"Diadem from the Stars" kicks off Clayton's mammoth nine-book (with a follow-up trilogy which picks up where the original series, or what's left of it, leaves off) Diadem series. This book, which (to be quite honest) is mainly exposition, introduces us to the herione of the saga, Aleytys, who was orphaned by her spacefaring mother on a barbarian world. The book concerns her discovering her past and her powers, and her escape from the tribe who fears and resents her. In the course of her travels to find a way offworld to her home planet, she comes across the diadem, an alien artefact which, when she dons it, implants itself permamently into her skull and endows her with mysterious and fearful powers. The story unfolds in a manner similar to Tanith Lee's classic "The Birthgrave", but not as moody and bombastic. I quite enjoyed Clayton's writing style, and look forward to reading more of her work.