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1. Fledgling (Liaden Universe)
2. Partners In Necessity (Liaden
3. Mouse and Dragon (The Liaden Universe)
4. Saltation (The Liaden Universe)
5. Carousel Tides
6. The Dragon Variation (The Liaden
7. The Agent Gambit (Liaden)
8. I Dare (Liaden Universe Novel
9. Dragon Tide (Adventures in the
10. Duainfey
15. Agent of Change
16. Plan B
17. Necessary Evils (Adventures in
18. Liaden Universe Companion Volume
19. Balance of Trade (A Liaden Universe
20. Conflict of Honors: A Novel of

1. Fledgling (Liaden Universe)
by Sharon Lee, Steve Miller
Mass Market Paperback: 528 Pages (2010-02-23)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1439133433
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Theo Waitley has lived all her young life on Delgado, a Safe World that is home to one of the galaxy's premier institutions of higher learning. Both Theo's mother, Kamele, and Kamele's onagrata Jen Sar Kiladi, are professors at the university, and they all live comfortably together, just like they have for all of Theo's life, in Jen Sar's house at the outskirts of town.

            Suddenly, though, Theo's life changes. Kamele leaves Jen Sar and moves herself and Theo back into faculty housing, which is not what Theo is used to. Once settled back inside the Wall, Kamele becomes embroiled in faculty politics, and is appointed sub-chair of her department. Meanwhile, Theo who has a notation in her file indicating that she is "physically challenged," has a series of misadventures, including puuling her best friend down on the belt-ride to class, and hurting a team mate during a scavage game.

         With notes piling up in her file, Theo only wants to go "home", to the housr in the suburbs, and have everything jist like it used to be.

        Then, Kamele uncovers evidence of possible dishonest scholarship inside of her department. In order to clear the department, she and a team of senior professord must go off-world to perform a forensic document search. Theo hopes this will mean that she'll be left in the care of the man she calls "Father", Professor Kiladi, and is horrified to learn that Kamele means to bring Theo with her! ... Read more

Customer Reviews (64)

5-0 out of 5 stars fledgling takes wing
The authors have an incredible talent to pull the reader into their universe -- and what's more -- create a universe that I, for one, adore.Fledgling is a coming of age story, with a soupcon of romance, parent issues, school issues, and the odd bad guy, but its also a space opera and entirely engrossing.I pretty much have bought everything the authors have ever written, at least once. I can only recommend that you buy this book, and decide after reading it if you need more that one copy or if you will refuse to let friends ever borrow this book!

4-0 out of 5 stars A solid read; one of their best so far . . .
Authors Sharon Lee and Steve Miller have a series of books set in the Liaden universe (which you may Wikipedia if you want more background).While the Liaden books have generated their own fandom, I would give most of them a B+.They are workmanly and solid, rather than excellent or masterful.They are usually reasonably well plotted, but characters are simplistic and description and dialogue are often clumsy enough to yank the reader out of the story.They have a somewhat forgettable written-for-young-teenagers feel to them.They hold attention, but are not memorable in the way that the masterpieces of science fiction and fantasy are (think "Dune" or the first four of Zelazny's Amber series).

"Fledgling" is the latest in this series.It is also, in my opinion, their best book so far.It's still short of the top of what the genre can produce, but with many fewer of the clumsy moments that eject a reader from the story.It's the coming-of-age story of Theo, a young girl on the safe world of Delgado, which hosts a famous community of academics; she must simultaneously juggle her own problems of family life and socialization, within the larger context of serious threats that are made clear to the reader and about which she knows nothing.

Coming-of-age stories are often awful, and written by people who clearly forgot completely what it was like to be fourteen.There are moments here when I think the authors underestimate their main character, but in general I think they did a very good job of not talking down to her.The main plot is classic, or seen another way, overdone -- young person with a history of family/social problems discovers his/her hidden powers that far exceed those of his peers.Think Harry Potter.Yet it didn't feel hackneyed.In part this is because it raises indirectly some interesting issues about the balance between autonomy and social control, and the universe is well thought out and detailed in interesting ways.

Where the novel was weaker was in its side story of the threat to Theo and her mother, handled by her mother and her mother's partner, which had elements of a mystery story/political thriller.But it was a half developed mystery story/political thriller whose bones were barely sketched out.This may be because if it were expanded, it would have become the center of the story, and pushed Theo to the side.Still, the balance is uncomfortable, as without development it has a deus ex machina feel.

The writing of "Fledgling" is an interesting story in itself.A page in the back of the book explains how it was launched as a writing project in conjunction with Liaden fans, and with their input, in order to keep the lights on in the authors' house during a cold winter in Maine.Looks like the process was a good one, as it produced one of the best Liaden books so far.

4-0 out of 5 stars A review aimed at adults
Sweet bit of young adult sci-fi fluff about an ugly duckling (actually, in this case, a clumsy duckling) who of course transforms into a swan.A happy ending, no real danger in the threats that make up the plot, and a book very much aimed toward the typically smart but misfit adolescent s-f reader who will identify with the protagonist and hope for as happy a transformative ending to their own social woes.(Good luck with that, kids.)The world-building is competent (although totalitarianism comes off as not so awfully bad, really) and the prose solid and without the grammatical errors that riddle too many genre books.I didn't have any urge at all to put it aside, but I understood I was reading something aimed at adolescents and felt a little silly at my age for reading it to the end.So, let's think of this as a guilty pleasure for adults.In a week, I doubt I'll remember any details, just a "lite" pleasant experience, as it broke no new ground and offered me no new insights.

5-0 out of 5 stars can hardly wait for the next one
Just found these authors. Don't know how I missed them. They are a great read. If you like Moon, Norton, McCaffery you will like this series.

2-0 out of 5 stars *sigh*
I really--before anyone slams me--love the Liaden series with a passion. Carpe Diem has got to be one of my favorite books because of the absolutely wonderful character development. "But", the last couple books in the series have almost stopped me from buying any more. Each time one comes out I read the reviews and say, "Well...maybe just one more. Just because it sounds good."

I keep falling for the good reviews and ignoring the bad.

This was a confusing book that read a lot like a middle-school book. Not the writing, which was top-notch as always, but the subject matter, how it was treated, and...I don't know. I'm just not a teenager anymore. I have teenagers, and reading about them struggling through normal teenaged things isn't fun. It's like books with babies. Had them. Want escapism.

I was going to get the next book but I'll probably just get it at the library. ... Read more

2. Partners In Necessity (Liaden Universe Novel)
by Sharon Lee, Steve Miller
Paperback: 856 Pages (2006-10-11)
list price: US$23.95 -- used & new: US$6.44
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1592221181
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Here they are again, the three novels that introduced us all to the Liaden Universe over a decade ago. It is time to get reacquainted with our old friends: Edger & Sheather, Liz, Susiki, Jason & Anthora, Val Con & Miri and Priscilla & Shan. Remember how Miri and Val Con first met? How about the trouble Priscilla was in before she met Shan? Who can forget the way that Edger and Sheather have of coming to a friend's rescue or contemplating the weave of a carpet? Partners in Necessity also contains a new introduction by Anne McCaffery and a new afterword by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. The exceptional cover art is by Michael Herring.Amazon.com Review
Whether you love Bujold's A Civil Campaign, McCaffrey'sDragonriders of Pern series, or classics like The Prisoner ofZenda, you owe it to yourself to grab Partners in Necessity. You'll see why Sharon Lee and Steve Miller have gained devoted fans sincethe first three Liaden novels (collected here) first appeared; they helpedbring the series back with the publication of Plan B 11 yearsafter its debut. This is swashbuckling space opera at its finest, a blendof adventure, romance, humor, and terrific world building.

Meet Priscilla Delacroix y Mendoza, betrayed and stranded on a backwardworld by the Liaden trader she served as cargo master. Fortunately, anotherLiaden ship, Dutiful Passage, makes orbit and she applies for work. The captain, Shan yos'Galen, also has accounts to settle with Priscilla'sformer employers, and "among Liadens, revenge is something of an art form." Conflict of Honors is their story.In Agent of Change, ValCon yos'Phelium, Shan's cousin and foster brother, comes to the aid of MiriRobertson, former mercenary and bodyguard, who's being hunted by aninterstellar crime cartel.Once a First-in Scout,he's become a spy forLiad, programmed to play the odds ruthlessly.He's just committed amurder.They flee together, aided by Edger, an alien shaped like a turtle. His "four-hundred pound bottle-green frame" is impressive to the Clans ofMen, as are the beautiful, deadly knives of his people.He's considered abit hasty by colleagues, but his appreciation of music is keen and heregards Val Con as a brother.In Carpe Diem, the stories of Val Conand Miri, and Shan and Priscilla come together and the story of Clan Korval, towhich Shan and Val Con belong, unfolds further.

Once you've sampled Lee and Miller's Liaden Universe, you'll be delightedthat Plan B andPilot's Choice areavailable now, with I Dare still to come.Join SF and fantasy writers from Anne McCaffrey to Barry Longyear in badgering them for more. --Nona Vero ... Read more

Customer Reviews (49)

5-0 out of 5 stars Travel into the Liaden
If you like to discover a new universe, have I got one for you!Partners in Necessity contains two novels that introduce you to some of the fascinating people who are Liaden and their friends, enemies, allies, and loves.This particular volume contains a forward by Anne McCaffrey, as well.Start your journey here and you will be searching for more.Good lift and safe landing!

