The Stars Undying by Emery Robin is a retelling of Cleopatra and Julius Ceasar but transforming it into space opera.
The novel is full of beautiful densely written prose Emery Robin’s writing is compelling, complex and detailed. This is not a novel to skim, it definitely required my full concentration.
The novel is split between Gracia’s voice and Ceirran’s in alternating chapters advancing the narrative from Gracia being usurped by her sister to the meeting of Gracia and Ceirran via being wrapped in a rug. I was not familiar with the source material and that may have hindered my understanding to a certain extent.
Themes of religion, belief and empire are all considered and are important to the retelling as is the idea of conquest and control.
The novel is lgbt+ and it is handled with a deft touch.
If you like well written dense prose infused with meaning then this is definitely the novel for you. I found the pace slowed it down and I didn’t really connect to the characters as much as I wanted to. I suspect that this just wasn’t the novel for me but I really appreciated what was being done.
The Stars Undying is published by Orbit. It is out now and available from: