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The Quantum Rose

(Saga of the Skolian Empire #6)

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  1,845 ratings  ·  125 reviews
A new chapter in the Saga of the Skolian Empire finds Kamoj Quanta Argali, a young noblewoman, agreeing to marry a powerful stranger in order to save her people from starvation, in a novel that first appeared in serial form in Analog. Reprint.
Paperback, 432 pages
Published February 18th 2002 by Tor Books (first published December 2000)
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3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,845 ratings  ·  125 reviews

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Aug 10, 2010 rated it it was ok
Here are a few reasons why it may have won the Nebula:

* The entire novel is an allegory for quantum scattering theory. This is a clever and unexpected device.
* The series brings back the old "space opera" style of science fiction. (Think "Star Wars.")
* The technology described in the books is much more carefully balanced with current scientific knowledge than in most "space opera" books.

And here's one reason why maybe it shouldn't have won a Nebula:

"If thwarted passion could have powered spa
Dec 25, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: science-fantasy
I picked this up because it was a Nebula Award Winner, and as a public librarian I need to read a diverse body of literature. My diversity unfortunately just happens to be within science fiction.

I read a sexist comment once online where a guy said that he thought that women science fiction writers seemed to all be inspired by "Star Trek". He obviously wanted to start a flame war, and I of course don't think this is true. [Let me just say here, I think Octavia Butler was one of the best science
Jul 02, 2018 rated it liked it
This novel is unique as it is both a play on the beauty and the beast fairytale as well an allegory on quantum scattering theory. I don't dislike Kamoj or Vryl just the book does not work entirely.
This novel has a really cool science fiction backdrop but a really insipid plot. In this case, you really can judge a book by its hilariously terrible cover.

It’s a mostly nonsensical story about the whirlwind romance between a petite beautiful snowflake and her creepy husband (who buys her from her family with a room full of treasure, and literally tells her he almost just raped her but decided to marry her instead. AND THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE ROMANTIC).

Which is really too bad, because the unive
Jan 25, 2011 rated it liked it
A book of the "Saga of the Skolian Empire" series, 'The Quantim Rose' is a book that probably requires a rudimentary background knowledge of the series to understand the full story. Overall, at it's core, it's a story of a romance between two worlds and cultures that go horribly wrong; which, our two protagonists struggle to overcome to change things for the better. Fans of Star Trek's "The Prime Directive" might find this of interest when the spirit of that rule is not followed in this book.
Apr 11, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: fans of tedious, formulaic science fiction
Shelves: fantasy
About halfway through this interesting, but deeply flawed work, I said, "this would be better if the writer could write artfully." But then the plot took a sharp left into being about something else entirely, and I had to force myself to finish.

The premise is good. Woman governs a small feudal province in the decaying remnants of what used to be a super-future human culture. Woman gets swept off her feet by warlord who turns out to be from space. Problems ensue.

It was good, but that book ended,
I can't tell if this book, a winner of the Nebula and also Romantic Times, is a genius or just pretentious.

It's supposed to work on two levels, 1) based on the author's doctorate work in physics, and 2) as a story in its own right. Unfortunately I have less than an average (is that right? I don't know what the average working knowledge of astrophysics is) working knowledge of scattering and resonance, and each chapter is subscripted with an astrophysics phenomenon. Kudos to the author for (tryi
Rachel (Kalanadi)
First half is a romance in a "lost colony" setting. Second half is empire politics, more sci fi. Revelations do adequately explain the squicky parts of the romance that made me squirm, but didn't make me like it. The second part with family / empire politics reminded me pleasantly of the situations I love in Bujold's Vorkosigan books... except with lackluster prose and far, FAR more descriptions of tawny hair and curls.

