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The Price of the Stars

(Mageworlds #1)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  1,527 ratings  ·  111 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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Average rating 3.90  · 
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Start your review of The Price of the Stars (Mageworlds, #1)
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
Jan 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
Well that was an exciting space adventure! It has been compared to Star Wars and I can see why (although I’ve only ever seen the films, not read the books). I don’t know if I’ll read the whole series but I’d definitely like to read the next in series. Strong female lead, great team work, plenty of action, plenty of bad guys! Great piece of escapism.
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.
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 wa
Ms. Cyn
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
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
Linn Browning
May 08, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi, space-opera
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
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-space
My favorite genres (sci fi / space wars) normally don't include even a hint of magic or fantasy (except for Anne McCaffrey, of course.) However, this book manages to blend all of these effectively, and the follow-on book is on its way. The characters are well sketched out and very believable. Unlike some similar books, blood & gore is there but not prevalent, and I enjoyed the author's take on the starscapes and their inhabitants. ...more
David Phipps
Nov 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Thanks to Michelle for letting me borrow her PB copy of this. This was a fun space opera/adventure story centered around a team finding those behind an assassination. Overall it was OK. A little derivative and predictable at times but the action scenes were written well. There are Adepts/Magelords in this book and they are reminiscent of Jedi/Sith. The ending was satisfactory while at the same setting things up for sequels. I'm not sure I need to read any more in this series though. ...more
Aug 17, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Lots of great action and I enjoyed the world-building. It is what I would expect from a great sci-fi. Having said that, I really wanted to see more depth in all the relationships. I would expect further exploration into the connections in the next books.
Apr 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Good action packed space opera!
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
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
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.
Theo opening paragraphs to this book are amazing.

I first read this book in the 1990s, not too long after it came out. It is one of my favorites and it remains so. Remarkable how lightly it wears its years.
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.
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),
Amy Mills
Entertaining space opera, with fairly obvious Star Wars influence. If you're looking for something light and entertaining (think '80's action film), you'll probably enjoy it. If you're looking for something deep and thoughtful, go elsewhere.

This is one that I loved as a teenager, and decided to try again. Still good, though my tolerance for ridiculous action sequences is lower than it used to be. Crashing through a wall on a hoverbike? Really? Is the wall made of paper? Jumping over the wall I
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Delilah Bluette
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I first read this book when I was in high school and found in it both the cold vastness of the stars and the warmth of close friends. It is the most insidious form of space opera which lulls you into reading 'just one more page' and suddenly the sun is rising and it's time to get ready for school or work. I've owned eight copies of this book because it gets, lent out and not returned, lost, or just falls to pieces from reading so many times. When my own child was finally old enough to read it fo ...more
Feb 26, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a fun and action packed space adventure where the daughter of the last Domina of Entibor is tasked with finding out who murdered her mother. This world is interesting in that the big baddies of the universe are magelords who weild phenominal powers. The good guys have mages as well but they are not the same. I liked watching the family dynamics of Beka, her brothers, and her General father as they each uncover some part of the intrigues at play.
Michael T Bradley
I enjoyed the prologue so much I grabbed the first two books, then continued reading and ... ugh. All the mileage gained just dropped away in the first few "real" chapters of the book. The character and premise I enjoyed very quickly got sidelined into dealing with far too many ancillary characters and subsuming the main character.

Frustrating. I might return later, knowing what I know now.
Margaret E.
May 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Re-read after many years

I'm always worried when I come back to books that I have not read in many years that I would find that the suck ferry has visited it in the meantime. Fortunately, this was not so! it held my attention, and I had forgotten a lot of the twists and turns so it was a new book to me. I hope other people enjoy it too.
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.
Mar 06, 2019 rated it liked it
This really wants to be a movie -- the visuals are a huge focus. Although the characters remain quite static, the writing was strong enough and the plot twisty enough that I was happy to read all the way to the end.
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Space Opera Fans : May 2019 THEMED The Price of the Stars by Doyle 16 31 May 21, 2019 07:02PM  

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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

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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