When I was a teenager, I dreamed of telling stories and one of the stories I came up with was a Star Wars-type space opera with elements of the Moses story mixed with action and intrigue. Somewhere along the way I lost my notes, but three things stayed with me, the name Xalivar, the name Sol, and the opening lines of the novel.
Twenty-five years or so later, in August of 2009, I sat down to write the novel. It was my second attempt at a novel, my first in science fiction. Sixteen months later, I am preparing to sign a publishing contract for that novel and have two sequels I need to write. I’ve gotten a lot of good reader response to this, and I’ve taken numerous drafts to hone and refine it. People frequently tell me I captured the feel of “Star Wars” very well. That’s exciting, because it means I accomplished exactly what I set out to do.
Now, I’d like to share the synopsis with you.
THE WORKER PRINCE
For as long as Davi Rhii can remember, the Boralians and Vertullians have been enemies. After years of fighting, they left Earth to colonize the stars. Who knew they’d wind up neighbors again. Now the Boralians have held the Vertullians as slaves for years, and Davi Rhii uncovers a secret. Although raised as a Prince, he was born a slave.
As he sets out to discover who he is, he comes into conflict with his family and friends. Then a tragedy occurs and he finds himself on the run. Aligning himself with an underground slave movement, soon he’s training slaves to pilot fighters as they prepare to launch a war for freedom.
In the midst of the revolution, he meets Tela, a beautiful pilot. Judging him as the typical cocky fighter jock, and an enemy to boot, she wants nothing to do with him. But Davi sets out to win her over, and they wind up falling in love.
While Davi learns more about the Vertullians’ culture and begins to think of himself as a slave, he struggles to win the acceptance of slaves who question his loyalty as well as the family and friends he left behind on Legallis.
The High Lord Councillor of the Borali Empire, Xalivar is used to people obeying his every word. Then his nephew, Davi, fresh out of the military academy, begins rebelling. He shows sympathy for the ancient enemy Vertullians, and worse, he starts spending more and more time with them.
Xalivar overhears his sister, Miri, confessing that she adopted Davi secretly. He was born a worker. Stung by the betrayal, Xalivar is torn between his love for the boy he raised as an heir and his hatred for the slaves.
When Davi finds himself hunted, Xalivar sends him away to cover it up. Davi returns and begins helping the slaves, and Xalivar sends Davi’s old Academy rival to hunt him down.
As the Boralian Council and people begin to question the treatment of the workers, Xalivar prepares an army to take them down. When the slaves attack two starbases and escape with fighters, the war begins. Xalivar’s family honor and way of life are at stake, and he’s determined to win at all costs.
When even his sister begins to scheme against him, Xalivar does whatever it takes to bring the situation back under his control. Finally, the Council overrules him and forces a Peace Conference. But Xalivar initiates a secret plan to conquer the slaves and capture their leadership, including Davi, at the same time.
Xalivar mistakenly lets word slip out of his plan while taunting Miri and finds himself confronted from both sides–by both the Council and the slaves. He’s losing the battle and now he’s the one fighting to survive.
(FYI, in the novel, the slaves are called “workers”, hence the title. But for ease of understanding I just refer to them as slaves here.)