5-0 out of 5 stars Read again and again
I was really a late starter with these authors, first reading the book in 2009.Loved it so much, read again in early 2010.Am continuing to read other books in the series and caught more important background when rereading "Partners. . ."Only wish I had purchased a "campanion" book because of the Liaden words used throughout without explanation.GREAT GREAT read.

5-0 out of 5 stars At the beginning
The novel of manners lives.In a strange way, it reflects the earliest novel forms--think Jane Austen--yes, I know....blasphemy...but this is much more than space opera.It is sufficiently dense that it can be read over and over with an eye toward plot, character, descriptions....Hot-dam, it's just pure good.

5-0 out of 5 stars dont pass it up
Mine is dog eared from multiple readings, every time I reread them I notice something I missed the first time. Can't recommend them enough, have to agree with Anne McCaffrey's description of the books as Comfort books!
Can only hope they write more books in this style!

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I've read this years before (in separate books), but I was sure I'd enjoy reading the story again, although finishing it meant wishing I had my hands on Plan B right there and then. ... Read more

3. Mouse and Dragon (The Liaden Universe)
by Sharon Lee, Steve Miller
Hardcover: 368 Pages (2010-06-01)
list price: US$22.00 -- used & new: US$11.92
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1439133816
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
            Aelliana Caylon has endured much, and finally, she appears to have won all: a spaceship, comrades, friends -- and the love of a pilot she adores.

            Even better that her lover—the man who was destined for her, a man as much a loner as she—is also the Delm of Korval, arguably the most powerful person on all of Liad. He has the power to remove her and protect her from the toxic environment of her home Clan. Best of all, he agrees to sit as her co-pilot and her partner in a courier business.

            Even happy endings sometimes show a few flaws. Such as Aelliana's home clan being not as agreeable to letting her go as it had first seemed. And the fact that someone is stealing pilots in the Low Port, which falls within the Delm of Korval's honor. Oh, and the revelation that the man she loves—the man who is destined for her—isn't entirely the man she thought he was. And finally, she discovers that even the lift from Liad she'd so fervently desired, is part of a larger plan, a plan requiring her to be someone she never thought she was, or could be.


Praise for the Liaden Universe series:

“Every now and then you come across an author, or in this case, a pair, who write exactly what you want to read, the characters and personalities that make you enjoy meeting them. . . . I rarely rave on and on about stories, but I am devoted to Lee and Miller novels and stories.” —Anne McCaffrey


“These authors consistently deliver stories with a rich, textured setting, intricate plotting, and vivid, interesting characters from fully-realized cultures, both human and alien, and each book gets better.” ?Elizabeth Moon ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent continuation of "Scout's Progress" -- five-plus stars.
"Mouse and Dragon" is the sequel to Sharon Lee and Steve Miller's earlier "Scout's Progress" (currently on display as part of "The Dragon Variation" omnibus from Baen Books), and as such, a short synopsis of the earlier work is necessary to understand what's going on in "Mouse and Dragon."

In "Scout's Progress," Aelliana Caylon found that she wasn't merely a battered woman and brilliant mathematician; she had piloting skills, and had more ability and daring than she'd ever previously knew.In exploring her new field, piloting, she found an unexpected ally and friend -- Daav yos'Phelium, Delm Korval -- and a halting romance grew between the two, as makes sense when one of the pair has been beaten down repeatedly by the vicissitudes of life through no fault of hers.Daav was kind, patient, knowledgable about piloting, and had never before felt so strongly about any woman because on their world, Liad, men and women usually get together for brief periods (a year or two) in order to produce a child through an arrangement called a "contract marriage."Love plays little part in this, and while long-term love matches are not unknown, they are rare.

Because of Aelliana's systematic abuse at the hands of first her ex-husband, then her brother and Nadelm (second in command of her clan, and the heir apparent), she had more or less sworn off all men, but slowly grew through the course of "Scout's Progress" to realize her very real attraction to Daav the man -- an attraction that was just as much mental and emotional as it was physical.(The realm of the spirit is dealt with differently in Lee and Miller's Liaden Universe; let's just say their spirits were aligned as well, but they were unaware of this at the time.)And despite the worst her brother could throw at her in his last-ditch attempt to control Aelliana and keep her from Daav or anyone else intending good things for her, it looked as though Daav and Aelliana would live happily ever after at the end of "Scout's Progress."

But time marches on, and circumstances are sometimes brutal even to true lovers; in Daav's case, he has marital complications to extricate himself from (yet another contract marriage was on the horizon, something Daav was dreading), while Aelliana's Delm and mother has finally decided to take an interest in her daughter as due to the events of "Scout's Progress," her son (and favorite) had to be disinherited and declared "dead" to the clan.(As in, he was now an untouchable, unseeable presence.Not an actual, physical death.)Aelliana's scholarship is praised by her mother for the first time, and Aelliana's piloting skills suddenly have become a huge prize for her clan of Mizel; despite the love match between Daav and Aelliana (a soul-deep connection called a "lifemating"), Mizel's Delm refuses to grant permission for Aelliana to marry.(Aelliana is well over the age of consent and has been previously married, but this is a highly mannered society.Without her mother's consent -- as her mother is the Delm -- Aelliana can't do very much about her own wishes.)

And Daav's own family has its share of problems; the beautiful but cold Kareen yos'Phelium, Daav's older sister and sole member of the Korval Clan who does not pilot (thus, she cannot be Delm by Korval's own rules), is spiteful and cruel.She has abused her own son to the point that Daav had Kareen's son Pat Rin taken from her and placed with the amiable Trader Luken bel'Tarda, something which is not an accident and is not as small a part of the plotline as it seems at first.Because of Daav's forthright action in this matter, Kareen will stop at nothing to keep Daav from any happiness of his own, and while she hasn't outright colluded with Delm Mizel in anything, she's more than happy enough to pass rumors along at the glittering parties she throws nightly.This is not a complication Daav and Aelliana had expected to face, and it throws an even bigger monkey wrench into the proceedings.

Finally, Aelliana's sister Sinit, who is now the only possibility to become Delm of Clan Mizel after their mother passes on, needs to be provided for . . . and it is through Aellina's compassion for her sister and the resolute and steady love she has for Daav that finally settles matters in a highly satisfactory way.

These are the main elements of the book, but the minor elements -- how Aelliana and Daav form their partnership, how their marriage goes (they don't get more than a few short years together, something which resonated strongly), and seeing their young son Val Con along with Anne Davis' and Er'Thom yos'Galan's son Shan in their youth is worth a great deal all by itself -- also add an almost indefinable sense of place, a way to completely nail down the pair of them without giving up too much of Daav and Aelliana's privacy.

Note -- the final paragraphs contain spoilers, so look away if you do not want your reading spoiled.



. . . Go!

All right.You need to realize as a reader that this great love story is no less great due to its brevity or its poignancy; as many have pointed out already, Aelliana's fate has already been determined by the later books in the series "I Dare," "Fledgling," and "Saltation."Knowing what's happened to her because of those books, the entirety of her brief and joyous union was thrown into especially sharp relief.The SFnal solution Miller and Lee found remains no less surprising to me now than it did the first time I read "I Dare" -- it is a fully unique way to deal with the issue of the spirit and the spirit's great love for a spouse after the physical death of one of the pair.

Further, as a widow who lost her own beloved spouse after a few, short years, I appreciated the lessons Daav learned that he carried on into his own mostly separate future without his lovely wife Aelliana's physical presence.This was realistic, one of the most realistic ways to look at a young widower I've ever seen if you strip out the SFnal aspects of it all -- you _do_ think about your spouse, and you _do_ things differently because of what you learned because of your love for your spouse and the love of your spouse for you.Your world isn't the same, and you can't make it the same; all you can do is go on with the gifts you have, and honor your spouse the best you can in the usage of those gifts.I think Daav did that, and continues to do that throughout the series; the reason this book is particularly difficult in some spots for me to read is the palpable and heart-rending nature of his pain.That Daav eventually realizes (due to the SFnal elements) that his wife's spirit hasn't gone anywhere and his wife's love hasn't gone anywhere, either, makes no nevermind about the pain; the fact remains that his wife's body is dead.The world he knows will not recognize that his wife's spirit is alive.And everything he'd hoped for is now in ruins.

I don't know how Lee and Miller got this right, as their personal partnership/marriage remains strong and they're both in good health to the best of my knowledge.Neither of them have been widowed at an early age (or in early middle age) and they shouldn't really know how to convey this as well as they do -- not at the visceral, emotional level.I don't know how they did it.I appreciate that they did it, but I honestly don't know _how_ they did it -- but the tears I cried while reading their outstanding book "Mouse and Dragon," and again while composing this review, are a testament to their ability to get to the emotional heart of the matter.

The upshot:Five stars-plus.Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys great books -- but widows and widowers in particular might want to take a look at this as well.There are a lot of "home truths" here that I appreciated and felt valuable, most especially the truth that our spouses live on -- in us.

Barb Caffrey

5-0 out of 5 stars Another winner
I've been a fan of Lee and Miller's Liaden novels from the very beginning, and I'm thrilled to report that MOUSE AND DRAGON is a fantastic addition to this universe.

While recovering at homewith a bum ankle, a friend sent me a care package from Amazon.com that included MOUSE AND DRAGON, and I devoured the book in a single evening.Adventure, humor, romance, political scheming, all the hallmarks of a Liaden adventure, with characters that you care passionately about.New fans and old will enjoy this tale.

