The Marann recounts one woman’s journey through loneliness, shattering revelations, and attempted assassination on a world where everyone can read her emotions.
Marianne Woolsey is a high school Spanish teacher in rural Iowa, when Earth Central Command decides her linguistic talents would be better exercised if she spent 26 years teaching the daughter and heir of an alien ruler on a planet 24 light years from Earth. Now she’s alone on a planet of aliens so humanlike that she has to keep telling herself her student’s noble father is just her boss.
Handsome – and deadly – the Sural has ruled his province and led his planet far longer than he can admit to his daughter’s human tutor. He hides much more from the space-faring races of the Trade Alliance than he is willing to reveal. What he doesn’t want Central Command to know, he has to conceal from Marianne, but Marianne is concealing her own secrets from him – and as an empath, he knows it.
This first novel in the Tales of Tolari Space series explores what could happen when you put an unsuspecting human on a planet full of empaths.
Publisher: Independently Published
Tropes: FTL, Interstellar Travel
Word Count: 67000
Setting: Beta Hydri
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters
In the first in a series, Meierz’s debut, a rich sci-fi love story about a female teacher sent to a foreign planet to tutor the daughter of its rulers in various Earth languages, could be described as a space-opera spin on Anna and the King of Siam.
When the government informs high school teacher Marianne that she has been selected for a mission to the Tolari homeworld, where she will be the sole human occupant on that planet for 26 years, she hesitates, although she’s aware of the unpleasant consequences that would befall her should she ignore this “request.” Once on Tolar, a planet that houses a humanoid species known for being technologically primitive by Earth standards, she comes to discover that things are not quite as they seem. Meierz’s novel charts Marianne’s slowly budding romance with the Sural, the Tolari leader, as well as her gradual acclimation to this new world that is perhaps not as bizarre or backward as she originally thought. Meierz writes admirably, conjuring an alien planet and culture in a manner as straightforward as it is succinct. Her assured, no-frills approach to worldbuilding makes it easy to suspend any disbelief one might have regarding the novel’s more fantastical elements. Her realistic characters and their relationships build organically. The romance that develops between Marianne and the Sural, as well as Marianne’s shift in allegiance, might not come as a surprise to any reader, and there’s a predictable, overly melodramatic revelation regarding a trauma in Marianne’s past, but Meierz captures readers’ attention through her naturalistic character development and pacing. She also makes Earth’s government truly frightening and reprehensible.
A beautifully realized story that proves that politically driven space opera and tender love stories do not have to be mutually exclusive.