Prelude and Abduction in a Minor (Master Symphony Trilogy #1)

Reviewed by:

G. Connor Salter, Professional Writing alumnus from Taylor University, Upland, IN.


Prelude and Abduction in a Minor (Master Symphony Trilogy #1)


Keith A. Robinson


Independently published

Publication Date:

April 24, 2019




462 pages


Khalen has been many things. Forced into slavery by someone he trusted, since getting his freedom he travels the galaxy with his friend Riveruun. When they warn officials about an invading army coming to the city of Saroth Kang, they’re surprised to find the army is after some magic artifacts they need. When that search to retrieve the artifacts intersects with a noble family’s kidnapping, Khalen realizes he’s getting more than he bargained for. Hopefully, he and his friends will get the bottom of things before it’s too late. The fate of the Twin Galaxies may be at stake.

Robinson combines several concepts, some innovative and some which would be silly in other contexts. On the one hand, he invents a magical power system based on music, with lots of fascinating details based on his experience as a violinist and orchestra director. This is a welcome change from the usual science fiction/fantasy fare, flooded with stories about people using magic based on spells or some vague psychic power.

On the other hand, Robinson has some aliens who talk like contemporary Americans, using words like “c’mon” and “yeah.” Sci-fi fans who like detailed world-building for maximum plausibility may find this ridiculous. But this is space opera, a sub-genre halfway between science fiction and fantasy where the adventure is more important than the fine details. Robinson’s dialogue choices aren’t too different from the way characters talk in Scott Westerfield’s The Risen Empire or in the various Star Wars continuation novels.

Oddly enough, the genre choice also helps the spiritual elements feel believable when they shouldn’t work. Several characters ask spiritual questions in a way that’s clearly Robinson sneaking in apologetics material. The questions these characters ask aren’t particularly new, nor is the way Robinson sets them up. Like so many Christian Fiction authors before him, he plays on the overused trope of a person losing a loved one and then looking to God and demanding, “If you’re good, why did this happen?” In Robinson’s book, a character literally does that, shouting that question to the sky. Not the most original way to handle the topic.

But in a story that fits in the same subgenre as Star Wars, this sort of thing works. Roy M. Anker notes in his book Catching Light that stories like Star Wars (“fables of light,” as he calls them) are “heavily didactic, but they nonetheless delight and refresh.” In other words, having characters who talk (and even lecture) about good and evil comes with the territory in this kind of science fiction-fairytale. Thus, Robinson’s spiritual content feels valid in ways that it wouldn’t in other genres.

An entertaining mix of space adventure and magic.


Rating (1 to 5 stars)

4 stars

Suggested Audience

Readers looking for science fiction or fantasy novels with lots of adventure and interesting magic systems.

Christian Impact

Various characters debate God’s goodness or existence, which leads to some interesting conversations about faith (see above for full explanation).

Prelude and Abduction: in A Minor (Master Symphony Trilogy)



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