Please help indentify this scifi novel.

I remember reading it when I was about 12 (so it’s at least 12 yrs old, probally much older). A 17 year old boy from one of the richest families in the known universe (they own one of the few navigable wormholes) was sent to an elite boarding located on a distant poverty stricken colony world for some reason. His older sister was “slumming it” as an “spacer” in the intersteller merchant marine much to their parents charigin. His parents then die in an “accident” on one of their ships. Somehow the family wormhole is “lost” (or becomes unnavigable for some reason) and their shipping company quickly goes under. When he’s suddenly cut off from his family’s funds the school immediately expells him, sending him out into the slums [del]penniless[/del] creditless. This all happens very very fast.

He’s trapped on the planet with no way off or to contact his sister. He ends up doing manual labor under horrible conditions breaking up old ships sent to the planet for salvage. He ends up working on the estate of the corrupt local governor. Meanwhile his sister is dealing with the aftermath of their parents dying. Between them they inherited what’s left of the company, but she has power of attorny over his share (as well as being his legal guardian) because he’s underage. She’s trying to find him while dealing with a former business associate of their parents who want’s to buy the rights to the wormhole.

He realizes that their parents were actually murdered as part of a conspiracy by the business associate to gain control of the wormhole and he and his sister are now in danger too. While trying to find away offworld he comes across the wreckage of one of his family’s liners. He remembers his father once showed a secret part of every ship (so secret not even the ship’s captain would know about it) that contains some kind of beacon with secret proprietary wormhole data that he can use to restore the company.

Sorry I don’t know the name but I’m almost certain its a Heinlein novel(Apologies if I’m wrong)

You’re thinking of Heinlein’s ‘Citizen of the Galaxy’ with which it shares some basic concepts. But it’s not Heinlein.

You’ve described so many details that I feel bad that I can’t identify it off the top of my head. Do you happen to remember the heroes’ name (or the name of his sister)?

Nope, sorry. It’s not Citizen of the Galaxy. The boy was totally aware of who he was (IRC he was kind of a snob too). The only other things I remember about the setting was that it must have been very far into the future. Humanity was spread out across many worlds and none of the action took place on Earth (I don’t even think it was even mentioned). I don’t think it had any aliens.

A Little Space Princess?

A Series of Unfortunate Space Events?

Hmm. At first I was hoping it was one of Sheffield/Pournelle Jupiter novels, which are Heinleinesque but it doesn’t seem to be Starswarm or Cyborg from Earth
The Cyborg from Earth - Wikipedia

William C. Dietz

Where the ships die.


That’s what I thought of too.

Thank you. :slight_smile: The moment I saw the cover I knew it was it. I don’t remember the aliens, but that is definitely the book.

I knew it instantly, but had to google the *foreign legion in scifi to get the authors name , as it was escaping me.

  • Dietz has an ongoing series which has the foreign legion featured prominently