquely endearing rogues in the history of speculative fiction takes her final bow with a grand flourish.
 
The eighth book in the NYT bestselling Expanse series, Tiamat's Wrath finds the crew of the Rocinante fighting an underground war against a nearly invulnerable authoritarian empire, with James Holden a prisoner of the enemy. Now a Prime Original series.
Thirteen hundred gates have opened to solar systems around the galaxy. But as humanity builds its interstellar empire in the alien ruins, the mysteries and threats grow deeper.
In the dead systems where gates lead to stranger things than alien planets, Elvi Okoye begins a desperate search to discover the nature of a genocide that happened before the first human beings existed, and to find weapons to fight a war against forces at the edge of the imaginable. But the price of that knowledge may be higher than she can pay.
At the heart of the empire, Teresa Duarte prepares to take on the burden of her father's godlike ambition. The sociopathic scientist Paolo Cortázar and the Mephistophelian prisoner James Holden are only two of the dangers in a palace thick with intrigue, but Teresa has a mind of her own and secrets even her father the emperor doesn't guess.
And throughout the wide human empire, the scattered crew of the Rocinante fights a brave rear-guard action against Duarte's authoritarian regime. Memory of the old order falls away, and a future under Laconia's eternal rule -- and with it, a battle that humanity can only lose -- seems more and more certain. Because against the terrors that lie between worlds, courage and ambition will not be enough...
The ExpanseLeviathan WakesCaliban's WarAbaddon's GateCibola BurnNemesis GamesBabylon's AshesPersepolis RisingTiamat's Wrath
The Expanse Short FictionThe Butcher of Anderson StationGods of RiskThe ChurnThe Vital AbyssStrange Dogs
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