I'm thinking it's late 80's to early 00's. About a woman "doctor" who has to practice from her home carefully because she lives in a society that puts women down. Women have to wear veils or hijab (similar). A planet with either multiple moons or suns. Possibly a prison open roofed to the elements, which makes me think it was suns. The author was a woman I'm pretty sure and she had a name that may have been Arabic or Indian. I was a teenager when I read it and didn't know a lot about anything but my own white bread upbringing so I'm not positive. But I remember I loved it and would love to find it to read again. The beginning opened with the woman dressed as a man sneaking in somewhere to steal fuel I believe but not positive. I read it about 20 years ago.

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    By "read it", do you mean a physical book? An ebook? A physical comic book? An electronic one? A webcomic?
    – FuzzyBoots
    Jul 16, 2022 at 5:59
  • Sorry, actual physical book, I worked at a library in my late teens early twenties which makes me think it was a novel published in the 90's, because I borrowed it on suggestion from one of the clerks I worked with. Jul 16, 2022 at 6:24
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    @AbbyLoCascio - Can you contact the library to get your borrowing record? They don't usually throw them away
    – Valorum
    Jul 16, 2022 at 8:41
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    No it's been 20 years. I checked about 15 years ago and they no longer had the record. I actually worked there and the system purged when they upgraded. :( Believe that's the first thing I tried. Jul 16, 2022 at 10:59
  • And I can't get ahold of the clerk who recommended it either. Jul 16, 2022 at 10:59

1 Answer 1


The Terrorists of Irustan by Louise Marley

Description from goodreads.com:

Zahra IbSada is a talented mendicant on the planet of Irustan. In a nation where women's rights are drastically restricted, her job allows her to see much joy -- and pain -- in the lives of the women she heals. A wife is brutally beaten. A prostitute suffers at the hands of her employers. And her best friend Kalen struggles to save her daughter from a cruel marriage. She begs Zahra for help. Although Karen's plan goes against her mendicant vows, Zahra reluctantly agrees. But this silent act of terrorism will have far-reaching consequences -- for herself, and for all the women of her planet...

The planet Irustan does indeed a veritable swarm of moons

The string of tiny moons, all seven in full phase, hung overhead, pale as sandrite against the black sky. The four flights of stairs seemed longer and steeper than usual.

The main character (Zahra) works as a medic

Zahra showed Ishi where the warm blankets were kept, and they smoothed one over their now-sleeping patient. Ishi, without being asked, crouched with a damp cloth to mop drops of blood from the floor. Zahra raised the bars at the sides of the bed, and then both she and Ishi went around the screen to where Diya drowsed on his stool.

  • And are there three moons? Aside from having Muslims... in spaaaace!, I'm not seeing how this matches the description.
    – Valorum
    Jul 24, 2022 at 13:25
  • @Valorum I haven't read it. Abby confirmed in comments it is the book.
    – Ayshe
    Jul 24, 2022 at 19:30
  • I've taken the liberty of adding in some quotes
    – Valorum
    Jul 24, 2022 at 20:27

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