Pride, or caste, is a Vithri term for peoples that originated in a particular subgroup. Vithra society is defined by a caste system, where various subgroups pursue endeavors particularly suited for each caste’s strengths. Pride of Chalin, for their warriors. Pride of Siturn for their scientists, and so on. Sol is what the reptilian Vithra called our Star when they attempted to establish a saurian colony on Earth roughly eighty million years ago. It became apparent to them, when that colony failed, (Children of Danu) that more than one species had previously arisen here, hence they called humankind the Prides of Sol.
1: Children of Danu: Imperator, 2011, 2021
The journey starts here even though this was, in 2011, the fourth book to be published in the series. It begins in the year 2914, a time with Earth’s star-faring society in a state of collapse. Gerrod Sanderson is a life-sciences technician (physician) from the archipelago of Australia, a remnant of the continent that sank some centuries previously. He is tasked by a desperate federal service for a mission that never ends.
Imagine if you walked across your living room on the way out the door and paused at the middle of that space to wonder if you had your car keys in your pocket. From that instant, every decision and every action leads into a different and separate universe, each with its own unique history. Turn around and go back for the keys, or look out the window to check the weather, and nothing is precisely the same as it would have been before you paused. Even if you place your hand in your pocket, find the keys and continue on, you are ten seconds late out the door and who knows what impact that delay will have on the rest of your day. Every instant and every decision leads to an infinite number of possible histories.
Physicist Adrian Carlisle had discovered technological remnants in an archeological dig on one of the moons of a gas giant in the Edasich system almost a hundred light years from Earth. He posits those clues indicate a society that passed a hundred million years earlier may have practiced temporal displacement – a means to travel in four dimensions instead of just three.
Earth’s adaptation of Carlisle’s thesis on potential displacement is imperfect. He is horrified to discover they actually attempted to place his concepts into practice by sending out time-ships that never arrived at the intended destination. According to Carlisle, those people had jumped into another least-incompatible history, which means they’re permanently gone.
And thus begins a journey by slow-boat traveling close enough to the speed of light for time dilation to pass centuries in the outside world while the travelers experience time measured only in days and weeks. The task set before Sanderson and Carlisle might take hundreds of millions of years to accomplish. Along the way they uncover evidence and elements of a titanic struggle that began long before the current observable universe existed.
2: The Grim War (2021)
A Nepenthean Solution was first written in 1995, but the series was not visualized back then. That story was set in current day Earth, early in the 21st century. The Grim War, a recent re-imagination of the first effort in the series, combines both A Nepenthean Solution and the follow-on work of Flight of the Solar Archangel into one story arc while updating and better integrating both into the overall arc of the series. It is a six-century-long story of an Earth that only exists because of efforts by Carlisle and Sanderson long before the dawn of mankind.
The Grim War describes a period close to end-game pursued by a faceless enemy whose purpose and motives remain veiled. Humans have been pushed back into the continental divide in Northwest Montana, toward their mountain fortress, where less than twenty-thousand remain effective in combat against an overwhelming mechanized foe.
3: Prides of Sol, 2007, updated 2020
Now the third book in the series, mankind stands at the threshold to the stars. Human society has been rebuilt and now numbers nearly thirty million inhabitants of a devastated Earth. It was thought that the Oo’ahan had been eradicated on Earth, but the old strains of conflict have now arisen again. That struggle must conclude before the human fleet attempts to defend Earth Space. In the end, Sanderson’s legacy finally bears fruit on the long-dead world of Danu.
4, 5: Scimitar 1 & 2, 2016
In Prides of Sol, the four-century-long investment in Jennifer Giles pays dividends. Arising from a quagmire of insanity, she finally becomes someone who demonstrates superior tactical ability. Avalon’s fleet later used these same practiced skills (in Prides of Sol) to successfully defend Earth Space. The fourth and fifth volumes are Jennifer Giles’ (pronounced Gil-less) story. Two volumes because the arc would not fit into one book and do justice to all that’s happening.
6: Redeemer of Worlds (2019)
The final segment of the series arc brings the protagonist, Jennifer Stuart, (nee Giles) to her personal end-game where she becomes something different. It’s an uplifting end that postulates possibilities regarding the largest questions in the multiverse.