Date of Award

Fall 2017

Document Type

USM Access Thesis

Call Number

PS3602.E3758 G37 2017

Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)



First Advisor

Elizabeth Hand


Concubine. Courtier. Cutthroat. Nahita's known many names since she was stolen from her home. Now an ascetic, she believes she's found some peace at last. But when the woman she loves is taken from her, Nahita must leave her comfortable life and return to the city that nearly broke her. There she'll confront the son of the man she murdered, and reckon with the Empress whose trust she betrayed—an Empress bent on ruling the stars

Bully. Brigand. Butcher. Alaleh is no stranger to violence. It's been nine years since Nahita was kidnapped, and Alaleh's search for her sister has taken her from scorching deserts to frozen forests, committing countless atrocities along the way. But with Imperial soldiers haunting her every step, it's only a matter of time before Alaleh's crimes catch up with her

Inspired by Safavid-era Iran, Garden of the Stars is a flintlock space fantasy that follows two sisters as they search for each other across the worlds of a war-torn empire. But the closer they come to reuniting, the more they begin to fear that their loyalties lie on opposite sides…


This thesis is restricted to USM access only.