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AER’LA ONLY WANTED TO BE FREE The Confederated Worlds are unparalleled as a society of free people, yet, somehow, slavery still manages to exist. Aer’La, a non-human, was bred to serve as a pleasure slave. Years ago, she escaped her masters and masqueraded as a human, joining the Confederate Navy, where she worked her way up to ship’s Bos’n under the heroic Captain Jan Atal. Now, Aer’La’s secret has been discovered by Atal’s superiors, the media, and the world at large. Branded a sociopath, she learns that even a free society isn’t willing to grant freedom – or justice – to all.
Review from Library Journal:
Though the Confederated Worlds have outlawed slavery, the traders of the Varthian system have perpetrated the institution under the guise of controlling the feral near-humans sharing their world, while in reality condemning them to lives of sexual servitude. When Bos’n Aer’La is exposed as a feral and a fugitive from her homeworld, the Varthians want her back, and the authorities of the Confederated Worlds decide to cooperate rather than cause an interplanetary incident. Neither Varthians nor the Confederation, however, reckons on the efforts of Aer’La’s commander, the legendary Capt. Jan Atal, and his crew, who face seemingly impossible odds to protect the freedom of a shipmate. The author of the Arbiter Chronicles, an award-winning audio drama, vividly brings to life a cast of compelling characters while telling a story that measures the cost of freedom. The far-future military setting should appeal to fans of David Weber’s “Honor Harrington” series as well as the military sf of David Drake. Recommended for most sf collections.