Catherine Asaro
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Skyfall

Skyfall is a stand-alone novel that predates the chronology of Catherine Asaro’s other books — and is an excellent book for new readers to start with.
Eldrinson Valdoria is a bard and leader on the planet Skyfall, a world with a culture considered primitive by the starflung civilization of the Imperialate. As adept with a sword as he is with a ballad, he is also an undiscovered telepath of great power.
Roca Skolia, a former dancer, is now the Councilor for Foreign Affairs in the Imperialate’s governing Assembly -- and she is also heir to the Ruby Pharaoh of the Skolian Imperialate. Caught in a political struggle with her warlord son, she ends up stranded on Eldrinson’s world when she should be attending a vital meeting of the Assembly, a session where she had hoped to stop a vote that could start the first interstellar war known to humanity. Trapped on Skyfall, she finds herself drawn to Eldrinson, whose thoughts are as clear as the words he cannot write. As their attraction deepens into a love that the laws of both their peoples forbid, the flames of war ignite among the stars.
"Intrigue, drama and romance converge in Nebula winner Asaro’s latest Skolian Empire adventure (after 2003’s The Moon’s Shadow), an enthralling stand-alone that fills in the early history of the empire."
— Publisher’s Weekly