High-tech feudal societies aren’t uncommon in science fiction (I’m thinking Dune, and that bizarre tv show Kings from a few years back–what was with that, anyway?). Debra L. Martin and David W. Small take up the setting with The Quest for Nobility (March 2010), which follows royal twins Darius and Dyla Telkur of Otharia–proper aristocratic SF names, in any case–fleeing from a kingdom coup on their home planet to benighted Earth. From Amazon:
The idyllic life of royal teenagers, Darius and Dyla Telkur, from the planet Otharia takes a horrifying turn when their parents are murdered. With their cousin appointed as Regent until Darius comes of age, it doesn’t take the twins long to figure out that he’s bent on stealing their throne one way or another. To escape their cousin’s wrath and a false murder charge, they flee to the only safe place they know where no one will find them – the forbidden and quarantined planet Earth.
Safe on Earth for the moment, the only way for them to return home is to find an ancient 10K traveling crystal left behind by their Otharian ancestors who visited Earth 1500 years ago. Enlisting the help of a London university archeologist, they begin their search for the crystal from clues buried deep within the Arthurian lore of Merlin and Lady of the Lake.
What they find instead is evidence of a secret trade pact between Otharia and Earth that was established centuries ago. Before Darius and Dyla can understand what it means, they’re in jeopardy again; this time pursued by those on Earth who want the secret to remain hidden. Who is behind the trade pact and what is being traded are the questions the twins need to figure out while trying to stay one step ahead of the Earth assassins.
I can only speak for myself, but any kids smart enough to team up with a University social sciences professor have my vote… if they were living in a democracy, at least. Trade conspiracies and ancient mythology are smart plot choices as well as alien feudalism, and I’m anticipating good news for Darius, Dyla, and their readers in the next review.