No Shelter But The Stars by Virginia BlackNo Shelter But The Stars by Virginia Black is a sci-fi, age-gap, enemies-to-lovers romance about discovering that if you put aside ingrained hatred then you just might find that home is where the heart is.

Kyran Loyal is the lone survivor of her family. Heir to the throne of a forgotten planet she is now a figurehead of her nomadic people searching the galaxy for home while fighting to stay alive against the brutal regime that rules the realm. Davia Sifane is of royal blood yet is not recognised as part of the royal hierarchy. When an unexpected battle finds both marooned on a barren moon, the only way to survive is to work with the enemy. As time passes and they get to know each other what they find out makes them crave change. But will knowledge kill them or make them stronger?


I adored this author’s first novel Consecrated Ground however I am irrevocably in love with No Shelter But The Stars. The writing in this book is exquisite. The way this author used her descriptive style to draw me into the world stole my breath. For two-thirds of this story, there are two characters, who speak different languages and have completely opposite beliefs, and zero trust for one another. Yet, somehow, Black shows the reader how they are feeling, and what they think, regardless of whose viewpoint is narrating. It’s stunning.

Black has created a realm that is complex, hostile, and political. It’s magnificent. There is a royal family that currently rules, a separate governing body that consists of members from a monastery who train in martial arts, and meditation. An uprising against the regime has been going on for many years and relations between different races are volatile.

The main characters are just divine. Both Davia and Kyran are tangled in the mess by way of birth. Both royal in stature they have expectations of them that neither wants. The author gives detailed backstories and lets the reader get to know the characters. Both characters are so fascinating, and you get both POV.

The book consists of three parts firstly you get to know Kyran, her past, how she becomes strandard with her enemy, and her thoughts and feelings. Part two gives you Davia’s past and Black also goes over the events from Davia’s viewpoint. But what’s super clever is that she doesn’t repeat it all, it’s more like she’s filling in the blanks and it gives you a deeper understanding of the dynamics between Davia and Kyran. I am not even going to mention what happens in part three because you need to experience it firsthand- I will however say, hold on tight because you’re in for one hell of a ride.

Pros And My Favourite Parts

To say this book consumed me would be an understatement. I lost hours of my day being transported into the lives of Kyran and Divia. I hung on to every word from first to last and even when I’d finished, I was unable to move on and went back to read several parts. I haven’t read a sci-fi romance this awesome since Roslyn Sinclair’s The Lily and the Crown.

The character arcs in this book are remarkable. Firstly, Davia and Kyran learn how to coexist, which segues into a truce and friendship of sorts. Both must reconcile what they know about each other to come to terms with this deep connection they have. A connection so strong that although it only sparks because of their forced proximity burns deep in their souls and outshines anything else in their lives. The way these two listen to and learn from each other even with the language barrier is so beautiful. Davia is older than Kyran yet is no less open to taking on the younger woman’s experiences and wisdom. There were so many moments between the pair that stilled my breath and made my heart sore. The romance is all-consuming and utterly gorgeous.

Kyran is on a mission to discover home, literally. Her people are nomads roaming the realm in search of their long-forgotten home planet. She is expected to take her place on the throne and lead her people, the people around her believe in her and offer unconditional support, but she feels lost and way out of her depth. The strength and courage she have are astounding, she blew me away.

Davia has always had a physical home but somehow has never felt truly at home. She is a very centered being who believes in fairness. Her ability to take each day as it comes no matter what is happening is what enables her to survive.

Both contain fire and ice, it is remarkable how separately they are strong, but together, even if they are apart, they are stronger. Davia is unknowingly searching for where she belongs. Kyran is searching for a permanent residence to live. It is truly magnificent when they realise that home is not a place, but who your heart belongs to.

Heads Up

Nothing I can think of.

The Conclusion

When you read the blurb for this book it is short, because it says what it needs to say. It’s one of those items that contains exactly what it says on the packaging, yet when you open it, it is so much more delightful and delicious, it exceeds expectations and will stay with you for long after you’re finished. If you like sci-fi then this book is perfect, and if you don’t like sci-fi then still give it a go. It is very character-driven and although the author has created a complex world and hierarchy it is easy to follow. The enemies-to-lovers aspect dominates the book, but there is also a beautiful story of how two very different people from different cultural backgrounds can work together even if they are at war. They learn from one another, listen despite a language barrier, and put aside prejudice in order to make changes in the realm they live.

This book stole my breath, stunned me, and left me with one of the worst book hangovers ever. It’s bewitching, enticing, graceful, and satisfying. Yet I still crave more. I never wanted it to end, it filled me with anguish while soothing me. How is that even possible? This is Virginia Black’s second novel and with writing and storytelling this spectacular, I’m here for all her future endeavors.

Excerpt from No Shelter But The Stars by Virginia Black

Rach's Favourite BooksThe single thin dark line rises persistently from the distant ground, so it isn’t a wildfire. The fleet scans from the reconnaissance squadron yielded little information about these moons except breathable atmosphere and no humanoids.

The Sifani ship. They’ve crashed here as well and survived, and they made a fire.

If she can get close enough, she might be able to kill them. The how of it doesn’t matter as much as the why. They murdered Benna, Laz, Trasper and the others. They stranded Kyran away from her people, doomed her to die—

Tears of mourning mingle with her rage and compel her forward despite the pain driving her to rest. She won’t last long with only rainwater and no food, but she will make sure she doesn’t die alone.

Find the Sifani ship. Kill the crew.

Never mind she’s never killed anyone, let alone with her bare hands.

A straight path to her destination on foot doesn’t exist. Boulders too hard to climb must be circumvented, adding time, and gashes in the ground spewing noxious fumes push her off course. Gauging distances is difficult—everything in any direction looks the same except for the smoke. The air is dry—different from the reprocessed oxygen on the ships and in the fighters—and heavy, pressing down on her. Is the gravity denser on this moon? Dust burns in her nostrils and her eyes.

Something scuttles nearby when she passes through a gully, never revealing itself. With wavering confidence, she holds the landing strut like a spear. Is it enough to kill one of those things? She blinks away tears, the fear bitter like bile on her tongue. Though it hurts to move faster, she quickens her pace until the gully is behind her.

She rushes until she trips, scraping the palm of one hand on the rocks. After that, she watches where she’s walking more closely. At midday, the air temperature drops and the wind intensifies. She pauses to catch her breath, to determine what’s different.

A gray-brown haze stretches in front of her, and the rock formations on the horizon, visible not more than ten minutes ago, have disappeared behind the advancing gloom. The sun is now a barely glowing disk in the sky, subdued by the murky cloud rising before her. When the wall of sand hits her, it roars, pushing her back a step. She winces at the shifted weight on her leg.

Sand obliterates visibility and abrades her skin where the tiny cuts and burns from the crash already ache and itch. Putting the helmet back on doesn’t help. She needs cover. There’s little near her, and now she can’t see more than several strides in any direction.

Luck arrives in the shape of a depression in the sand at the base of a rock slope. She pokes it with the strut to make sure no creatures hide in the gap. By the time she crawls into the hole, she is coughing and blinking grit.

The wind and sand rage, too wild to lull her to sleep, too thick for her to breathe deeply. She forces her muscles to relax, to take what rest she can despite the pulsing pain in her leg and her head. Find the Sifani ship. Kill the crew. Signal the fleet. The mantra in her head drowns out the storm.

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Bits and Bobs

ISBN number: 978-1612942797

Publisher: Bywater books

Virginia Black Online

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