Go, read, enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars It does fill in the gaps.
This book isn't for anyone who has not read Liaden Universe books before. I believe there is too much back story unexplained to make this a good first plunge into this Universe. That said, I bought this in hardback as a pre-publication order because I love this story line so much. There are few I buy as new hardbacks, but these authors are some. (Lois McMasters Bujold is another.) That said, this book answered a lot of questions - A LOT of questions - but it also made me cry. For those of you who know the back story, you understand. For those of you who don't, get Scouts Progress. But be prepared...I cried.

5-0 out of 5 stars Charming love story and return to Korval
"Mouse and Dragon" covers the continued story of Aelliana Caylon and Daav yos'Phelium, Clan Korval, picking up immediately - as one reviewer has already noted - the same night as Scout's Progress ended.

Like both "Fledgling" and "Saltation," other readers of the Korval saga (spoiler!) already know how this book ends - Aelliana dies and Daav resigns as Delm to go offworld.So, the entire book is shadowed by the knowledge that tragedy is coming. And, as Aelliana is my favorite Liaden character, that knowledge and the fact that her happiness was so brief was very poignant.(/spoiler)

Despite my foreknowledge of the ending, I found the story very enjoyable and touching.I enjoyed watching Aelliana heal and find herself again, especially since that was depicted as a process and not a magical event where she meets someone and is immediately cured.Their growing relationship was lovely to see.We also see rather more of the Code and complexities of life on Liad - Aelliana's delm does not come off well here, and neither does Daav's overbearing sister, Kareen.Many other loose ends are nicely tied up, including what happens to Aelliana's younger sister, Sinit.

One thing to note, with the exception of more details around the Code and marriage, little new is revealed about Liaden culture, society or technology.There are no Clutch turtles or potential newcomers to add interest.The Juntavas makes a token appearance, but that's about it.I would say this book is more space opera and romance than science fiction, with a few elements of a coming-of-age novel twined in, as Aelliana continues to discover herself.This is one lady who isn't going to wait around for others to save her, although is willing to be helped.

I hope Ms. Lee and Mr. Miller continue to write in the Liaden universe, as these stories have both an emotional depth and refinement I have not seen in their other works.Strongly recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Bitter-Sweet but Brilliant Bridge
Well-knowing Lee and Miller's penchant for delving straight into a tale, backstory be damned, I re-read "Scout's Progress" immediately before taking on this latest Liaden installment. Scout's Progress tells of the meeting, attraction and clash of wills between Daav yos'Phelium -- pilot, Scout and Delm Korval -- and Aelliana Caylon -- would-be pilot, mathematician, and sufferer of battered woman syndrome -- and ends with an almost happy ending; yes, the one is saved from her pernicious brother and the other is free of his impending Contract Marriage, but as for how these dangling plot threads resolve into their union before all the world, we know not.

We do know, from "Agent of Change" (the story of the couple's son Val Con's own romance, and the first book written in the Liaden Universe®), that get married they do, and that Aelliana does not survive her son's journey into adulthood. We know also that Daav resigns as head of Clan Korval and goes MIA at some point not long after that. But "Mouse and Dragon" illuminates all those details that have for so long remained obscure.

Like "Scout's Progress" before it, this book is far less sci-fi, far less space opera, than any of the others in the Liaden Universe®. Both take place almost exclusively on-planet, and both deal more with the internal politics and peculiar conventions of a hidebound society than any kind of space-going conflict.

The all-important question: Is this book really necessary? The answer: No, probably not. Prequels rarely are, and sequels to prequels are even less so. (I think we all know to what I'm alluding, here.) But, with that stipulated, the even more important question becomes: Is this book a valuable addition to the Liaden narrative, a well-told and sprightly tale that is, withal, a welcome exploration of two of its more enigmatic lifemates? And the answer to that (can you guess?): Absolutely!

Oh, and Mini Shan! "Mouse and Dragon" is well worth the price of admission, just for his adorable wee self.

[This review is a snippet. The full piece first appeared in the June, 2010 issue of Geek Speak Magazine.]
... Read more

4. Saltation (The Liaden Universe)
by Sharon Lee, Steve Miller
Hardcover: 336 Pages (2010-04-13)
list price: US$24.00 -- used & new: US$14.92
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 143913345X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Theo Waitley is a Nexus of Violence

Thrust mid-year into a school for pilots far from the safe haven of her birth home on scholarly Delgado, young Theo Waitley excels in hands-on flying while finding that she's behind the curve in social intricacies as well as in math.

After surviving a mid-air emergency with a spectacular mountain-top landing in her training soar plane Theo's notoriety brings her attention from local thugs as well as a gift from Win Ton, a scout pilot she enjoyed a flirtation with on her first space voyage. When Win Ton appears on campus Theo throws herself into a relationship even as he's on his way to a Liaden marriage-bed.

Meanwhile her mentors try to guide her studies and training into the channels best suited to her special abilitiesand inclinations, including suggesting that she should joim in the off-world studenty association, a plan resulting in mixed success. After a series of confrontations, fights, and ultimately a riot after which she is thanked for not killing anyone, Theo is named a "nexus of violence" by the school's administration.

Facing suspension and carrying little more than hastily procured guild card, a pistol taken from an attacker, and the contents of her pants pockets, Theo must quickly decide if she's ready to return to Delgado in disgrace, or launch herself into the universe as a freelance pilot with credentials  she's already earned.

Praise for the Liaden Universe series:

"Every now and then you come across an author, or in this case, a pair, who write exactly what you want to read, the characters and personalities that make you enjoy metting them.... I rarely rave on and on about stories, but  I am devoted to Lee and Miller novel stories."- Anne McCaffrey


"These authors consistently deliver stories with a rich, textured setting, intricate plotting, and vivid, interesting characters from fully-realized cultures, both human and alien, and eachbook gets better."- Elizabeth Moon


  ... Read more

Customer Reviews (40)

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting reading. Makes me want more.
This is the first book I've read of the Liaden universe by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, and I wish I'd started with the first book to have more time to watch the plots unfold and the characters develop along the timeline. Lee and Miller quickly create interest and likability in the main protagonist, Theo Waitley, a half Terran, half Liaden pilot trainee who newly arrives at Anlingdin Piloting Academy from her homeworld of Delgado. Within only a few pages I found myself wanting to know more about Theo's past, who the Liadens are/were, and feel that I was missing out on a lot of background that was apparently covered in the earlier books of the series. Despite coming in part way through the movie and experiencing the nagging feeling that I should know a lot more about Theo and the Liadens, the book is quickly involving, and because of the freely flowing writing style, it's easy to take on Theo's identity and share her worries, accomplishments, doubts and successes.

There are very few writers that make me interested in reading an extended series, but Lee and Miller have pulled it off. I intend to purchase "Fledgling" and the following books in the series as they're released. Pacing is good, and the "new kid trying to fit in and learn the ropes" is an excellent vehicle to discover the world of Waitley--always feeling slightly off-balance, yet possessing hidden, only partially understood abilities that foreshadow her as an excellent pilot with well above average skills. The overall effect is that the reader is drawn comfortably into what becomes a very real universe.

The book is not a struggle to read and would be excellent for age levels of about 16 and up (and earlier, except for some mention of sexual encounters that might not be appropriate for younger teens). In all, the book was an excellent read, and well worth the investment of time. My only complaint is that there are many allusions to information obviously covered in earlier books, but that leave me in mystery and not really understanding the references in this book. It would be nice to work in a bit of a recap in each book, however, I realize it's a tall order in a long series. It's always best to start at the first book in the series. Still, highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Harry Potter of science fiction series
This book is set in the Liaden universe and is the second book following Theo Waitely and is just a thoroughly enjoyable continuation and acceleration of her story. The book is very much a coming of age story and is reminiscent of the best of the classic Heinlein books.

We follow Theo as she goes to a piloting academy and tries to find her way as an independent adult. There is a nice balance of side characters and the struggles to 'fit in' but also accomplish her goals. Theo, as in the first book, has her actions often misinterpreted (and who hasn't had THAT experience at school and beyond).

The plot itself builds throughout the book as outside events have a very big impact on Theo's life. As an adult, I had a great time with the book. But if you have a Harry Potter fan in your life especially one who has not yet discovered the great joys of good science fiction, I would highly recommend this book and series. This would also be great for any teenager or precious pre-teen who has shown an interest in science and technology. While the universe is an imagined future for the human race, it is not magical like the Harry Potter universe. However there is still a lot of magic in the story and that is a great lesson for young and old alike.

3-0 out of 5 stars Saltation
Saltation is a continuation of Fledgling, which followed the adventures of young Theo Waitley.I would not suggest picking up Saltation without having first read Fledgling, as I do not know how a reader unfamiliar with the first book on this character and her past would fare jumping in on the middle of the story.

Not only is Saltation a continuation, but it is also one of the books set in the Liaden Universe.Saltation starts off where Fledgling left off, with Theo Waitley getting sponsorship to a very expensive piloting school, one Anlingdin Piloting Academy. In Saltation, she attends Anlingdin Academy, and more than half of the story is filled with her adventures and experiences there.

As was my experience with Fledgling, it takes quite a while for the actual plot to develop, and once the plot is apparent to the reader and things start to get really interesting...well...the story ends. I have read and loved many books by Lee and Miller (most especially Carpe Diem), but Saltation is somewhat of a disappointment.I did not get as attached to Theo as I have to previous characters (say Miri, for example--but I did not like her as much in Fledgling either) and again, the plot comes in to play very late.The moment I did not want the story to end, it left me hanging (literally). There is much left unsaid and unfinished, so I do believe there will be another follow-up to Saltation.

