I just finished "Fledgling" (2009), the latest Liaden Universe novel by
Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. I posted some comments on my blog:
Is anyone here a fan of the Liaden Universe books? For the most part,
they're sort of romantic space opera. I enjoy them (some are better than
others, of course).
In this case, "Fledgling" is great fun, but I think it would be VERY
confusing to people who weren't already familiar with the series. Even
if you were, it might be confusing (since the name, "Daav yos'Phelium,"
is never mentioned in this book, but only his alias, Jen Sar Kiladi).
This is a "side book" to the mainline plot, too, set on a completely
different planet. Well, it was written for fans (I've got the whole
story on my blog).
If you're not familiar with the Liaden books, you pretty well need to
start at the beginning, with either "Agent of Change" or "Conflict of
Honors," both published in 1988, since it's more or less all one
extended story. However, there IS a standalone book that's my personal
favorite. It's called "Balance of Trade" (2004). It's in the same
universe, but at a different time and with completely different
characters. If you want to sample Lee and Miller's writing, that would
be a good pick.
"Pilot's Choice" (2001) might be a good start, too. It's an omnibus of
"Local Custom" and "Scout's Progress," two novels which star the
previous generation from the mainline story.
In general, I really like the cultural details in these books. And the
characters. There's nothing much about technology (and quite a bit about
psi powers, including a psychic tree), but the Liaden culture is quite
interesting. And apparently that's not a fluke, because Lee and Miller
show us other interesting cultures in "Fledgling."
To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the
silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history,
but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.
- President Barack Obama