by Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff
When one sees eternity in things that pass away and infinity in finite things, then one has pure knowledge. But if one mrerly sees the diversity of things then one has impure knowledge. And if one selfishly sees a thing as if it were everything, independent of the ONE and the many, then one is in the darkness of ignorance. — Krishna, Bhagavad Gita 18:20-22
Anala Nadim is a free woman until she travels to the planet Mehtar to procure supplies for her father’s mining operation on Mehtar’s impoverished sister world—the colony planet Avasa. When a twist of fate enslaves Anala to the Lord Prince Jaya Sarojin, Anala is engaged in a battle to free herself from slavery and her world from subjugation to a corrupt Mehtaran consortium. So begins a tale of greed, betrayal, political intrigue and love that threatens to tear Anala from her spiritual path, and introduces both her and Jaya to true darkness.
Laldasa is Sanskrit for “beloved slave” and I think it’s a fitting title for a story of class boundaries, racial prejudices and the one power capable of overcoming them. It’s the story of one small woman battling a political machinery over which she has no control and one supposedly powerful man who realizes that he is as much a pawn of the machinery as the casteless woman he befriends.
As a writer of science fiction and fantasy, I’ve often sat on convention panels with titles like, ‘Hey, you got mystery in my fantasy!’ or ‘Oops, there’s romance in my science fiction!’ I don’t have a recipe for what happened in Laldasa—I just wrote it to taste. So if I got mystery in your SF, I only did it because, darn it, I think it makes for a richer ‘dish.’
— Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff
“I really liked how the science fiction world influenced by Hindu culture and religion…came alive in its technical, political…and cultural aspects… The characters were charismatic, from the hero and heroine to their family, slaves and social circle.” — A Reader Review