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Bell, Hilari. A matter of profit.

HarperCollins. 361 p. 0-06-447300-7. $6.99. JS

To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, July 2001:

Ahvren, an 18-year-old warrior, would just as soon never go to war again. A stint fighting aliens on another planet has left him shaken by the horrors he has seen, and he is now visiting with his family on the desert planet of T'Chin, trying to think of a way to serve his emperor without going into battle again. Meanwhile, there is a plot against the emperor, and Ahvren gets involved in trying to root out its source. He also wants to help his foster sister, who has been betrothed against her wishes to the nasty son of the emperor. In the course of his investigations, Ahvren partners up with a scholar, a native T'Chin who resembles a large insect and dispenses wisdom and pithy aphorisms, and he gradually comes to understand why the T'Chin didn't resist being conquered by Ahven's race. The T'Chins' guiding principle is "maximize profit," and Ahvren learns from the scholar how this can guide relationships and actions to everyone's advantage. The clever plot twists and turns, and there is a clear feminist message as well as some philosophical pondering on the meaning of conquest. Set in a Star Wars-like universe of fantastic creatures and thrilling derring do, this exciting story will enthrall readers who enjoy SE It begs for a sequel, to follow the further adventures of brave Ahvren and his equally brave sister in this intriguing universe. KLIATT
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Copyright 2003, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Rohrlick, Paula
Article Type:Book Review
Date:May 1, 2003
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