The Last Gate of the Emperor: The Royal Trials by Kwame Mbalia
Yared has traveled a long way to find his place in the universe. Light years, even. Though the battle of Addis Prime is over, the spacefaring Axum Empire is still fractured. The kingdom once gave their technology away free of charge, to better humankind. Now, having been missing for over a decade, they’re returning to the planet where their galaxy-spanning civilization began—Earth.
But they find the planet in disarray. Old Earth’s atmosphere is a mess of junked shuttles and satellites. This is especially true of Debris Town, an orbital flotilla where poor spacefarers—left to rot by the Intergalactic Union that rose up in Axum’s place—have taken to piracy to survive.
Yared is set to speak at the opening of the Royal Trials, a competition of the best exo pilots in the Sol System. But on the day of his speech, the pirates launch an attack!
The siege sets off a chain of events that will lead Yared into the depths of Old Earth—and the jaws of a cruel betrayal. There’s more to the pirates—and Debris Town—than anyone saw coming.