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Blade Dancer (2003)
Fiction Review by The Gravedigger

Blade Dancer (2003) Author: S.L ViehlBLADE DANCER takes place in the same world the author established in her 'STARDOC' series (2001-2003), five-hundred years in the future where Earth is extremely prejudiced against alien species.Jory Rask is raised on Earth by her mother, who is from the planet Joren. Jorenians are over seven feet tall, with turquoise blue skin and totally white eyes. They also have six-fingered hands that are able to spring cat-like claws when they're upset. Her father, on the other hand, is human-and he's also the man who had kept her mother as a slave. Jory, although extremely tall for a human, is able to pass as one as long as she wears her sunglasses to hide her peculiar eyes. She even becomes a famous 'Shockball' player, a brutal sport in which many people are killed. When she's eventually discovered to be an alien half-breed she's deported from Earth but not before she promises to fulfill her mother's last wish-that she reunite with the other Jorenian half-breeds whose mother's were impregnated by their slavers.On the way to her mother's home world, she encounters a mysterious 'Blade Dancer', a member of an elite cult of assassins who only use knives to kill. She puts up a decent fight and finds out it's only a test-that this Blade Dancer is a recruiter. This plants the seed in her mind that becoming such an assassin may be the way to better hunt down and kill her father. Jory finds herself unwelcome on the planet Joren because she's viewed as a alien-phobic Terran, so she leaves and takes the other half-Jorenians with her. They discover that the captain of their rented spaceship has sold them to slavers so they rebel and try to fight their way out of it.
They don't succeed-but upon awakening find themselves on the training world of the Blade Dancers, where all of them are soon taught how to be blade-wielding killers.As with Viehl's previous books, BLADE DANCER is a fascinating page-turner, filled with interesting characters living in a dangerous, unpredictable universe. If you enjoyed the STARDOC novels you will love this. If this is the first Viehl book you read it's a great introduction to this unique 'Universe' she has created.
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