- Format: novel
- Author: Hiroyuki Morioka
- Cover Artist: Toshihiro Ono
- Translator: Giuseppe di Martino
- Publisher: J-Novel Club
Where earlier volumes of the Stars saga did a good job of keeping both of the protagonists in play, Dinner with Family sees its focus firmly set on Jint. The “family” here is his family on Martinh, going back to the beginning of the saga in the first volume of Crest of the Stars. As promised in the epilogue of the last book, What Needs Defending, Jint finally goes home to take over as the Count of Hyde, lord of his home planet of Martinh.
So far we’ve mostly seen Jint in a military context. Dinner with Family shows that he’s familiar with his political duties as well. The book starts with Jint staffing up his countdom, preparing for his work as the Count of Hyde. While Lafier doesn’t get much of a spotlight in this volume, she’s still by Jint’s side, giving him advice and reminding the reader of the Abh perspective on things.
Of course, with the Empire still at war, Jint’s trip home isn’t as straightforward as he might have hoped. Martinh is chosen as a site for military maneuvers, not only delaying Jint’s return but increasing tensions with the reluctant landworld.
When Jint finally gets home, he is forced to confront the fact that Martinh doesn’t want him. The volume ends on a bittersweet note; Jint ends up having to do what’s best for his people’s future, even if it hurts him personally.
In the afterword, the author mentions that the original plan was to have Jint and Lafier part at the end of this volume. I’m glad that plan changed – seeing these two characters bounce off each other is always a delight, and I’m looking forward to that continuing in future volumes.
While “let’s go home” doesn’t seem like enough to sustain an entire book’s plot, author Hiroyuki Morioka manages to provide enough political and military hijinks along the way to keep the reader entertained on the way to the unexpected fate for the Count of Hyde. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