Saturday, April 7, 2012

Howl of the Wolf by Diane Rapp @DianeRapp

Howl of the Wolf (Heirs to the Throne (Book 1))

Drako is a planet on the fringe of civilized space suitable for colonization, but a society of telepathic wolves already occupies the world. When a colony ship lands on Drako, the wolves try to communicate but find no intelligent creatures to mindspeak with them. The wolves watch as colonists develop Drako into a recreation planet for wealthy tourists. Settlers became feudal lords, desert sheiks, oriental samurai, and ordinary peasants depending on their level of investment. After several generations of catering to tourism, the monarchy revolted against technology and closed Drako to offworld visitors. Distaste for technology mutated into superstitious hatred, and anyone caught with spacer tools or weapons could be executed.

In civilized space scientists invented Transfer, a means to insure immortality by moving a human mind into a clone—free of hereditary defects. Every fifty years (a span) an individual qualified for Transfer but the tradeoff was large debt to the Institute. Governments toppled and war left the Institute in total control. Individuals were virtual slaves to Institute rules, but the inventors of Transfer became a threat.

When the medical spaceship Zebulon flees from an Institute death sentence, the captain doesn’t know an assassin infiltrated his crew. They picked the remote planet of Drako for their exile where a dying king needs an heir, and hereditary lords hate spacers. When the king forces Captain Donovan to compete for the crown to protect the lives of his crew. Faced with superstitions, hatred, and eminent danger, the crew must adapt to a feudal society without using modern tools or weapons. Fortunately the Transfer process enhanced the natural talents of each person and might give them an advantage. When Kriegen, the leader of a wolf pack makes telepathic contact with Donovan, he gains a valuable ally agains Jarrack, the Institute assassin who is determined to kill him.

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