I think 3 stars is an okay rating in this case. If the plot had come up sooner (rather than later) and things hadn't ended so very abruptly, it would most likely be higher.If you have enjoyed other books in the Liaden Universe, I do recommend picking up Saltation and seeing what you think.

5-0 out of 5 stars another blazing Clan Korval story
Just finished Saltation. I'm a big fan of the preceding Liaden Universe novels by Lee & Miller, and this entry follows a similar spiraling out of control (which is to say, *accelerating*) plotline as the earlier novels. Fledgling, the preceding book, mirrored other 1st books in the Liaden trilogies by recounting a fish-out-of-water story that turns into an ugly duckling story (a misplaced swan), that then turns into an action story rivaling the Bourne Identity films. I've long admired Lee & Miller's ability to combine break-neck plotting (think running down an increasingly steep hill while juggling eggs) with close attention to character development, and this series promises and delivers the same. I anticipate a third book that will break the sound barrier, as the earlier ones did.

4-0 out of 5 stars Another Liaden treat
I'm a big fan of Lee and Miller's work. This isn't my favorite. Some of the novel reads like back story for the real novel coming up, though far from most of it. We see an engaging character who by goodness works hard for every thing she gets. If she's better than others it's not just luck or good genes. It's earned by an outsider and in spite of the system. That helps keep me involved. ... Read more

5. Carousel Tides
by Sharon Lee
Paperback: 320 Pages (2010-11-02)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$8.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1439133956
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Advance Praise for Carousel Tides:


Carousel Tides pulls you into the chill foggy reality of peeling-paint sand-grit coastal Maine outside of tourist season and then hands you something else -- the hidden world lurking in shadows or under the land's surface or just offshore, where Black Dogs hunt the night and selkies toss unpleasant truths over their shoulders before diving into the next wave.  In the center of this, Kate Archer tends and guards one of the spookiest carousels this side of Ray Bradbury and wonders what has happened to her grandmother.  The old woman sent her a letter, left papers deeding over the carousel and old house and the Land (meaning much more than property), and vanished, telling the spirits of the land and sea that she expected to be back before the turning of the year.

“Now March has come and gone and Kate must return from self-exile to take up powers and responsibilities she has renounced, or dying will be the least of her problems . . .

“Sharon Lee weaves fantasy into reality so deftly that you scarcely notice when you slip across the edge.  And once you're there, the story's own magic won't let you turn back from the strong characters, deep mysteries, and even deeper danger.”

James A. Hetley, author of Dragon's Eye, Dragon's Teeth, and Dragon's Bones.


“Sharon Lee's finely observed detail evokes magic in Maine and gives conviction to six alternate, richly-inhabited universes.” —Rob Weisbrot, author of Xena: Warrior Princess and Hercules, the Legendary Journeys: The Official Companion


“Sharon Lee is one of my all-time favorite authors, a gifted storyteller whose work never fails to enchant.  With Carousel Tides she gives her fans another opportunity to spend time with fascinating characters, bringing them to life in a place that becomes so real you can smell the salt air around you.  Her fine hand with detail never lets the suspense falter, as mystery, folklore, and magic are artfully interwoven into a thoroughly engaging tale.  Carousel Tides will leave you eagerly awaiting the next novel by this master.” —Jan Burke, author of The Messenger, Bones, and Bloodlines   ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars One for the reread shelf
This book, written by half of the brillant team who created the Liaden universe, is a fresh look at some old themes. Kate Archer, the proverbial prodigal daughter is returning home to coastal Maine to find out why her grandmother has gone AWOL, abadoning the family responsiblity - the carousel at the local fun fair. Coming home is never easy and when Kate discovers it is up to her to get the carousel into shape for summers, she is unprepared for what she has to face in the present and issues from her past.

For those of you who picked the book based on the cover may be a little disappointed in the first few chapters "where's the fairies and the handsome princes and the funny looking horse" Sharon Lee so skillfully weaves the fantastic into the everyday that you are about 3 pages past before you realise that Kate has been talking to selkies and tree spirits instead of people in town!! Once again Sharon Lee has presented a beautifully crafted tale that is a great frist read but with so many layers that you will want to go back and explore further. A complete story in itself, we can only hope that there is many more stories from this intriuging worlds (or the other 5!) that have been created in this novel. Fans of Liaden will enjoy the new universe and newcomers will defintely enjoy this marvolous "coastal" urban fantasy.

I loved it and heartily recommend it lovers of good fiction everywhere.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Guardian Returns
The Guardian Returns

Carousel Tides (2010) is a standalone urban Fantasy novel.It is set in and around Archers Beach, Maine, a small town on the seacoast.The village depends upon the tourist trade for its revenue, but the only real draw is the Fun Country amusement park.

In this novel, Katherine Fae Archer is a young woman who is the Guardian of the Land within the township.But Kate had moved away from Archers Beach a decade ago to remove her death taint from the Land.She went as far as possible from the ocean.

Ebony Pepperidge is Kate's grandmother and co-owner of the Fantasy Menagerie Merry-go-Round at Fun Country.Bonny is a dryad, belonging to a large Gum tree.She had taught Kate the responsibilities of a Guardian.

Borgan is a tevaney, a sea sprite of some sort.He has recently come from Halifax with the Gray Lady, a beautiful Tancook Schooner.

Nancy Vois is a mechanic.Two years ago, she had worked for Kate's grandmother on the carousel.

Anna Lee is the wife of Tony Lee.She and her husband own the Chinese Kitchen restaurant at Fun Country.

In this story, Kate receives a notice from the Fun Country management demanding payment for her space in the park.She tries to call her grandmother many times without results.So she leaves Albuquerque and drives home.

She arrives in Archers Beach just after five AM.Fog covers everything as she parks her car in a municipal lot.She goes walking along the beach.

Under the pier, someone greets her with a word.The man is tall and wide, with strong muscles.He introduces himself as Borgan, captain of a local fishing boat.

Borgan is drinking coffee from a styrofoam cup.He tells Kate that Bob's Diner is open, but first she goes home to check out the house.It is thoroughly locked, so she goes to get breakfast.Bob's coffee is still as bad as she remembers, but the grilled blueberry muffins are even better than her memories.

Kate meets Nancy at the diner and discusses her time working for Bonny.Bob gives her the house keys and an envelope.Kate puts the keys in her pocket and tucks the envelope under her arm, then goes home to Tupelo House.

After unloading the groceries, Kate reluctantly opens the envelope.Inside the envelope are a bank book, legal papers and a note from her grandmother.Kate starts with the bank book, noticing that there is enough money in the bank to pay the Fun Country fee.

The legal papers give Kate title to the house, the carousel, the company, and the property on Heath Hill.The note just tells her that her grandmother is going away, but should be back by the turn of the year.It does not say where she is going or what she will be doing.

By now, Bonny is way overdue.Kate starts asking about her, but none has seen her for months.Then Kate goes to Heath Hill and checks out her grandmother's tree.She notices a bit of blight in the trunk and knows that Bonny had better return soon.

Kate hires Nancy to work on the carousel machinery.Anna volunteers to help Kate to refurbish the fantasy animals.And Kate buys a telephone answering machine for the house.

This tale leaves Kate in a mess.Her grandmother is missing, the park is opening early, the bindings on the spirits in the carousel need renewal, and the land is failing.She also believes that Borgan is using his glamour on her.

This novel ends with most of the plotlines resolved and no signs of a sequel.Yet the reader is left wanting more.Read and enjoy!

Highly recommended for Lee fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of magical powers, powerful sorcerers, and small town relationships.

-Arthur W. Jordin ... Read more

6. The Dragon Variation (The Liaden Universe)
by Sharon Lee, Steve Miller
Paperback: 976 Pages (2010-06-01)
list price: US$12.00 -- used & new: US$6.74
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1439133697
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
            Three space adventure novels in the popular Liaden Universe® series in one popularly-priced Omni edition:

            Local Custom—Master Trader Er Thom yos’Galan knows that Liaden custom is to be matched with a proper bride and provide his clan, Korval, with an heir. Yet his heart is immersed in another universe, influenced by another culture, and lost to a woman not of his world. And to take a Terran wife such as scholar Anne Davis is to risk both his honor and reputation—not to mention the lives of loved ones.

            Scout's Progress—Aelliana Caylon is a brilliant mathematician, revered by pilots for the life-saving revisions she brought to the ven’Tura Piloting Tables. Despite this, her home life is terrifying, as the target of her elder brother’s spite and her mother’s indifference. Convinced that she has no recourse, Aelliana endures, until, on a dare, she plays a game of chance and wins a spaceship. Suddenly she has a way to escape her drab life – if she can qualify as a pilot, and survive her brother’s abuse.

            Conflict of Honors—Declared legally dead by a High Priestess of the Goddess and abandoned by her mother, Priscilla Delacroix has roamed the galaxy for ten years, surviving and becoming a woman of extraordinary skills. Now, she’s been betrayed and abandoned once again, left on a distant planet by the Liaden starship on which she had been an important officer. But she’s not alone: starship captain Shan yos’Galan has his own score to settle with the same enemy and is about to offer her an alliance. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars What a great read!
I love the Liaden universe books so much! What convincing characterization! Likeable, intelligent, fiercely protective, interesting people that would be an honor to meet and befriend. I was very excited to see these treasures being re-released in omnibus form, since there were two or three I just couldn't afford to buy until now - $250 US for a used paperback anyone? :S So, consider the next ones pre-ordered =D

5-0 out of 5 stars A Different Universe
Dragon Variation is science fiction the way I like it, more about people and relationships than about space battles and bizarre aliens.The Liadens are different from humans but more in terms of their culture and behaviors than physical features.I enjoyed Scout's Progress the most so far.Local Custom gives you grounding in the basic facts about this new world along with a love story.Scout's Progress to me has more depth and more compelling characters.I have just started Conflict of Honors but it promises to be an equally compelling and interesting read.This sort of sci-fi can appeal to women equally as men.I will seek out and read other novels in this series.

