Burning Stars, Falling Skies

by CoCop

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Traumatising content

Threedak is a simple Dhajtel. Every night she scavenges and hunts for her tribe in the great desert, relying upon her skill and ancestral memories to avoid the night's many dangers. Her life remains largely the same until one night, one of the gleaming angels that hangs in the night sky falls into her desert. Deciding to investigate, she happens upon a scene far beyond her limited understanding.

The Dhajtel aren't alone. The galaxy is far vaster and more hostile than Threedak's people can even begin to comprehend.

Entrusted with the knowledge and memories of a dead race, it will be up to her to forge Dhajtel society into something that can survive the storm that is to come.

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(This novel is heavy on Kingdom/Empire Building and is an attempt at fairly hard (grounded in real science) Science Fiction)

Cover credit to DrakonStorm

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Burning Stars is an interesting and creative science fiction story about the impact of sudden vast knowledge being bestowed on a primitive society. As the first of her kind to
"ascend", Threedak is galvanized to not only honor the memory of a lost species, but to improve the living conditions of her own people to prepare them to face and defeat the menace that threatens to galaxy.

The interplay of genetic memories and information transferance makes for a great "power" gimmick to explain the rapid advance of Dhajtel society and quickly allows us a starting point of comparison to let us get to know these aliens, letting us appreciate their perspective as Threedak and her progeny process their new awareness.

I can say this is so far very much a speculative fiction tale. Characters are not especially complex, many being one-note or background characters who perform a specific function. This is not a character drama, but the story of a rapidly developing society, with Threedak as the central driving visionary. Time skips occur regularly as we jump straight to major developments in technology and nation building. This is in fitting with a "world story" or a settlement-focused cultivation story, but may not be for people who want to get attached to a more dynamic and charismatic cast.


Don't Let The Title Fool You, This Is An Empire Building Novel!

Reviewed at: Chapter 16 - At the Threshold

Ok, to start off, this story has a very interesting premise. We're thrown into the perspective of Threedak, a member of a very alien and both psychologically and physiologically different race. We see the world through its very instinctual and primal eyes. That's until the inciting incident of the story happens and the plot kicks into motion. After that, we see the development of a character that never had human emotions but now has to deal with them.

Grammar: 4.5/5

It was mostly solid. There were some problematic sentences and mistakes that happened recurrently—most notably the double space after the period which kinda makes no sense to me—but for the most part, it was fine.

Style: 4/5

Very heavy on the telling, and narrative exposition which I personally dislike. However, this becomes less and less of a problem as the story progresses. This leads me to a final score of 4.


The story is very interesting. It is undoubtedly where this fiction shines the most. The plot is engaging and the world-building is very interesting. I can't wait to see more of what will happen with the Dhajtels.

Characters: 4/5

Honestly, the characters didn't feel too interesting to me. Sure, Threedak's kids were fun in their own way—especially Bekai. But the other characters felt lackluster to me, even the MC.

Vowron Prime

Not Just A Well-Executed Empire Builder

Reviewed at: Chapter 15 - Drums of War

TL:DR: If you want an engaging empire-builder that doesn't spend an eternity on technological progression, that also contains some masterfully-executed SF military combat, as well as a rich emotional arc involving the themes of retribution and justice, this is the drug of your choice.

This story is an empire-builder - you've probably gleaned that from the synopsis and other reviews. What you may not know is that it is also much more. It is also a deep emotional story about vengeance, and includes proper SF ideas and combat. Spoilers below for those who want more.

Spoiler: Spoiler


The highest praise I can give to well-executed style is that it gets out of the way, which is the case here. I was immediately sucked into the universe, and did not find any parts of the story immersion-breaking. Pacing is perfect, if on the slightly faster side of what I personally enjoy. I think most will find it similarly well done.


The story, while it may not be gripping at times, is always engaging and moves at the perfect pace. There were many times when I got emotional over the plot and story events, that should speak volumes about the quality. The author gives us precisely the right glimpses into each technological phase of the society in order to paint a rich and compelling picture, but not so much that the reader loses interest. In fact it moves extremely fast for a story of this genre, something I think will please most readers.


Among the best on RoyalRoad. I found no obvious issues. Paragraphing is well-done, and the sentences flow from one to the other. Easy 5 stars.

Character score

Here I think expectations need to be set. This is an empire builder, and one of the main characters is the empire itself. Given that, Threedak and the other lead characters are very well-done. They are characters you can relate to and sympathize with, and while you may not know about their dozen different hobbies or what they do after work on a Friday night, why would you expect that out of a novel like this? The author gives us enough details to let us fill in the rest with our imaginations. If he fleshed these characters out any more, pace would suffer, and in doing so the story would lose one of its greatest strengths.


Goonzilla TV

The author knows how to build an immersive world and keep you wanting more! I will be following this book. I recommend you all give it a shot as well! 

Kent Casandra

A fantastic read. Great sci fi and kingdom buildin

Reviewed at: Chapter 15 - Drums of War

This is a great sci fi and kingdom building read on a macro scale. The protagonists are non-human so they bring with them a unique collection of problems and advantages for their society's progress you won't see on more humanoid protagonists. There are a lot of time-skips but that's to this story's benefit so it can tell the story it needs to tell.


Overall a good read just read the first 5 chapters and you should have an idea of what to expect.


