The Imperium Game, K.D. Wentworth
Much to the disappointment of my 4th grade teacher, I eagerly leafed through the newest scholastic book ordering form, searching for the newest releases of my favorite series, Animorphs.
When the next set of books arrived, she hand delivered them to me by calling me back to her desk. While I don’t recall how the conversation started, she informed me that her dismissal of the series stemmed from the books being ghost written with no credit given to the actual author.
I did not really understand the concern, likely because I was in 4th grade and did not really connect why this would be so impactful to an author.
I took the books from Mrs. Wentworth and quietly went back to read about transformations and the saving of the human race.
In the last few years, K.D. Wentworth, author and 4th grade teacher, passed away. She left behind eight imaginative and fun novels: The Imperium Game, Moonspeaker, House of Moons, Black on Black, Stars over Stars, The Fair Land, The Course of Empire, and The Crucible of Empire. The latter three were published in hardback and the last two co-authored with Eric Flint.
A few years ago, I began to reread her novels, and I recompleted Stars over Stars, then my life transitioned into something new. I have not gone back to them since, but upon preparing this post, I discovered that Eric Flint had written a third Jao Empire entry, The Span of Empire, which has prompted me to want to finish my reread of her novels.
While each novel was creative and unique, my favorite was her first.
There is something monumental about a first published novel, and I found it inspiring that a full-time teacher wrote and had her words published.
It made me want to be a writer.
Yet aside from that, The Imperium Game was a perfect blend of video gaming mechanics, mythology, and a futuristic setting.
Think Westworld but with gods and goddesses.