Zelda Knight is the owner-bookseller at Crown Bookstores, a USA Today Bestselling author of spicy sci-fi and fantasy romance, and an NAACP Image Award-nominated/Award-winning editor (British Fantasy, Locus & World Fantasy). She's also the publisher and editor-in-chief of Aurelia Leo, an independent Nebula Award-nominated press. Zelda co-edited Dominion: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction from Africa and the African Diaspora (Aurelia Leo, 2020), which has received critical acclaim, and Africa Risen: A New Era of Speculative Fiction (Tordotcom, 2022).

Rogue Treasure by Zelda Knight

Treasure, an orphan enslaved on a prison moon, longs for freedom. She seizes her chance during the Aresian Civil War. Unbeknownst to her, her former fiancé's spacecraft draws near. Treasure finds herself under the command of pirate king Scorpio Darkstar after a decade spent apart due to betrayal.

Will love, lust, or revenge rule the day as two long-lost sweethearts collide in the darkness of deep space?

ROGUE TREASURE is a standalone sci-fi alien romance novella in the Unconquered Stars series.


If you love sci-fi adventure, found family, and a second chance romance with an alien spin, you'll love ROGUE TREASURE: An Unconquered Sttars Novella. While it can be read as a standalone in the series, you can download book one and listen to the audiobook for free by following the link below! – Zelda Knight




The synthetic wind inside of my Aresian prison cell smelled of stardust and blood. Metallic and thick, it stuck to my hoarse throat and burned my bruised skin. Minutes that felt like hours passed before I realized the screaming ringing in my ears was my own. Death came to Phobos draped in an imperial robe.

I have to escape! I can't die like this! Not here, not now!

Those three thoughts collided into one another and drove me to my feet. I raced towards the only exit, a crater-sized hole that used to be a door blown open by invading Royalist troopers.

"Obed minga!" A Royalist snarled, raising his phaser mid-air.

He grazed the trigger, and a deadly stream of white light flashed through the crowd.

I stopped and stared in horror as my neighbor's son collapsed, a huge hole through his chest, his organs vaporized in the process. It took everything in me not to throw up everything in my stomach and faint.

Instead, I turned around and I kept running. I ran, and ran, and ran without a destination in mind, my mindless quest for salvation guiding my frenzied movements.

"Minga!" The guard shouted the slur with ease, turning his weapon towards me.

Without hesitation, I hurled myself through the exit and down a corridor leading to the landing bay. I felt the presence of the intruders gaining on me. All around me, chaos reigned. Spacecrafts exploded silently in the vacuum of deep space.

Bodies suspended in mid-air surrounded the glass walkway, their bodies crystallized by the extreme cold of the void, their faces a mask of perpetual fear. Fires had broken out across the mining strips, threatening to consume the lunar colony and my allies with it.

"Ah!" I screamed in agony as a laser grazed my back, ripping open my suit.

I fell forward, tripping over dead bodies, clawing my way to freedom at the end of the tunnel. I was so close, yet so far.

The shackles around my hands made it impossible for me to drag my body forward properly. But I couldn't give up, not when I had a mission to carry out! Despite my will to live, my body failed me.

Blood oozed from my back, joining my kin beneath me. As I faded out, there was only one thing on my mind, the man I should've never left behind, the one who warned me this day would come and that he wouldn't be there to save me.

In my last moments, I longed to see his vengeful gaze upon me, to feel the force of his rage as he dragged me towards him. I should have never left him behind, the only reason I still fought to breathe then, to live, all so I could see him again.

His russet-brown skin and eyes filled with venom were the last things I saw before everything went pitch black.

Saabir, I'm sorry...