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Arabella the Traitor of Mars
by David D. Levine
A Tor Book, 2018, $26.99, 334 pages
Published: July 2018

The Arabella trilogy that starts with Arabella of Mars and continues with Arabella and the Battle of Venus is steampunk alternative history, with the Napoleonic wars fought for planetary resources instead of European territory. Arabella is an appealing heroine, and the other characters, of whatever planetary or mechanical origin, are well-drawn and realistic.

In the trilogy’s conclusion, Arabella, as the heroine of the Battle of Venus, meets the notorious Regent Prince George. She and her husband are being groomed for naval and political greatness — or so it seems. A discreet word of warning in Arabella’s ear alerts her to hidden dangers and terrible betrayal behind the royal offer of command of a mission to Mars. And so, Arabella and Captain Singh must each choose, for themselves, between loyalty to crown and country, loyalty to each other, and loyalty to friends and family. No matter what she chooses, she will be regarded as a traitor by people she holds dear. 

Arabella’s actions spark a defensive war for independence that can only be won if diplomacy is brought to bear, as well as strategic air strikes and the cunning use of artificial intelligence. 

This is some of the best SF/YA fiction I’ve encountered in years: convincing, compelling, and imaginative.

Meeting David D. Levine was one of the best outcomes of attending Confluence this year. A good book stands on its own, but talking with the author gives you a whole other level of appreciation for the effort that goes into crafting a story. He is very pleasant to talk with, so if he attends a convention in your area, stop and talk a while after getting your books signed. ~~ Chris Wozney

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