Kia is sixteen when her father dies, and already her life is fractured. Moments before he dies, in his delirium, he gives her something, something he has hidden away for most of the years of his life. Something he stole. A rare – and illegal – Malemese diamond.
With the jewel secreted in her personal effects, and thinking only to get away from her mother, Kia embarks on what she intends to be a new life. A series of misfortunes take her to the far away planet of Malem; her affinity for and aptitude with languages has earned her the position of translator for Select Agatha, of the Order of Universal Benevolence.
But in running away from her problems at home, Kia finds she cannot run away from herself. Agatha seems to know Kia in ways she doesn’t even know herself. On Malem, Kia encounters harsh living conditions, and lives only for the day she can return to her home planet. Events conspire to involve her in not only returning the diamond to its owner, but in a daring rescue.
Jane Ann McLachlan easily drew me into her story. Not a genre I have read before, it hooked me from the start. Written in first person, the story pulled me in and made me feel I was there. I sweated when Kia was eavesdropping, when she met Sodum in the alley behind his shop. My heart raced with her when she and Agatha are brought before the Queen of Malem. I grew fond of Kia, and of Agatha. I rooted for them. And cheered them on as they came into the final stretch of the story.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story and look forward to more by this author. I highly recommend The Occasional Diamond Thief.
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