2-0 out of 5 stars THE DRAGON VARIATION

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully crafted world - a must read...
If you have never read any of the Liaden books then I envy you the initial pleasure of finding them first time.My son introduced me to Local Custom and I was hooked - so borrowed all the printed books he had at the time. Like many of the Liaden fans (including Anne McCaffrey) I read and re-read the books and as my son does the same I now need to buy my own copies - hence my delight that they are now all to be re-released as second hand copies of a couple are very expensive!

Set in a future Universe we have space, traders, differing worlds and practices, wizards, dramliz, rigid codes of practice, dragons oh and a sentient tree in stories written with a very deft hands that give us characters that we care about and want to hear more of.

As you read each last page you inevitably want to know .... "what happens next?"

I read a lot and also topping my book list are Lord of the Rings and Pride & Prejudice - the Liaden books from Sharon Lee & Steve Miller provide a child from Tolkien & Austen, written with JRRT's creation of worlds and cultures yet with the lightness of touch and observations of people of Austen that makes them such a pleasure to read again and again...

Just buy and enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent re-issue and omnibus
"The Dragon Variation" is an excellent omnibus, a re-issue of three great novels, "Local Custom," "Scout's Progress," and "Conflict of Honors."All three are very strong novels with interesting and complicated protagonists, set in the authors' Liaden Universe.

The first novel in this omnibus is "Local Custom," which is about Er Thom yos'Galan and his ex-lover Anne Davis.yos'Galan comes from Liad, where short-term contract marriages are the rule rather than the exception, and lifetime matings are few and far between.Er'Thom never was quite able to put Anne out of his head, nor his heart, while Anne has never forgotten Er Thom, either.

When Er Thom shows up again on Anne's doorstep, she proudly introduces him to their son, Shan yos'Galan.Er Thom does not doubt this is indeed his son, but is both frustrated and clueless as to what to do next -- his mother, a powerful woman, does not like Terrans in general (nor does the society he comes from), and he knows she will not welcome Anne into their home.Yet Er Thom cannot leave his son with Anne, as it would be dishonorable; he knows they must become a family.So he offers the legal and moral best he believes he can offer -- a limited contract marriage, of the sort his society most values.But this is anathema to Anne Davis, who believes love is the only reason to have a relationship, much less to marry, and Er Thom has not spoken to her of love (it being rare in his society, partly due to the overly mannered way most Liadens tend to communicate with one another).

So you might be asking, "What is it about this book that you enjoy so much, as this is a tried and true romance plot?"The answer: plenty.The authors' worldbuilding skills are excellent.The romance feels realistic, something that could indeed happen between two intelligent, spirited people who think everything's against them (including their cultures of origin), with the dialogue, descriptions, mannerisms and mores spot on.I found it an excellent story the first time I read it, and appreciated it even more this time.

The second book in the omnibus is "Scout's Progress," which is about my favorite heroine in all of Lee and Miller's fiction -- Aelliana Caylon.She's a mathematician, a scholar, and is extremely intelligent, yet comes from a family that doesn't seem to understand or appreciate her in any respect whatsoever.Her brother is in a position of power in the family, and relentlessly abuses her, while her mother (the only person more powerful than her brother) turns a blind eye to the abuse; only her younger sister seems to care at all, which has made Aelliana feel as if she is lower than dirt at the start of this book.

However, her life is about to change; she wins a starship in a game of chance, and decides on the instant that she will learn to fly it and leave Liad forever in order to get away from her brother's abuse.This puts her into proximity with a man known only to her as "Daav," another highly skilled pilot who offers to help train her.Yet Daav has secrets of his own; that he's very powerful in his own right in his own clan (being Delm of Korval, an extremely noteworthy and influential Clan of Liad) is something he instinctively hides from Aelliana as he's afraid of scaring her off.

The romance here is somewhat understated, and takes many detours, which I found extremely realistic.There also is a great deal about piloting, pilots, mathematics and how it all relates to piloting and pilots, and of course a great deal about the culture and mores of Liad.

How Aelliana reclaims her own power, and realizes her own abilities, is for you to read -- but I can guarantee you will enjoy this book if you've ever read any romances of any sort, or any military SF with romance, or any SF with romance.

The third book is "Conflict of Honors," which is about Priscilla Delacroix y Mendoza.She's been cast out of her own world, Sintia, and has had to make shift where she can as a "spacer" (someone who works on spaceships) in the ten years since her abrupt dislocation.Priscilla is competent in many spheres, yet she, too, has been ground down by circumstance until she barely realizes her own power in any way, shape or form.And when she's knocked out and marooned on the backward planet Jankalin, it seems as if her luck has completely and totally run out.Yet this is not the case -- she's about to meet Shan yos'Galan (son of Anne Davis and Er Thom yos'Galan, from "Local Custom"), and find that sometimes, the worst of circumstances leads to the best of results.

All three of these books are excellent; they draw you in, and don't let you go until the book is done.Better still, as this is an omnibus, there's three great books to enjoy at one low price -- all honor to Baen Books for putting this book out, and for picking up Sharon Lee and Steve Miller as authors.

Final tally:

"Local Custom" -- five stars, highly recommended.
"Scout's Progress" -- five stars plus, with the highest recommendation possible.
"Conflict of Honors" -- five stars, highly recommended.

Barb Caffrey

NOTE:Authors you might like if you like Lee and Miller include, but are not limited to: André Norton, Anne McCaffrey, Lois McMaster Bujold, Mercedes Lackey, Rosemary Edghill, Georgette Heyer, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jennifer Crusie (though she's a bit lighter than the rest) and Jennifer Roberson.

... Read more

7. The Agent Gambit (Liaden)
by Sharon Lee, Steve Miller
Paperback: 400 Pages (2011-01-04)
list price: US$12.00 -- used & new: US$8.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1439134073
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Editorial Review

Product Description
            Two space adventure novels in the popular Liaden Universe® series in one popularly-priced Omni-trade edition:

            Agent of Change: Once a brilliant First-in-Scout, Val Con yos’Phelium was “recruited” by the shadowy Liaden Department of Interior and brainwashed into an Agent of Change—a ruthless covert operative who kills without remorse. Val Con has been playing a deep game, far from the orderly life of clan and kin. Fleeing his latest mission, he saves the life of ex-mercenary Miri Robertson, a Terran on the run from interplanetary assassins. Thrown together by circumstances, Val Con and Miri struggle to elude their enemies and stay alive without killing each other-or surrendering to the unexpected passion that flares between them. Which name – or face – will the agent choose when the game gets tough and an escape for only one of them seems possible?

            Carpe Diem: On the run from interplanetary assassins and a ruthless interstellar crime cartel, covert operative Val Con yos'Phelium and former mercenary sergeant Miri Robertson formed an alliance of necessity and wound up stranded on a planet with no rescue in sight. Their on-world problems were looking manageable after they assumed new identities as musicians, that is until a local war forced them to reveal their alien combat skills – and doubt their own growing partnership of trust and love. By then the relentless hound of an agent on Val Con's trail was closing in with the very weapon Val Con and Miri most feared, and the game got very rough indeed.


“I rarely rave on and on about stories, but I am devoted to Lee and Miller novels and stories.” —Anne McCaffrey ... Read more

8. I Dare (Liaden Universe Novel Series)
by Sharon Lee, Steve Miller
Paperback: 480 Pages (2007-09-29)
list price: US$16.00
Isbn: 1892065037
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
I DAREThe dynamic conclusion to theAgent of Change series in Lee and Miller's Liaden Universe®! Val Con yos'Phelium-a Scout, former Agent of Change, husband, brother to Turtles, and designated heir to Clan Korval's fortune and mission... whether you considered him respectable or not, no one would call him a gambling man. When he reappears demanding Balance and retribution, he looks exactly like the kind of leader his clan has been producing for generations. On his capable shoulders the fate of his Clan, his world, and his civilization... Pat Rin yos'Phelium-fond father, bon vivant, ne'er-do-well... and a professional gambler. The enemies of Korval have offered Pat Rin the Ring that would make all of Korval's holdings his own and a Juntavas Judge has offered Pat Rin a world...When he appears with hired guns in tow no one is expecting him and no one knows what he'll do. Pat Rin is a gambling man, and on his wild-card shoulders the fate of his Clan, his world, his civilization... This long-awaited culmination of the Agent of Change sequence of Sharon Lee and Steve Miller's internationally acclaimed Liaden Universe® novels pits unexpected friends and unexpected enemies against each other in a war that spans planets and races and threatens to bring interstellar violence to the very surface of fabled Liad. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (38)

5-0 out of 5 stars Conclusion
The conclusion to Val Cona and Meri story. Excellent story with all the drama I have come to expect from Sharon and Steve.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best ever
I love this book. It's one of my favorites. I really like Pat Rin as a character.
It also has a nice tie into Theo Waitely's tale (see Fledgeling & Saltation).

