TBR Review: Starpilot’s Grave by Debra Doyle & James D. Macdonald


Starpilot’s Grave
by Debra Doyle & James D. Macdonald
Series: Mageworlds #2
Genre: Science Fiction (space opera)
Published by Tor, 1993
E-book, purchased
448 pages
Grade: B+
Synopsis: A broken and drifting ship, its long-dead captain still strapped in the command seal: that’s what free-spacers call a starpilot’s grave. When one of these derelict craft appears in the Net, the artificial barrier zone separating the Republic from the Mageworlds, the discovery is no accident. It’s a sign, a warning that the Mageworlds have not forgotten the Republic – and the Magelords make long plans.

“Still no reply from the target,” she said. “Regular starpilot’s grave over there–no emanations of any kind.”

“Starpilot’s grave?”

“What the merchant spacers call a drifting wreck,” she said.


I’m not some kind of oracle, she felt like telling them, but she knew that the outburst wouldn’t do her any good.


  • An adventure science fiction. A space opera…my favorite type of science fiction. Very good.
  • Since I read the first book in the series a year and a half ago it took me a few pages to remember all the characters and places!
  • Seven or more threads with different groups’ stories. That makes the overall story complicated. When a thread begins I have to figure out whose story is being told. However, I wanted to find out what that person was doing so once I got into the rhythm of the story it was fine.
  • One of the threads is from a Magelord’s POV. That was interesting. That introduced a more nuanced view of the Mageworlds and Magelords.
  • Lots more to happen in the next book. Not exactly a cliffhanger, but looks like more of a continuation of the story.
  • The Republic and the Mageworlds is a large area of space. Lots going on especially in this book.
  • Most of the main characters in this book are from the Rosselin-Metadi family. That was more the case in the first book. Many of the characters we met in the first book are very important in this book.
  • The Rosselin-Metadi family is famous throughout the Republic and the Mageworlds. The father–Commanding General Jos Metadi; the mother Perada Rosselin, Domina of Lost Entibor and Councilor for Entibor-in-Exile and the Colonies Beyond (assassinated in book 1); the oldest son Lieutenant Ari Rosselin-Metadi; the daughter Beka Rosselin-Metadi; the youngest son Owen Rosselin-Metadi.
  • The event which caused most of the actions and reactions in book one–the assassination of Perada Rosselin–still moves some of the action in this book.


  •  I really enjoyed the book, but it’s definitely a middle book connecting the first and third books. The first book had more of a definite ending with shadows of things to come. This end of the book isn’t an end so much–more a lull in the action. Since the third book is written and I want to read it that’s not too much of a problem.

And a few thoughts . . .

  • This is my book for the February TBR Challenge hosted by Wendy @ The Misadventures of Super Librarian. The theme this month is a book someone recommended to me. Li @  Me and My Books recommended this book to me. I read the first book in the series–The Price of the Stars–based on her recommendation. Then she recommended the second book. And it took me a year and a half to get it read [hanging my head]
  • I am going to buy the third book and hope to get to it soon.

Have you read this book? How did you like it?