Hers to Command by Patricia Knight
Original settlers of the planet Verdantia discovered the planet communicated with a few select individuals while they were engaged in sexual intercourse. Those who were able to communicate with the planet were also able to manipulate energy as a result of this sexually-heightened state. This energy powered the planet.
The planet had such vast areas of inner energy flows that modern technological advances in relatively all areas were virtually useless throughout the planet; this included modern methods of warfare. Battles were fought using methods of the “old ages” – hand-to-hand combat. Of course, for many centuries, there had been nothing by peace on Verdantia.
The entire planet was run off sexual energy, but it had to be maintained through the strict performance of various rites and rituals. Some of those in charge had become lax in their duties after many centuries of peace, thereby jeopardizing the entire planet.
One tree produced a powerful aphrodisiac, highly prized throughout the galaxy, due to the foolish magisters’ (magicians) laziness, Verdantia was invaded by the Haarb, who wanted this drug. They got to work seeing that the invasion covered all the bases: the Verdantians tortured, most of its women murdered, its secrets revealed. The wall normally protecting the entire planet was sliced down to only one small tower.
The only hope for the planet was to join three “magickally –gifted aristocrats” to create enough power to save their world. The story of finding of these three, how the joining works, and story of war makes up the rest of the novel. And oh, what a story this is. There is magic, and romance, and desire, and sex, and violence, and everything almost anyone could want in a book.
Patricia Knight has crafted a beautiful novel; one of those rare works that must be read again and again. Though this work might be classified as erotica instead of science fiction, I beg to differ. Knight has created a sentient planet that requires human interaction on a major scale in order for it or its inhabitants to thrive. Knight’s planet required significant thought and attention to detail. Additionally, this is not a sex-based novel but a character-based novel of profound insight and beauty. Her characters are stunning to behold as they grow in depth with each additional chapter. The sex is also not always for personal gratification or fulfillment but for the service of the planet’s people.
Knight has a talent for writing that goes beyond simple categorization; she creates worlds of intrigue. The reader is transported into an alternate reality where every decision matters and the end outcome is anticipated with both anxiety and dread. Anxiety for fear that all will not work out well; dread because the novel must eventually end. All one can hope is that Knight is busy writing more for her devoted readers to devour.
This novel is not for those under 18 years of age, nor for those who might be easily offended by scenes outside of the social norm. It does include some graphic sexual scenes, as well as scenes including M/F, M/M, M/F/M; please do not rate the author negatively for disapproving of this material. If it offends you, please do not read.
I received this copy through Goodreads’ Read for Review Program in exchange for an honest review.