GOD, everyone has curls!!
Feb 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
It’s always nice to get a pleasant surprise while carrying along on my attempt to read all the Hugo and Nebula award winning novels. There are certain winners that just don’t get talked about very often, the black sheep of the family. So as someone who wasn’t keeping up with Science Fiction when this book was published about 20 years ago, I would have never come across it if it hadn’t won the Nebula. And frankly if I ever had come across it I would have been completely turned off by the cover (I ...more
Adri Joy
Sep 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Some ok ideas but really does not spend enough time actually examining the slavery and rape and other consent issues that arise in the plot. Nope.
John Loyd
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Quantum Rose (2000) 381 pages by Catherine Asaro

The first half of this book was serialized in Analog and I read it a year ago. Since then I've read five or six more Skolian universe novels. I got the book, skimmed the first half and then really enjoyed the second half. The story is written from the perspective of Kamoj, a native of the world Balumil and the leader of the Argali province which has fallen on hard times. She is on the verge of a union with Jax Ironbridge of a neighboring land w
Feb 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I feel a bit sorry for this book. It came in while I was waiting for A Dance with Dragons so I got just a few pages into it when I put it down again. And I'll admit that, even when I started it again, it took me quite a few chapters to actually feel committed to finishing the book. What I realized, thankfully, was that it's been a very long time since I read a book set in a world that I'm unfamiliar with. A long, long time. That was a jolting realization of itself.

I'm glad I kept reading -- the
Barry Behrmann
Aug 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Rivets. I recently heard that it's the telltale sign that differentiates the two main scifi genres. If the cover art has rivets then the book will be a science-based scifi story, and if it doesn't then it'll be a fantasy-based scifi story. I'm a fan of rivets. On my continuing quest to read all of the Hugo and Nebula Award winning novels, though, I came across the Quantum Rose. My initial impression of the novel before I even cracked the cover... no rivets. Regardless, I'm glad I read on.

This is
Apr 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
In what I now think of as "Catherine Asaro style," she jumps to another portion of her universe, creating another puzzle piece that will (hopefully?) tie together more portions of the saga.

TRIGGER WARNING: This one has an abuser in the story line, as well as someone who's spent years enduring abuse, and has to come to grips with whether to break the cycle. I would be careful who I might recommend this book to, based on the trigger warning.

But if you are not someone who shoulders that type of sc
Aug 26, 2013 rated it liked it
First half of the book was a good medieval style romance adventure novel with nice scifi insights, second half was more about resistance to foreign forces which was more like pushing down Berlin wall or Baltic singing revolution and reading that was not that interesting.
Aug 06, 2008 marked it as to-read
Quantum mechanics, Aztec mythology and a romance novel all in one? Why wouldn't you want to read it?

Also, the author holds a Ph. D. in chemical physics from Harvard, won the Nebula award for this book in 2001, and is also a former ballet dancer. I think I'm in love.
Zeitgeist Movement
3 stars

I was a little reluctant to read this one because it was part 6 of a series. I almost never read sequals to books when I haven't read it's predecessors. However I was sold on the Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Romance genre blend alone. I was also happily surprised to find these books were stand alone. So, you can jump right into this without feeling like you missed anything. Also, no sitting through recaps.

This is, I think the second or third book I've read of the Nebula Awarded books. I sort of see a
Michael G
I liked the book, but first: Another vision of an ascendent white future. I don't believe there is a single non-white person in this book. It's pretty cis-het-binary in its discussion of gender. Asaro is certainly interested in different worlds having different gender norms, but this is played out along a "Men don't dance on my planet" "Really? because men DO dance on my planet" line.

I listened to the Audiobook which has some preposterous voices for the main male leads but otherwise is perhaps
Jun 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: lib17, 2017
I found the "romantic" relationship tremendously disturbing. The inhabitants of the planet were bred to be good slaves, and part of that is the females having physical traits attractive to men. The "hero" dude from another planet sees the main female character naked by acccident and decides he wants to fuck her, so he offers an extravagant dowry for her, not understanding that this compels her to accept him and marry him, the very next day. At which point he goes ahead with the sex in a thoughtl ...more
Nov 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
I set out to read this book because a)it was in a list of Beauty and the Beast retellings b) Romantic Times had positive things to say about it c) space opera. The Beauty and the Beast similarities were present only in the initial set up (2 out of 5 magic roses). The romance plot was heavy with abuse and rape in a way that was used only to complicate the male protagonist's problems and possibly to illustrate something about quantum physics. (-3 out of 5 human points). The entire second half of t ...more
Pat F.
So there I was, finally relaxing into a classic Beauty-and-the-Beast scenario. A newcomer to a planet sees a young woman bathing, and he wants her, so he sends over more than a few tokens of his regard. Little does he know that in her world, that means he's made an offer of marriage, and if she can't match it, she's his. In the process, Newcomer royally pisses off the asshole who's basically been promised her since her birth. Still, Newcomer and Woman work it out, and things are going nicely.

Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
The Quantum Rose is not the best of these Skolian books, yet still excellent because of the interesting way it's written, which got it nominated for a Nebula. Also, I like it because we get this side story of Havryl. It's not one of the mainstream books of the series, and I always like when an author gives us side stories. This one can probably be read by itself because it is from the point of view of an outsider, so concepts get introduced gradually.

Not many people can combine a "bodice ripper
Aisha Hussain
Aug 16, 2017 rated it liked it
I usually love her books but wasn't keen on this one as the character was so oppressed and abused. She is the queen for gods sakes, why is she so meek!!

And the romance - she had a choice between a reformed alcoholic and a wife beater/rapist

I cannot believe this won the nebula prize.

It started off promisingly, and if she had some more fire, I think I could have respected her more. But I understand, the character was supposed to be an engineered slave, so rebellion is not in her nature, but it m
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Catherine Asaro's superior writing skills are in full force in THE QUANTUM ROSE. The female leader of a land on a far distant planet encounters a wild and some believe mad prince from the stars. Are their differences too great to overcome? Should she return to her own kind or find a way to love the tormented Skolian prince?
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
The saga continues, a new story
Frank Ashe
Why did this book get such good reviews? And a major prize!!!!
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
If you liked the previous books in the series you should like The Quantum Rose, but I would say it is better to start with one of the earlier books in the series than with this one.
Joe Karpierz
Jan 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I remember first reading a portion of THE QUANTUM ROSE when it was first serialized in Analog way back when I was a subscriber to the print version of that magazine. I never did finish the story then, and I'm not particularly sure why. It might be because I'd let my subscription lapse before it finished, or because I was lost and didn't know what was going on, or maybe I just lost interest.

I didn't pick up any of Asaro's work after that until I started listening to the audiobooks of the Saga of
Nov 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
I usually upgrade my ratings of Catherine Asaro's books after I think about them for a while, so I'll start this one at four stars. It felt like a three, as in I liked the book enough to finish it, but I wasn't blown away. I didn't love it. But afterwards, I thought about it and that's what always happens with Asaro's books. I think about them.

I do love her Skolian Saga. I love the back story, the lost colony scenarios, the space opera, the romance and the Ruby heirs. Not every book is what I wa
The Quantum Rose, by Catherine Asaro, follows the blossoming love of Kamoj and Vryl, a woman and man from two vastly different cultures on vastly different planets. They’re pulled apart by cultural forces, by diplomatic obligations, by jealousy. They’re attracted to one another on a deep level, they resonate. Also, Asaro reveals at the end of the book that the chapter structure is also a parable for particle physics.

A few thoughts:

- Like Ian M. Banks’ books (Consider Phlebas & Surface Detail
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The author of more than twenty-five books, Catherine Asaro is acclaimed for her Ruby Dynasty series, which combines adventure, science, romance and fast-paced action. Her novel The Quantum Rose won the Nebula® Award, as did her novella “The Spacetime Pool.” Among her many other distinctions, she is a multiple winner of the AnLab from Analog magazine

Other books in the series

Saga of the Skolian Empire (1 - 10 of 18 books)
  • Primary Inversion (Saga of the Skolian Empire, #1)
  • Catch the Lightning (Saga of the Skolian Empire, #2)
  • The Edges of Never-Haven
  • The Last Hawk (Saga of the Skolian Empire, #3)
  • The Radiant Seas (Saga of the Skolian Empire, #4)
  • Ascendant Sun (Saga of the Skolian Empire, #5)
  • Spherical Harmonic (Saga of the Skolian Empire, #7)
  • The Moon's Shadow (Saga of the Skolian Empire, #8)
  • Skyfall (Saga of the Skolian Empire, #9)
  • Schism (Saga of the Skolian Empire, #10; The Triad, #1)