Mistworld (Twilight of the Empire #1)
Mistworld is an outlaw planet, most notably because it’s inhabitants have been labeled as outlaws by the Empire which expects strict loyalty and compliance from its citizens. On this harsh world they have no way to get the technology they need to survive except through the prowess of smugglers who are willing to crash the blockade which has been set by the Empire. The inhabitants have held off the Empire for hundreds of years, but that does not stop the Empire from plotting to attack when conditions are ripe. The only thing holding back the Empire is the psionic shield which is kept in place by the Espers who reside on the planet, but are they really enough.
The women here are as strong as the men and survive on that strength and not just on their need to be taken care of. I liked that these were women who knew how to fend for themselves no matter which side of the law they were on. I would say that I liked Investigator Topaz because was a serious kick-ass female who did what needed to be done and let the rest sort itself out and then you had Cyder who was able to survive in a world that could take down the strongest man.
What you find here is a lot of intrigue, double-dealing, spies, murder, betrayal, and revenge. My type of science fiction with a world in peril and brave settlers and an evil tyrant trying to take it all away. What’s not to like. Give this a read!