Like Stars, Like Dust by Issac Asimov
One of the lesser known works for the grandmaster himself, Issac Asimov.
One the reasons that he was so good, one of the few to rightfully be called a grandmaster of science fiction in fact, is that he knew his history.
I don’t just mean he knew names and dates, I mean he understood the hows and why’s. Nowhere is this more apparent then in this book.
In the book the Tyranni are an empire of fifty worlds, between one and two generations before they left their world and over the course of decades conquered the worlds in the nebular cluster. The thing that is striking is how well they are thought out, they ran an empire that was more then large enough to crush them if given half a chance. They did this by sticking to a few simple rules:
1) The government of any state should be left intact, with as little changed as possible. The Tyranni might for example pick the next king, but it would be the son of the old one.
2) The sciences and economies of the planets were locked in place, this meant they ranged from farmers to barely industrial.
3) Military strength was limited.
4) Taxes were paid.
They turned their empire into a machine for enriching their home world. One thing you see too often in science fiction is large empires that would cost so much to maintain they would be a money sink, this is not that.
While the characters could be more three dimensional I do think it showed well how people who were born to be upper class and to be rulers would act. It also showed people acting intelligently and it has an ending that you will not see coming.
If you do like sci-fi mystery you will like this book.
All my reviews on Goodreads