Discernment by Lauren H. Salisbury is the fourth book in her Legacy Chronicles series. The series is a science fiction reimagining of the story of Moses from the Bible. In Discernment the central character, named Mahsan, has run away from his adopted people, an alien race called the Esaraelians. He ends up on another planet inhabited by a friendly people called the Teburans who are decidedly more rural and old fashioned than Mahsan is used to. After he rescues a young woman named Jiya from space pirates her family welcomes him into their home as a guest as a way of repaying him. Jiya has always had trouble fitting into the old fashioned life that she was raised in, always feeling like she is destined for more than the traditional roles for women. Mahsan is the sole human on the planet and he feels out of place and restless until a relationship begins to blossom between him and Jiya.
90% of this book takes place in a rural setting that looks, sounds, and smells like a Texas dude ranch, but the people of Teburan are highly advanced in their technology. They’ve got space cruisers and gadgets galore. The science fiction element is always in the background giving this story and the whole Legacy Chronicles series a unique style. However, readers should note Discernment is first and foremost a love story about two individuals from different worlds (literally) coming together. Anyone looking for a Star Wars swashbuckler with lots of fast-paced action and battles between good and evil forces will be sorely disappointed. That is not the focus of this book. I’ve read two of the earlier installments in this series, Courage and Strength, and both of those books are slightly more geared in that direction with a bit more action and intrigue.
Discernment slows the story down to give us a well focused and delightful look at the two main stars of the series, Mahsan and Jiya. Discernment is about two oddballs who don’t fit into their respective worlds yet they find purpose when they come together. Lauren H. Salisbury does a masterful job of bringing her readers into the world of her characters. We laugh, cry, and love with them in this science fiction love story called Discernment.
I won’t give away the ending, but as someone who knows the biblical account of Moses, I can’t wait to see the next part of that story translated by Ms. Salisbury’s out-of-this-world imagination. Looking forward to reading more of the Legacy Chronicles.