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The Price of the Stars (Mageworlds #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  1,351 Ratings  ·  92 Reviews
Freebooter at heart, spacer by trade, Beka Rosselin-Metadi doesn't want to hear about how her father whose rugged generalship held back the Mageworlds -- or her highborn mother whose leadership has held the galaxy together since. Beka pilots spacecraft -- as far from her famous family as possible.Then Beka's mother is assassinated on the Senate floor, and her father offers ...more
Paperback, 448 pages
Published October 15th 1992 by Tor Science Fiction (first published October 1992)
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So far, this is a series of seven (with, I think, a possibility of more). I would strongly recommend reading them in order, even though publication order doesn't match the internal chronological order; many secrets will be spoiled if you read out of publication order. This is a loose review of the series to date.

The first three -- The Price of the Stars, Starpilot's Grave, and By Honor Betray'd -- go together to tell the story of Beka Rosselin-Metadi, estranged from her family until her powerful
Sherwood Smith
Nov 16, 2010 added it
Shelves: sf
Then strap me again in my cockpit

And toast me in faraway bars.

Just let me fire off into hyper,

I’ll make my own way to the stars.

A little over forty years ago, I sat with another teenage friend in the funky front room of their Manhattan beach cottage—for her parents were bohemians, and in those days beach real estate was still achievable by anyone. We looked out the front windows at the constant drum and hiss of the sea, talking of this and that.

I don’t remember how the subject came up, but her m
May 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
I read a very enthusiastic review of this series on a popular web site. Something in the review gave me the impression Debra Doyle was breaking new ground with these Mageworlds stories. Much of the science fiction I've read lately has been derivative, so I thought I'd try The Price of the Stars, the first book of the Mageworlds series. I'm disappointed to say there's nothing new here. What I read is essentially a Star Wars knockoff, a swashbuckling pirate story set in space. Only with less sex a ...more
Oct 10, 2008 rated it liked it
this is the first book in a fun space adventure that is now up to 6 or 7 books, several of which are prequels. Two civilizations are at war & the heroine is the rebellious daughter of the leaders of one civilization. A little corny, but a lot of interesting ideas & non stop action.
Mary JL
Oct 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Science fiction/adventure fans
Recommended to Mary JL by: Found while browsing
Shelves: main-sf-fantasy
Beka Rosselin-Metadi did not want the Iron Crown of Lost Entibor to be placed on her head, ever. She had seen the burdens politics placed on her mother. So, she fled her home in Galcen to enjoy the free life of a spaceship pilot.

But now, she is seeking those who hired the killers who assassinated her mother, The Domina, on the Senate floor. Her father will be searching , too, of course--but he is very well known due to his exploits in the MageWars. Beka is relatively unknown--so hopefully it wil
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
A version originally posted at my blog:


Firstly, it’s space opera. It’s a sub-genre I love (and I kind of feel that it’s seen as the non-trendy thing nowadays with very few new releases) so I’m thrilled that I discovered this series. There’s full-on adventure and non-stop action as Beka, her siblings, and their companions race around the galaxy and try to stay alive while figuring out who the bad guys are and getting their revenge.
Nov 24, 2016 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed reading this adventure/science fiction story. This is the type of book that I lived for in high school and college. Nowadays I'm more about the romance. There was some of that but not til almost the end. Beka, also know as Captain Tarnekep Portree, is one tough woman. Her brothers are amazingly tough too. It makes sense that they are all so talented since their parents are world leaders. They are not typical royalty, that's for sure.

The story takes place in many worlds with man
Apr 06, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Think soap opera of manners. The Searchers in Space. A daughter seeks justice—or is it revenge?—for the murderers of her mother. Not epic space battles, but up-close-and-personal action. Well plotted and well told. Satisfying climax. See? It can be done. While the first of a series, this book gives the reader closure and hooks to further adventure.

Considering this book was first published in 1992, before microcircuits pervaded our society, Doyle wrote—as many SF authors failed—in a way which was
Aug 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
"Hello. My name is Beka 'Inigo Montoya' Rosselin-Metadi. You killed my mother. Prepare to die."

Beka has spent the past several years piloting around the galaxy and escaping her royal family obligations. But when her mother, the Domina, is assassinated, technically leaving her as the new Domina, she accepts a ship and an assignment from her general father to track down those responsible. She takes to the assignment with gusto, gathering help along the way that includes a mage, an adept, her broth
I liked the book and will surely continue with the series. And yet, I have to admit that it had quite a few limitations...
First of all, it relies too much on Star Wars archetypes and narrative tropes. It was the same with the early Fantasy writers, who felt they have to base their work on Lord of the Rings format; otherwise there will not be enough interest.
The book was first published in ’92 and it feels like that. The technology a bit too basic, but it could be easily overlooked, if not for
May 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
Macera dolu bir roman arıyorsanız doğru kitaba başladınız. Karakterler kolay tahmin edilebilir olsalar da macera hızlı ve akıcı. Tek yıldız kırıyor olmamın iki sebebi var.
Birincisi alıştığım bilim kurgular gibi değil. Yani Yıldız Savaşları sizin için bilim kurguysa bu da bilim kurgu, yok Yıldız Savaşları pek de bilim kurgu değilse bu da değil.
İkincisi de olaylar arasında kopukluklar var. Sanki öykülerin toplanmasıyla yazılmış gibi. Bu da hikayeden kopmaya sebep oluyor. Birden çok bakış açısı ol
Linn Browning
May 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: character-driven
Sadly, some books do not survive the rosy glow of first reading. I read this series when I was in high school and recently asked my mother to send them to me so I could re-read them. I can recognize what I enjoyed about them, but reading them now, I didn't find them nearly as compelling as I did then. I found the story one-dimensional and the characters wooden. Hopefully the rest of the series adds some dimension to the characters, but I'm disappointed that I'm disappointed.