5-0 out of 5 stars The book I reread the most!
Today is SF/Fantasy writer recognition day and I decided to honor some of my favorite books of all time.This is one of them.I love the whole series and have read them countless times but I think this one is my very favorite.As others have said before me - don't read this one first, but do read the others and then read this one!And then join the rest of us in waiting for the next ones!

5-0 out of 5 stars You can't keep a good Liaden down
This is the fifth and concluding volume in the story arc that began with _Agent of Change,_ and it's a rip-roarer. Each of the volumes has focused of a separate individual (or couple) in Clan Korval and this time it's Pat Rin yos'Phelium, a professional gambler and supposed ne'er-do-well -- but he's still Liaden to his marrow, and still Korval. Plan B has sent the scattered clan into hiding all across the galaxy and Pat Rin, in planning his revenge on those whom he erroneously believes have murdered everyone else in his family, settles on Surebleak as a base of operations -- the very world where Miri Robertson, lifemate of Pat Rin's nephew, Val Con, was born. The methods by which Pat Rin begins taking the place over are fascinating and illuminating in the differences between Liaden and Terran psychology. And, of course, Pat Rin acquires a love interest of his own. Meanwhile, Shan yos'Galan and his now-armed trading ship on the one hand, andVal Con and Miri and their mercenary contacts on the other hand, are pursuing their own somewhat divergent courses in suppressing the Department of the Interior. And there are always the Clutch turtles, following their own alien path. We also meet Daav yos'Phelium, Val Con's long-missing father, who hears about what's going on and comes back to the clan from whom he had separated himself decades before. It's all a very satisfying and very well thought-out wrap-up -- especially the climatic appearance of the many branches of the family in orbit around Liad.

4-0 out of 5 stars Thi s stays in my library forever
Once in a while a book comes along that goes beyand its category. This is labeled as a sci-fi, but these are people, whether in the past or the future, people you care about, people you would like to know. I do not think much of the present sci-fi offerings, but this makes up for it. It is a must have!!! ... Read more

9. Dragon Tide (Adventures in the Liaden Universe, 13)
by Sharon Lee, Steve Miller
Paperback: 60 Pages (2007)
-- used & new: US$23.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0977663973
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Kareen yos'Phelium Clan Korval has always done everything that was proper, rising by study and by example to become the foremost scholar of the Liaden Code of Proper Conduct on Liad - and perhaps in the galaxy. Indeed, it seems that the only people she cannot influence to seemly action are the members of her own Clan. Now, wit Plan B in effect, Kareen must act. Is she merely and expert of the Code, or is she a DAUGHTER OF DRAGONS?Trees propose, dragons dispose. So it has been for many cycles of growing, many lives of dragons. Trees and dragons alike prosper in cooperation, and when the trees do well, the world does well.One day, though, the world is turned upside down: A tree is uprooted; a young dragon is cast into action-- and neither one knows what other menace may be born on this DRAGON TIDE. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

3-0 out of 5 stars INCONCLUSIVE

5-0 out of 5 stars Certain to please
I don't think these authors can write a bad book.Certainly I haven't read one I didn't love and don't think I have missed any.Found this chapbook which I didn't have and thoroughly enjoyed it. ... Read more

10. Duainfey
by Sharon Lee, Steve Miller
Mass Market Paperback: 496 Pages (2009-02-24)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1416591672
Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Rebecca Beauvelley is a ruined woman.

In a moment of girlish folly, she allowed a high-flying young man to take her up in his phaeton, not realizing that he was drunk. When he dropped the ribbons, she recovered them, but not in time to avoid disaster. The young man was killed in the accident. Rebecca survived, with a withered arm to remind her of the wages of folly, and a reputation in tatters.

Against all expectation, her father has found someone, an elderly rogue, who will marry her. Rebecca's life seems set, and she resigned to it, when Altimere, a Fey, appears and uses his magic to show her two futures: In the first, she is abused and neglected as the dutiful wife; in the second, she is dressed and bejeweled like a princess. Rebecca chooses the second future and elopes with Altimere. 

Unfortunately, Altimere has an agenda of his own.

The first of a two-book series.  Watch for the sequel, Longeye, coming April 2009. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (33)

2-0 out of 5 stars Duanfey
The first Sharon Lee and Steve Miller I have absolutely not liked. Ir is vague which maybe meant to be the way the character feels but it is not interesting. It is very sexy and has a lot to do with sex, no love.

1-0 out of 5 stars Definitely not what was expected or desired
I picked up this book in the library, being a fantasy lover.It seemed to me really slow and boring, until Rebecca met Altimere.At first he was kind and seemed like a pretty good guy.Then it turned a corner and never looked back.It just got more and more sexual and I think the authors should just write porn instead of trying to disguise it as fantasy.
I am disgusted with this book and will never read anything by these authors again.
This book is just thrown together, not even making sense through most of it, throwing characters in pell mell; it's a mess.I think there should definitely be a warning that says explicit or something along those lines so fantasy loving kids don't get a hold of it.
I'm sorry I didn't read the reviews before beginning to read and discovering for myself how horrible this book is.The authors seem fascinated by a degrading, shaming use of sex as abuse rather than a way people share love.I hate it that they did that, it wasn't only to Rebecca, buy also Meri's love.So much just had to do with sex, which is why I say "just write porn". I will never recommend anything by these authors and will steer clear of anything they produce.

2-0 out of 5 stars Two stars for gardens and world-building (spoilers!)
Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, best known for their Liaden Universe novels, venture into the pure fantasy realm with "Duainfey."

Rebecca Beauvelley is the elder daughter of an earl.Unfortunately, a youthful indiscretion involving a carriage accident has left her unmarriageable with a badly-injured arm.She takes refuge in her solitude and extraordinary gift for gardening.Her father has found an elderly suitor to marry her, in order to clear the path for her (of course) spoiled, difficult and unpleasant younger sister.Unfortunately, her suitor (of course again) turns out to be an abusive, hectoring and unpleasant man.When offered the chance of elopement with a mysterious elven lord, Becca takes it.Unfortunately again (the girl just can't catch a break!), her rescuer turns out to be an unmitigated cad - worse, really - who gradually seduces her out of her innocence, power, self-actualization and will.Much unpleasant and gratuitous sex and violence follow.

Meanwhile, across the border, Meripen, an Elven Ranger, is recovering from the loss of his lover and from wounds inflicted on him by humans.

First the good points (there are a few):good world-building, intriguing concept of Elves in Regency quasi-England, and gardens.Wonderful gardens.They were the best part of the novel.

Now, onto the bad points:

- BEYOND a cliffhanger ending.That was just annoying.

- Altimere is a scene-chewing, stock villain.We're not children (given the graphic sexual content of this book, let's hope we're not children!). Can we have some nuance please?Also, has he ever heard of killing the goose that lays the golden eggs?It would have been much more interesting if he's kept Becca in relative comfort and security, only occasionally crossing the line. It felt as though he should be wearing a sign that said "THIS GUY IS VERY EVIL."

- Becca is waaaaaayyyy too passive.Lee and Miller write great women characters - Aelliana, Priscilla, Natesa, not to mention Miri!Becca's one independent action - acquiesing to Altimere - ends badly, but then she implodes into a total victim, begging and pleading at the requisite intervals, but, ending up as Altimere's sexual plaything and assassin.She doesn't even rescue herself, but is dependent on another person for survival - who, in turn, captures her to use her for her own purposes.It's really hard to care about a character who is an object rather than a person.The only time I liked her was when she was talking with her brother or in the garden, which was sadly too brief.

- Meripen's existence and presence in the novel seems solely dedicated to 1) reminding the reader that bad humans are Just As Bad as elves, 2) providing context for the elven court and 3) foreshadowing Becca's love interest in the second volume of the series.

- The repeated rapes and gang rapes are pointless and, candidly, do little to move the plot forward.They only demonstrate that Becca is powerless and in thrall (we knew this already) and Altimere is cruel and inhuman (we knew this too). I can put up with violence, sexual or otherwise, in my reading if it results in growth or an epiphany.This didn't.

- Too many cliches - wounded, feisty heroine; elderly caddish suitor; evil "rescuer" who debauches wounded, feisty heroine; equally evil and unpleasant associates of evil "rescuer," stock lords and ladies; spoiled, beautiful younger sister; authoritarian, overbearing father; wounded hero waiting in the wings....and so on.Stock stories can be fun if written and presented intelligently, but this just didn't do it for me.

1-0 out of 5 stars Dialogue driving me nuts!
I've heard that _Duainfey_ contains disturbing sexual content. I mention that as a word of warning, in case you're a reader who dislikes that sort of thing.

That said, I can't speak to that personally. I didn't get that far. _Duainfey_ starts with an overly-confusing prologue set in the Fey realm. I was never quite sure what was actually going on in this scene. Then, the story shifts to the doings of a human family in Regency society. The plot is less confusing here, but this dialogue is just not for me. Here's the heroine's brother, upon being asked about a Fey lord's hair color:

"Yellow, oh, aye," Dickon returned slowly; "you might call it yellow--but not like yours, Lady Caro. And his eyes--you see I anticipate your next question!--you might say that his eyes are a pale brown. His coat--attend me now, Mother--was tawny, and his breeches rust colored, his boots polished so high I could see Ferdy reflected in them."

Regency novels have never been my thing, so I can't say for sure, but I'm wondering if this overly mannered speech is a convention of that genre. All I know for sure is that it's driving me bonkers. On to the next book in my TBR pile!

