A NIGHT DEVOID OF STARS
What are you willing to risk to do the right thing?
Ilithya Montenegro is the daughter of the richest man on Xasya and in all of the Seven Worlds, the child of his old age. She has trained for decades to take over his business empire, to succeed, to be ruthless, to show no mercy. She is also dying - without an heir. If she dies without being married for one year, her father's will, which left her everything, will be contested and the entire estate stolen by Panayiota, the older sister who despises her. But Ilithya has never lost a fight, death be damned. And she has a plan. To succeed, however, she must ask herself: Can she learn to do the right thing, to leave her mark while she still can, no matter the cost?
Zsofia was once a slave, condemned to a horrific life in the worst whorehouse on Traugott. She not only extorted her way to freedom, she emerged victorious as the most successful brothel owner on Xasya. She gives the customers what they want and uses their money to save slaves from worse fates, to show them kindness and give them hope for a better life. When her compassion is tested by someone who has done nothing to earn it, she must decide if she is willing to risk everything she has gained.
Edana had a short career as a writer of abolitionist airstrikes. Her words were noticed - by those she inspired and by the government she criticized. Her reward for her courage: arrest, enslavement, memory-wipe. Who she once was is gone. Now she must decide who she will be. And how she can fight back against those who tried to destroy her spirit.
These three women have nothing in common - except one man, the champion fencer, Iago. Iago was enslaved as a child and has known nothing but the sword ever since. He has never been shown kindness, has never known love. Fencing, sports, is all he knows; winning is the only thing that makes him valuable and keeps him alive. If he wins the Superbout - eight styles of sword fighting in a period of three days, against the best fencers in the Seven Worlds - he might win his freedom and so much more. If he loses - it will mean death in the mines.
The lives of these four people intertwine: One woman owns Iago, another shows him compassion, the other teaches him to love, and the very foundations of their society begin to shift and change. One act of kindness teaches compassion, which inspires courage, which prompts speaking out, which leads to the dominoes of abolition beginning to fall.
"A Night Devoid of Stars" is a futuristic science fiction novel about the descendants of settlers from Earth who long ago decided that security was more important than freedom. Prisons were replaced by slavery, dissent squelched by fear of memory-wipe. Few people are brave enough to risk not only their freedom but even the memory of love. This is the story of those few.
"Night" isn't about romance - though there is some. It isn't about violence or even action - though there's some of that too. It's about rebellion, discovering who you are, what you're made of, and what you're willing to risk to do the right thing.
Used availability for Flynn Connolly's A Night Devoid of Stars
July 2014 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition