Rebel Ice by S.L. Viehl
Rebel IceAkkabarr is an ice planet known for protecting secrets. Dr. Cherijo Tojin crash lands on the surface and loses all her memories. She doesn’t know who she is or where she belongs, Instead she makes her way on this strange planet. The only thing that is familiar to her is the motions and tools of being a doctor. Eventually Cherijo makes her way to the surface dwellers.
The planet is divided into two factions. Akkabarr has a ruling class living above the surface that survives for pleasure. It makes it’s money by being the “safety deposit box” for many peoples’ secrets around the galaxy. It’s ice surface and nasty surface weather are practically impregnable. The servants and the outcasts, or the Iisleg, live on the surface of the planet itself. They survive by hunting the wild animals and trading with the ruling society for food and goods to survive the horrid conditions.
Teulon was captured on Akkabarr trying to kill off the people who killed his Jorenian House Clan, including his wife and son. He was supposed to be killed when he was pushed off one of the high society’s platforms to the surface. Instead he survived and now has united the Iisleg. He is brewing up a civil war on the planet. An old friend of his, Duncan Reever, is also coming to the planet. Duncan is determined to find his wife, Cherijo Tojin. Duncan didn’t expect to find Teulon instead.
The earlier books of the StarDoc series are told from Cherijo’s perspective. Instead, Rebel Ice is told from many other characters’ perspectives. Since Cherijo has amnesia, there is little she can tell the reader. Also, she is one of two mysterious women healers on the surface. S.L. Viehl maintains the secret of their identities to the end.
Rebel Ice is disjointed as it jumps around. It takes until about half way through the book to finally understand what is going on in it. Perhaps if I had read it sooner after Eternity Row I would have been more solid on the background stories. Usually I am sucked into these StarDoc books and can barely pull my nose out of them (ask my sister about the time we were driving through the Switzerland countryside…). Rebel Ice isn’t compelling. When finished, it is a solid book in the series. It also shapes the next books in the StarDoc series.
If you haven’t read any of the StarDoc series, don’t begin with Rebel Ice. But check out her descriptions of Akkabarr the planet and that of the vain, selfish ruler. Those help keep the book alive.