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Tonight or Never

An interview with:
Dara Joy

Knight of a Trillion Stars
by Dara Joy
(Lovespell, $5.50, R) ISBN 0-505-52265-9
Few books are so well known and so widely discussed that their initials are enough to identify them. Indeed, GWTW is one of the few I can think of. Well, in the romance sector of cyberspace, there is another such book. When someone sees KOATS, she knows that these five letters refer to Dara Joy's remarkable first novel, the futuristic romance, Knight of a Trillion Stars. Determined readers have searched used book stores and online sale lists to find a copy of this much discussed book. Wonder of wonders, a publisher has finally heard the pleas of its customers, and re-released KOATS. Those who have been waiting to get their hands on this elusive little classic will not be disappointed.

Imagine arriving home after the day from hell you've lost your job, sat in a mess on the train, found your car blocked in and inaccessible only to discover in your living room a 6'4" specimen of incredible manhood whose strange appearance and behavior force you to accept his contention that he is from another world, another time, another place. And then he attacks your microwave when he hears the popcorn popping.

This is a whole lot worse than a bad hair day.

Such is Deanna Jones' experience. Her unexpected and uninvited guest is Lorgin ta'al Krue, and he is not quite sure why his mentor, the wizard Yaniff, has sent him on this journey to this strange world. He only knows that he must protect the lovely woman he has encountered, whether she wants him to or not. Deanna or as Lorgin calls her, Adeeann adapts pretty well (better than I would have), but then she is a science fiction buff and is about to take off for a science fiction convention in San Francisco. She has little choice but to take her guest along, but at least he doesn't seem so strange among the sci-fi buffs.

But when Lorgin sees her wearing a strange necklace she found in a junk store and goes down on his knees before her, hands her a strange dagger, and, after she hands it back, calls her his zira and whisks her to his world through the corridors of time, well, really now! Somehow, she has become part of his quest, his quest to find a way to save his universe from the machinations of the mad wizard. And the adventures pile one on top of another.

Knight of a Trillion Stars has all of the ingredients of a good fantasy/science fiction tale. Joy makes effective use of many of the conventions of that genre: the creation of a complete and complex alternative universe, the dislocation of a character who finds himself or herself in a totally foreign environment, dangers from all kinds of strange creatures, and the final confrontation with the villain to save the world.

But KOATS is also a romance, and a very sexy one at that. Lorgin is often cited as being the perfect romance hero of the alpha type. Yet for all his overbearing behavior, his devotion to his Adeeann is obvious to everyone but her. And this is what, for me at least, keeps KOATS from being a 5 heart book.

Deanna is not as well developed a character as Lorgin (or, for that matter, as the secondary characters, Rejar and Traed.) I will grant that being transported to another world can be a bit disconcerting, but Deanna's fears and insecurities seem overdone. It is very hard to understand why Lorgin falls in love with her other than the fact that she is his "destiny."

Of course, it is not hard to figure out why Deanna falls in love with Lorgin I mean, not only is he incredibly handsome, but his sexual prowess and performance well, I'm glad the air conditioning was working as I read the many pages which describe their intimate relationship. Dara Joy does have a way with love scenes.

Yet, having finally read Knight of a Trillion Stars, I can certainly understand why it is so popular. There are all too few good futuristic romances, and this is clearly one of the most entertaining. I only hope that KOATS will sell so well that Joy will be able to complete her saga of Aviara and its incredible hunks.

--Jean Mason

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