This is a solid, competently-written Sci-Fi story that, if I heard had been published by, for example, Baen Books, I wouldn't be at all surprised. As a work that could potentially be publishable with a bit of work -- by an actual publisher, that is, not just Amazon Direct -- this is definitely a cut above almost everything else on Royal Road.

That said, since this is on Royal Road, I can easily forsee that some potential readers may be confused and dismayed it is neither a LitRPG, an Isekai, nor a cliched, derivative fantasy story. However, if you enjoy Sci-Fi, in particular Military Sci-Fi, you should give this a read.

Judged by the standards of actual, published stories in the genre, it's not particularly groundbreaking -- "An omnicidal alien race is going to destroy a primitive civilization which has to go through a process of technological uplift to fight them" is a staple of the genre. But I wouldn't call it cliched, either -- it's such a common story because it works so well. And this story has a few unique twists on it that really make it work.

Judged by the standard of published sci-fi, this story could use some improvements. Mostly, it feels a bit rushed. That's definitely better than the other extreme of a story that meanders aimlessly and wears out the reader's patience, but pretty much everything in this story could use a bit more. More attention and detail given to the process of technological development (I'm also a bit sceptical about the timeline, even having the necessary knowledge, bootstrapping an industrial base is very non-trivial). More detail on the Dhajtels' cultural evolution. More characterization. More on planetary unification and the assimilation of primitive Dhajtels. And finally, while the story has a solid climax and poignant ending, it's a bit disappointing that it ends before actually taking the fight to the Invaders' main fleets. That's an entirely unfair criticism, however -- I don't think I've ever seen a story like this actually do that -- but I still couldn't help feeling a bit of disappointment at the end.

But all those criticisms are relatively minor. Most sci-fi stories I read I end up dropping either in disappointment or disgust at bad writing. This, I read cover-to-cover in essentially a single sitting. So, while it is a bit rough around the edges, if you enjoy Sci-Fi at all, read this.


A Faster Paced Version of Safehold

Reviewed at: Chapter 15 - Drums of War


If you recognize Safehold by David Weber, then you 'may' like this story as well.

The biggest difference is that this is story is the end of the human race and the start of another who inherited their war.

The pacing is much much faster. Where we see Safehold span 10 + books before even meeting the evil aliens....here it's just a few chapters. 


So if you kind of like the idea of 'good' aliens vs 'evil' aliens. With a dash of human tech, give this a read. 

You will be entertained.


Great concept and so far ok execution. More into the biology and males/ and how much they need to eat/ their needs to eat.


Interesting execution of a fascinating science fiction idea.

Reviewed at: Chapter 8 - Unity
Style and grammar

Well, I'm not sure I'm good enough to offer a critique that would be deeper than just
*I didn't have any problems with it*.
Although I did want to edit the story to fit my taste in several places.

Story and character

This story is up my alley, as I like science fiction that has a core idea to model a world around and then show its life to the readers.
In this case it's about an inhuman race inheriting the memories of humans and, through them, inheriting their civilisation. And eventually rising up to avenge the humanity.

The idea itself is not new, as I've seen it done in classic sci fi literature, but its execution of the idea is good enough to stand on its own as an original work. I've read through and most likely I'll continue reading.


A Literary Sci-Fi Novel Trapped in a Kingdom Building Royal Road Serial

Reviewed at: Chapter 11 - Suspended Among the Angels

Burning Skies, Falling Stars... Wait. Burning Skies... Agh. Burning Stars, Falling Skies... Yeah. Okay, let's start over.

Burning Stars, Falling Skies, a story whose title is incredibly hard for me to remember correctly, is one of the more ambitious stories I've read on Royal Road. Its aspirations are far beyond a typical action sci-fi web serial, even if it fits fairly well in the Kingdom Building subgenre as of its first ten chapters. This story's got some big stuff going on, and legitimate stylistic experimentation that you practically never see in this neck of the web fiction woods.

The story follows a lizard lady on a primitive and violent alien world who happens upon the knowledge of advanced civilizations from beyond the stars. With that knowledge, she builds a clan of her own, with her mind set solely on bringing her people to a great destiny. It's a fairly straightforward premise here, except that it's got some really neat stuff going on.

For one, there's hardly any dialogue. The first five or six chapters have like, two lines of dialogue. The pace is fast and the story hardly stops to give characters time to chat, which is often a big plus.

For two, the story takes places over years, even decades. The scope of the story is wide, and the lens even wider. Months pass in the span of paragraphs. We are shown the story mostly in the point of view of its lizardly protagonist, but the view is from enough of a distance that we act more as passive observers than readers following the story up close.

I'd compare it more to a literary novel that covers decades of a character's life in 400 or 600 pages, a family saga like Roots or Po-on, only instead of following a small group through historical events, it's following an entire alien civilization through its transformation into a technologically advanced society.

It's really something else, even if it doesn't always work. I often found myself wishing that the story was a bit snappier and got me invested more in the world as it changes, rather than simply showing the before-and-after every now and then. I also didn't think any characters besides the protagonist were all that gripping, though due to the narrative distance and the extremely wide scope, that's pretty excusable.

While I can't predict exactly where the story is headed as of its first ten chapters, I have a pretty good idea what this is all building towards, and I'm excited to see what happens with the story, regardless of whether the Skies are Falling or Burning, because dang that title is easy to mix up.