In Chronicles of the Nassidesa: Liadaya First on a Thousand Worlds, the titular character, Liadaya, is one of twenty-seven gods called the Nassidesa, the children of the original seven males and seven females created by a deity who is “the God of all creations.” This deity grants the children the power to bring worlds into being through the choices they make—then tasks them with fixing their unintended mistakes by traveling to each of their worlds.
Liadaya is immortal and technologically superior to the inhabitants of Faderatted, the world she chooses to repair. Ignobly, in her approach to the new land, she washes ashore on a beach after her boat is swamped by waves and she and her aide, Jakar, are tossed overboard. Liadaya loses consciousness and wakes to find herself bound and lying in the sand with a group of strangers debating her fate. Master Shilaga, the village magistrate, orders his guards to kill her; he claims she is a demon. In any case, he is expecting a visit from Domina Torin, a regional bureaucrat, and wants any unusual events resolved before the Domina arrives. Readers are quick to understand that previous survivors of shipwrecks haven’t lived long under Master Shilaga’s governance. But when Liadaya escapes and saves a guard’s life, she proves to Master Shilaga and others that she is “Lady Liadaya Chamlin of the Nassidesa.” Garma, the guard she saves from death, brings her to his house where she stays until Torin, the visiting bureaucrat arrives, though he is skeptical of her story until he sees the results of her healing efforts in the village.
Liadaya’s ultimate goal is to redress the wrongs she has done the people of this world, but “the God” is fickle and toys with her and her siblings. In fact, a few of them committed suicide before the God installed nanites in their bodies and made them immortal, as well as giving them the ability to heal others. Liadaya realizes she won’t get much help from the God, and so she must make alliances among the people whose lives she has marred (without revealing that she was responsible for their misery).
A further complication is the fact that she’s falling in love with Torin. Liadaya feels she can’t give in until she accomplishes her goals, but she finds it hard to stay this course. Meanwhile, she learns of a plot by another Domina to usurp power, and she and Torin work to stop this coup from taking place.
Unfortunately, what could have been a highly entertaining tale of political intrigue, romance and personal sacrifice is undermined by typos and mistakes. Without the grammatical errors, Liadaya First on a Thousand Worlds would be a very readable story. The multiple errors on each page are a persistent obstacle to any reader trying to follow the story.
Eschbaugh plans to write more tales of the Nassidesa. Interested readers can only hope that those manuscripts receive careful and meticulous attention from an experienced copy-editor before they see print.
J. G. Stinson
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