Admittedly, I finishe
Jun 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
After reading the reviews for this book, I went to my local used bookstore and found it sitting on a shelf. I decided then and there to give it a try and bought it. I was pleasantly surprised and found myself immersed in Debra Doyle's futuristic world from the first page.

(I made sure to go to the bookshop the next week and I was lucky to find the rest of the series. Yay me!)

Great sci-fi! Very recommended.
Apr 14, 2014 rated it liked it
This is Star Wars fanfiction, and I mean that in the best possible sense: the copyrighted details have been changed, but the same heart beats here.
Jun 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Theo opening paragraphs to this book are amazing.
This was a fun little read to finish off the terrible year that was 2016. As I write this, Carrie Fisher, Princess Leia, died a couple days ago unexpectedly after suffering a heart attack, with her mom Debbie Reynolds dying the very next day of a stroke. Earlier this year Kenny Baker, who played R2D2 in Star Wars, also passed. (Which was just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to unexpected celebrity deaths this year.)

I made this because of that:

I started this book earlier in the month with o
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I wish like anything I could remember who recommended this delightful romp to me; they'd be getting a huge e-hug right about now.

The back-of-book blurb is dead-on accurate, and if that springboard to spacefaring adventure sounds up your alley, well, dive right in. What we have right here is some Grade A+ space opera: there's a whole planetful of lizardmen, dashes of shady political shenaniganery, chicks with blasters AND eyepatches (srsly that gloriously cheez-tastic cover does not disappoint),
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story

This is an exciting space adebture story. Easy to read and enjoyable.
Sadly the kindle version hasn't been copied faithfully and is full of incorrectly translated words and typos.
Sharon Schafer bennett
A Good Book to Read

I read this book years ago and then loaned it out. It never came back. When I saw it as a Kindle choice, I kept on it. It was as good as I remembered. It is not your typical space opera, and I am looking forward to the next one in the series.
Kristine Sprunger
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
loved it. Re-read this one several times!
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very Star Wars-esque in terms of scifi adventure with a dash of mysticism. A fun read.
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Good cast of characters and good action packed adventure. Will definitely read the next in the series.
Jennifer, Just beyond normal ♑
Once I got to a bit before halfway point on this book, I could not put it down. I enjoyed following Beka through her journey. Great action through out.
Kelley Ceccato
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
It's a frequent lament among my sci-fi inclined siblings that The Price of the Stars will probably never have a movie. As space opera goes, the first 3-4 books of the Mageworlds series are our go-to recommendation. Price of the Stars sets the stage cinematically, presenting an engaging cast of characters without bogging down with politics or technicalities (or romance). Almost invariably written off by readers as a "Star Wars ripoff," the Mageworlds suffers only for having been published two dec ...more
Jun 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book really hit all thrusters with me. It's a space opera, but with elements of "magic" thrown in. It's got humans and aliens, fast spaceships, betrayal, wholesale slaughter, fist fights, humor, hopeless situations, metaphysical battles, hidden identities, callous disregard for life, intrigue, blood, kidnapping, and probably a dozen more things I could type if I had a mind to. Oh, and a little sliver of romance, too. :)

Beka Rosselin-Metadi is the daughter of the Domina of Entibor, and she f
Lindsay Stares
Mar 01, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: own-hard-copy
Premise: Beka Rosselin-Metadi has no interest in being part of her famous family. She’s a brilliant spaceship pilot, and she’s happy working the trading lanes. But when her politician mother is assassinated, she’ll have to get interested in the politics of the galaxy. It’s the only way to stay alive, and bring her mother’s killers to justice.

I wanted some solid space action, and I got it! This book started a little slow for me, but it picked up. For one thing, apparently I didn’t read the back c
Aug 04, 2011 added it
Beka Rosselin-Metadi is the youngest child of a powerful politician and the head of the galaxy's military forces, both of whom were responsible for essentially saving the universe at some point predating The Price of the Stars. Given the weight of all that prestige, and the fact that she is slated to inherit her mother's title as ruler of a now-dead planet, it's little surprise that Beka left town as soon as possible to become a freewheeling starship pilot. However, after her mother is assassina ...more
Jun 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
beka's mother has died, and she is now the leader of her people. her father offers her his ship if she will find the names of the people who wanted her mother dead and provide them to him. on one of her stops, beka is saved from an assassination by a man she calls professor. he tells her that there is a hit out on her and that it won't stop until she is dead, so she and the professor stage her death. along the way to finding answers, beka picks up some more crew members: her brother ari
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aka Nicholas Adams (with James D. Macdonald), Martin Delrio, Robyn Tallis (with James D. Macdonald)

Debra Doyle has a doctorate in English literature. Together, she and James Macdonald have written numerous sf/f books. They live in Colebrook, New Hampshire.

* Mageworlds
* Circle of Magic
* Bad Blood

Series contributed to:
* Tom Swift IV
* Robert Silverberg's Time Tours
* Daniel M Pinkwater's Melvi
More about Debra Doyle

Other books in the series

Mageworlds (7 books)
  • Starpilot's Grave (Mageworlds, #2)
  • By Honor Betray'd (Mageworlds, Book 3)
  • The Gathering Flame
  • The Long Hunt (Mageworlds)
  • The Stars Asunder: A New Novel of the Mageworlds
  • A Working of Stars

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“Hunt while you can. The weather may change tomorrow.” 2 likes
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