Re-reading Okal Rel: A series of chronological summaries of chapters of the Okal Rel Saga, written by friends and fans.
The Courtesan Prince by Lynda Williams is Part One of the Okal Rel Saga, a 10 novel series published by Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing.
When Earth’s first attempt to conquer the far reaches of space was thwarted by the failure of a faster than light transportation system, the first colonists were abandoned.
Subsequent colonizations were successful but ideological differences in cloning caused renegade scientists to sever their contact with Earth and establish their own unique world. Now, thousands of years in the future, the scattered descendents of humanity have evolved into two distinct planetary societies: the Reetions of Rire, who rely on advanced computer technology to regulate every aspect of their lives, and the genetically superior and honor bound Sevolites, of Gelion.
With one conflict already behind them, these two cultures are once again on the brink of war. But one last desperate mission is launched and somewhere within a dark region of space, Reetions and Sevolites find themselves torn between their own alliances and the inexplicable desire that constantly draws them closer together.
Chapter 2 summarizer Michelle Milburn is a graduate of the UNBC/Emily Carr fine arts program who has done cover art for Okal Rel Legacies titles and will be doing saga titles for the remaining books in the main series starting with Part 7: Healer's Sword. Along with Lynda Williams, she is co-editor of Reality Skimming.
The following summary contains spoilers for Part One of the Okal Rel Saga: The Courtesan Prince. Continue reading with this in mind...
Chapter 2: Day in a Courtesan's Life
(Summary by Michelle Milburn)
Though a mere commoner by virtue of his lack of Sevolite genes, Von is nonetheless caught up in the lives of the powerful Sevolites who enlist his services as a courtesan. On this particular day, even before business hours begin he must seduce the very Vrellish, very pregnant Liege Vretla Vrel away from interrupting a meeting between Von's mentor and another Liege, only to be discovered by the unamused father of Vretla's baby. The baby is nothing more than a political "child gift," but that doesn't stop the future father from drawing his sword on Von -- and Vretla's pregnant state doesn't stop her from drawing her sword in turn.
The situation is quickly dampened by an angry Liege Monitum, who has just concluded enlisting the services of Von's mentor and the owner of the Den, Eva -- but unfortunately not in the way Eva would have. Rather than desiring her physically, Liege Monitum is more interested in having her arrange an audience between two rival Demish houses.
After comforting Eva in the way he knows best, Von pays a visit to the dying Demish Princess-Liege of H'Us who, unlike Vretla Vrel, is more interested in Von's poetic ability than his other courtesan skills. Unfortunately, his respite from power politics is short-lived when he is cornered by the troubled Demish Lady Anatolia H'Reth, wife to Von's childhood abuser and mistress to the Pureblood Ava Delm, the highest ranked Sevolite in the empire. Anatolia is pregnant, but not by her husband, who hasn't touched her in years. The only other two options are both impossible: Delm protects his Pureblood genetics with the anti-fertility drug, Ferni, and Von, as part of his courtesan training, has been sterilized both by drugs and surgery.
Regardless, Von has been dragged into the mess: Delm wants Von brought back to the home of his childhood abuser, H'Reth, and there he will await the Royal Gorarelpul to discover Delm's unknown plan for him.