Electronic editions only
Books in the Gem of the Galaxy series are stand-alone, with new characters and situations.
Only the planet and culture are constant.
Is it the planet? Serusa is referred to by the people of Clantrin as "The Gem of the Galaxy," even though their first attempt to colonize it was a failure, and the second attempt isn't going too well. Book 2, Child of the Mist, takes place during this second try. And Juilan Pranss, a lowly government employee from Clantrin, becomes involved in more than she could have imagined. Surprisingly, Serusa also has indigenous humans, the Ceitwans, as well as sentient, warm-blooded Xirophans. Neither want the Clantrinors on their planet.
But that's all small potatoes compared to the internal power struggle that for several decades has polarized the Ceitwan population. Ceitwans possess unique mental skills, including the ability to call on genetically-imprinted Memories of their ancestors. The most adept at this is usually the Holder. The Holder line is matriarchal and hereditary; occasionally, during the 1200 years of Ceitwan history, there is no heir or the heir has died. Guess what has happens in Book 2? (heh heh) These times necessitate an era called the Indagation, when people are groomed to take over the Holder position. High intelligence and mentalism are required, and if the aspirant isn't properly prepared, the energy of the Evincor will kill them.
The Evincor? Oh, that's the GEM to which the series title refers. This particular adamant is the focus for Ceitwan politics, and fulfills a portion of the Xirophan mythology. By handling the Evincor, the Holder can contact the departed-look back into history, if you will-and determine the veracity of situations. Because of this, the Holder is revered as the sole authority of right and wrong. Book 1, Daughter of the Stone, explains how all this got started. Book 1 also tells about another internal power struggle that fomented in the netherworld of the planet. The netherworld is a big-continent-sized land encased in rock. Think, collossal geode with a livable atmosphere and its own ocean. Many humans lived for several generations in this weird place, including Dwinn Somuron, heroine of Daughter of the Stone; it was a place that dealt in human chattel and where extreme chauvinism thrived. Needless to say, Dwinn didn't want to stay there.
The books in Gem of the Galaxy are stand alone volumes, 1 doesn't have to be read before 2 (or 3 or 4 - coming within the next year). In fact, Book 2 was written first, and then...
Well it doesn't really matter. Click above on a title to get an overview of that book. The individual titles are available in print(~$15.00) and electronic editions ($3.95 each). Buy the 2-book GEM OF THE GALAXY ($5.95) to get additional information about this exotic world and gem.