2-0 out of 5 stars ripped off
This isn't a book, its the beginning of a book, no type of any closure unless you buy and read next book. I had bought both, but still am offended with how it was done.

Sexual violence has it's place, but obviously Lee & Miller can only write rape in crude, not scary or traumatic terms. Still could overlook the coarseness if not for the utterly ridiculous ending In Longeye, and so much jumble between. It was like OOPS, out of space lets wrap this up. Much of the book made no sense, gave up even on rereading to try to untangle it.

Been fan long time, will be more careful in future of just buying their work. Sadly many begin to become less caring of writing good work as they get further down the road and sadly this seems to be the case here.

Am utterly disappointed with this and the sequel and sad I wasted good money buying new or buying at all. So much potential there flushed down the drain, along with my money. ... Read more


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15. Agent of Change
by Steve Miller, Sharon Lee
Paperback: 320 Pages (2002-10-29)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$1.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0441009913
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Fleeing the scene of his latest mission, Val Con yos'Phelium finds himself saving the life of ex-mercenary Miri Robertson, a young Tarren on the run from interplanetary assassins. Thrown together by circumstances, Val Con and Miri struggle to elude their enemies and stay alive without slaying each other-or surrendering to the unexpected passion that flares between them. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (24)

5-0 out of 5 stars Expendable Liaden
Agent of Change (1988) is the first SF novel in the Liaden Universe series.It is set in a future where there are several known variations of Man and a few truly alien species.The Liaden are organized into Family Lines and these Lines into Clans.The Council of Clans rules all Liadens, but the Captain serves all Clans.

In this novel, Val Con yos'Phelium is a Liaden.He had been a First-in Scout, but now is a spy.

Miri Robertson is a Terran.She had been a mercenary, serving with the Gyrfalks.Then she left to become a bodyguard.Now she running from the Juntavas.

Twelfth Shell Fifth Hatched Knife Clan of Middle River's Spring Spawn of Farmer Greentrees of The Spearmakers Den, The Edger is a Clutch.He is about seven hundred years old and is a T'carais of his people.Val Con is the adopted and younger brother of Edger.

In this story, Terrence O'Grady is brought before Jaeger of the Terran Party and accused of being an impostor.He is beaten a little and loses his glasses.When the glasses are returned to him, Terrence throws them to Jaeger and jumps out the window.

Behind him, Val Con hears an explosion.He hurries even faster away from party headquarters.On the way, he notices five men firing at a woman.

Val Con takes out three of the men and Miri shoots the others.They both leave the area before the police arrive.Miri takes Val Con to her safehouse.

Miri tells him that the men were Juntavas.Her former employer had left the organization with embezzled funds and the Juntavas are trying to terminate him.Naturally, Sire Baldwin didn't explain his situation in quite this way.

When the Juntavas attacked the house, her employer fled the scene.Only a few of the staff survived the attack.Now Miri is also being hunted by the Juntavas and both she and the criminals would dearly like to get their hands on Sire Baldwin.

They recuperate overnight, but Miri doesn't want Val Con hanging around with her.He leaves, but soon notices the men surrounding the house.He returns to find Miri again under attack.This time Val Con takes Miri to his safehouse.

This time the Juntavas come looking for recent arrivals to the planet.Val Con and Miri get away again and find Edger and his brothers in the lobby of the building enjoying the entertainment.They all return to Edger's hotel.

This tale involves Val Con and Miri in various efforts by the Juntavas and the police to capture them.They find other friends in unexpected places.Then they flee the planet.

Val Con is an agent for Liaden in this novel.His personality has been overlaid by a pattern called the Loop.It displays the chances of achieving his mission and of surviving.But it also drives him against his will.

This volume is the first in the series by publication date, but it is something like the fifth by internal chronology.The Liaden Universe timeline is confusing.Moreover, this novel should -- but does not -- have a direct sequel!

Val Con finds himself loving Miri and she reluctantly feels the same.The next installment in this series -- Conflict of Honors -- concerns another within the Clan Korval.Read and enjoy!

Highly recommended for Lee & Miller fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of armed conflict, paranormal talents, and true romance.

-Arthur W. Jordin

4-0 out of 5 stars Reasonably intelligent romantic space opera
This semi-sequel to _Conflict of Honors_ is set about eight years later in the Liaden universe and focuses on Val Con yos'Phelium scheduled to become head of Clan Korval, cousin of Shan yos'Galen, skilled pilot, "First-In" Scout (responsible for investigating newly discovered worlds), and now a spy unhappily in the employ of Liad's extremely secret Department of Interior. The Department adheres to a program of racial purity and Liaden supremacy, and they neither like nor trust the Korvals. He becomes involved, quite happenstantially, with Miri Robertson, a Terran (except she's not) from a "ghetto" world, an ex-mercenary sergeant and ex-bodyguard who is on the run from the Juntavas, a kind of interplanetary Mafia. The romance element this time, unfortunately, is somewhat overwritten, but you can *bleep* over some of the mush in favor of the authors' delightful depiction of the "turtles," a truly alien race with whom Val Con has a deep and extensive history. The adventure proceeds apace!

2-0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader
Pretty ordinary secret agent type on the run story.The fun bit is that he gets probability calculations of his likely demise along the way.Basically, Lee is no Fleming or Ludlum.

Should appeal more to those that like a romance/action story in a different setting.

5-0 out of 5 stars Terrific Book
This is another fine book in the Liaden series by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. In this book, Liaden Val Con rescues mercenary Miri Robertson and the two of them go on the run together, although for different reasons. The romantic tension between them is palpable, but it never detracts from the compelling plot. The authors continually find new ways to depict culture clash as with each new book they bring a different outsider into Liaden society. This is a good, fun book in a good, fun series.

5-0 out of 5 stars title is incorrect
this book is "Agent of Change" (not chance!) and was the first published of what is know a 6 or 7 book series.
The authors now have a different publisher than originally.
The series (in chronological order)
Pilots Choice (2 stories in one); Conflict of Honors (Shan's story); Agent of Change (Val Con and Miri); Carpe Diem (immediadely next) Plan B and I Dare
A Really Good series
Frances Morrison ... Read more

16. Plan B
by Steve Miller, Sharon Lee
Paperback: 336 Pages (2003-04-29)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$208.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0441010539
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The Department of the Interior-a secret Liaden agency-has declared war on Clan Korval. With Val Con yos'Phelium still a fugitive, it falls on his cousin Shan yos'Galen to invoke Plan B-the code name of clan's strategy to defend itself in the face of an all-powerful enemy.Amazon.com Review
How can a series with terrific character development, wittydialogue, and high adventure fail? Lee, Miller, and dedicated fansrefused to believe it could, and after 10 years, the Liaden Universehas returned from book limbo! If you can find them, look for otherbooks in the series: Partners in Necessity, an omnibus of thefirst three novels, another omnibus containing two prequels, and thefifth book, I Dare. But feel free to start here: Plan Bstands alone, though previous books provide rich back-story.

MeetVal Con yos'Phelium of Clan Korval. Val Con was once an "agent ofchange": recruited by Liad's Department of Interior (DOI) andredesigned--his memories blocked, his emotions suppressed--into aprecision killing device. Val Con's sanity was saved by his lifemate,Miri Robertson. She's a half-Terran former mercenary sergeant evenshorter than Val Con, and almost as deadly in combat. Miri also hasLiaden dramliza (wizard) blood from her mother's family, Clan Erob. InLiaden society, one's melant'i (roughly: reputation, or face) ispreserved by appropriate speech and behavior, including honor duelswhen a Balance is owed. Miri is nervous but Val Con says:"'Together, cha'trez, we are--' he bent his head, put his mouthnext to her ear and breathed '--hell on wheels.'"

DOI hasplotted to destroy Korval; Korval now invokes Plan B: retreatstrategically, trust no one, prepare for all-out war. Val Con and Miriare trapped by an invasion force of the militaristic Yxtrang as theyawait Val Con's foster siblings, who are arming the clan. And ofcourse their adopted Clutch brothers, Edger and Sheather, who resemblegiant turtles, are also on their way. Somewhat more slowly. Caneverybody stay alive long enough to reunite?

If you love Lois McMasterBujold's Miles Vorkosigan books, visit Liad. This is space operaat its best. --Nona Vero ... Read more

Customer Reviews (55)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent continuation of the Liaden Series
This is not a series with stand alone books, you have to start in the beginning and progress. This book just jumps in and starts where Carpe Diem left off. We're at the start of the war in earnest between the Clan Korval and previously unknown enemies. Things start to tie together and finally Val and Miri get back into the thick of the Liaden worlds. I like this book, but it's definitely a bridge between Partners in Necessity and I Dare. I love this series, it has everything you could want from a space opera and more. Some once described it as Jane Austen in space, but I find it more deadly than that - more like Renaissance Italy in space, lots of machinations and maneuverings and with some love and laughter to leaven the plot. Highly recommended series. A keeper and frequent reread.

5-0 out of 5 stars The action just keeps climbing . . .
This is the fourth volume (out of five -- I think) in a first-rate space opera story arc, set in the Liaden Universe, that began with Conflict of Honors. It's all about Clan Korval, one of the wealthiest and most powerful trade families around, and the people in it, and their growing struggle with the Liaden Department of Interior (which has plans for running things their own narrow-minded way), and with the Juntavas (a sort of galactic Mafia), and their relations and alliances with various Terran groups and individuals. Key to the multiple plots are Val Con yos-Phelium -- who becomes a Scout and then a spy, and then goes determinedly on the lam -- and his lady-love, Miri Robertson, a talented ex-mercenary who thought she was Terran (and still mostly thinks that way) but who has discovered she's actually a lost member of Clan Erob, a smaller Liad family that is closely allied with Korval. Val Con and Miri, now lifemates, have gone to Erob to get her accepted back into the family, and things are moving along well. But what they don't know is that the attempts by Clan Korval, back home, to locate Val Con (who is supposed to take over the family's leadership, whether he wants to or not), have led to an unhealthy interest in Korval by the Department of Interior. "This means war," as they say. The current First Speaker, Nova yos'Galan, invokes "Plan B," which can be summed up in two words: "Everybody scatter!" The family's flagship is even outfitted as a battleship -- and a very powerful one, too. And then all hell suddenly breaks loose, with an attack on Erob's world by the dreaded Xytrang (a combination of Huns and Mongols, with a dash of Klingon), and Miri is suddenly pushed to the forefront, her mercenary experience in great demand. But things get even weirder when Val Con is able to recruit an Xytrang Scout-equivalent to fight on his side. There are loads of interwoven subplots here, plus interestingly developed personal relationships, and lots of classic military ground action. Don't even think about trying to read this volume first, because you will have no idea of what's going on; start at the beginning of the arc -- but keep all the volumes handy because you won't want to wait to start the next volume!

5-0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down
Great read. So much detail in this book; I read it over again after I finished reading it the first time and was just as entertained. I hope the saga continues! More please...

5-0 out of 5 stars Book 3 of Val Con's and Miri's adventures
"A changing array of safeplaces shall be maintained at all times, in the event of immediate, catastrophic threat to the Clan. There is no shame in strategic retreat. Even Jela sometimes ran from his enemies, the better to defeat them, tomorrow.
"Keep the children safe. Honor without love is stupidity."
- This by the hand of Cantra yos'Phelium, Captain and Delm, in the Third Year after Planetfall

This book comes closest to suffering from "middle book" syndrome of all the Liaden books, but only because it's obviously in the middle of a continuing story. Plenty of interesting things occur in this volume, but their origins lie in AGENT OF CHANGE (which introduced Miri and Val Con to each other), a story which was continued in CARPE DIEM. The cliffhanger ending of PLAN B itself leads to I DARE, the next book, so I recommend having that handy before tackling this volume.

If the gentle reader insists on beginning with PLAN B in this series, don't claim that I didn't warn you against such an ill-advised idea.

Val Con yos'Phelium, sometime First-In Scout and ex-Agent of Change, is still on the run with his new lifemate, ex-mercenary Miri Robertson, from Liad's so-called "Department of the Interior", a renegade government organization dedicated to giving Liad its "true place" in the galaxy even if Liad's own culture and people must be sacrificed to that aim. As heirs to Korval's ancient contract to protect the people of Liad, Val Con and his cousins can't let the Department win, even if their own lives weren't at risk as a family heavily intermingled with Terrans.

In this round of their ongoing battles, however, the Department is a relatively minor factor.

As arranged at the end of CARPE DIEM, the cousins are about to rendezvous on Lytaxin, homeworld of Miri Robertson's distant Liaden kinfolk - also, ironically, ancient allies of Clan Korval. (*Every* senior member of Val Con's family thinks it's ironic that he chose his lifemate from the most suitable family possible, and that if he'd *known* she was suitable he'd have taken forever to look in her direction.) Unfortunately, Lytaxin - having just undergone a massive rebellion - is now being invaded by the Yxtrang 14th Conquest Corps, who successfully executed their standard opening ploy of destroying the planetary communication net.

And in accordance with the principle that no good deed goes unpunished, the Yxtrang Explorer whom Val Con once captured and trussed up like a turkey is not only attached to the Corps but has just been captured by Lytaxin's defenders. And guess which Liaden on the planet is the *only* person fluent in Yxtrang?

Various nice touches of characterization and development of the cultures involved, including our first good look at the Yxtrang as well as Miri's first adjustments to interacting with Liaden culture as a Liaden rather than a Terran. We also get a more detailed look at Miri's old mercenary unit (who quite properly ask why Miri and Val Con didn't just tag along with them in the first place, if they were going to end up on Lytaxin anyhow).

5-0 out of 5 stars plan B is A+
plan B opens with Miri and Val Con in space and headed to the planet Lytaxin. They've put the word out to Val Con's clan to rendezvous there. There is also an invading force of alien warriors that is converging right along with them. plan B is full of widescale destruction, ironic humor and justified paranoia. It will have you ride a wave of human emotions as you are caught up in the story.

I did not know this was book six of the Liaden universe. But if you haven't read the other books, like myself, you won't have too much trouble following the events of plan B, I may have missed some subtly points by not having a background to pull from. But I still found it a very entertaining read and could not put it down.
... Read more

17. Necessary Evils (Adventures in the Liaden Universe, Volume 11)
by Sharon Lee, Steve Miller
 Paperback: 62 Pages (2005)
-- used & new: US$23.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0977663906
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Two short stories set in the Liaden Universe. The first story is The Beggar King, set on Liad and about the young Daav yos' Phelium's early training to be Delm. The second is Necessary Evils, explore the time and space before Clan Korval, when the universe was degenerating into chaos, and individuals faced evil in many guises, including bioenginnered human-plant hybrids, slavery and of course greed. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Description of Item since Amazon took it down
Two short stories set in the Liaden Universe. The first story is The Beggar King, set on Liad and about the young Daav yos' Phelium's early training to be Delm. The second is Necessary Evils, explore the time and space before Clan Korval, when the universe was degenerating into chaos, and individuals faced evil in many guises, including bioenginnered human-plant hybrids, slavery and of course greed. ... Read more

18. Liaden Universe Companion Volume Two
by Sharon Lee, Steve Miller
Hardcover: 303 Pages (2007)
-- used & new: US$29.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0977663957
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Short Stories to Slack Your Thirst
After their first three books went out of print (which you may have noticed has happened again), Lee and Miller were left with little they could do to appease their loyal and ravenous (but small) fan base. So they started writing short stories and putting them out in chapbooks as a way to sate their readers' hunger for anything Liaden. Here they are reprinted in handsome little books that are much easier to loan out to friends than the chapbooks.

Included here, among others, is the tale of how Ren Zel became clanless and a cute story of how everyone finally gets Pat Rin to admit that he is a jump pilot after all.

5-0 out of 5 stars Liaden fans get this book
This book is available through the publisher www.srmpublisher.com and can be bought online. If you love the other Liaden novels, get this book. It is the second collection of short stories with some old and new characters from the novels, the first being Liaden Universe Companion Volume One. Story 1: A scout (new character) is stranded on a planet Story 2: A scout (new character) tries to identify an artifact Story 3: Young Priscilla on Sintia right before she is banished Story 4: Belansium the painter (Miri has one of his paintings in the room in her mind) Story 5: Young Natesa on her home planet and why she left Story 6: Healer (new character) heals himself Story 7: How Ren Zel becomes clanless Story 8: Young Pat Rin and Nova and an heirloom rug Story 9: Juntavas while dealing with the Clutch Story 10: Clan Korval on Surebleak after being thrown off Liad.

5-0 out of 5 stars A visit with old friends.
Lee and Miller have done it again.
Yes, these wonderful stories were published individually elsewhere, but this is their first publication together in a quality hardback edition.
These back stories, prequels, and epilogs to the Liaden Universe books are refreshing, and give us insight into some of our favorite character's motivations.
If you have never read a Lee & Miller book, you are in for a rare treat. You will enjoy these well-written, human, incredibly real characters.
I'd give it 10 stars if possible!

... Read more

19. Balance of Trade (A Liaden Universe Novel)
by Sharon Lee, Steve Miller
Paperback: 464 Pages (2004-11)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$3.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1592220207
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Set in the early space-trading days of the Liaden Universe®, the story of how an ordinary Terran became the pivot point in galactic clash of cultures, and how the more he tried to be just like his father, the less the universe seemed inclined to help. More than that: by trying to survive he became living proof that…

…A Little Knowledge is A Dangerous Thing.

Assistant Trader Jethri Gobelyn was an honest, hardworking young man who knew:

*a lot about living onboard his family’s space-going trade ship Gobelyn’s Market

*something about trade, finance, and risk-taking

*a little bit about Liadens

It was, oddly enough, the little bit he knew about Liadens that seemedlike it might be enough to make his family’s fortune, and his own,too.

In short order, however, Jethri Gobelyn was about to find out a lot more about Liadens…

…like how far they might go to protect their name and reputation. Like the myriad of things one might say—intentionally or not—with a single bow. Like what it would take to make a Liaden trade-ship crew trash a bar. Like how hard it is to say "I’m sorry!" in Liaden.

Pretty soon it was clear that as little as he knew about Liadens, he knew far less about himself. With his very existence a threat to the balance of trade, Jethri Gobelyn needed to learn fast, or else help destroy all he held dear. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (37)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Big Favorite
This is one of my most favorite books... definitely my favorite of all the wonderful Liaden series.I hope they write more about the character Jethri and the delectable interactions between people of two vastly different cultures.The nuances of manner and trade were intriguing and once I had finished the book I was hungry for more.Hope they provide us with more news of Jethri, his new/old relatives and their involvement in intergalactic trade.Fractals anyone? :)

4-0 out of 5 stars Interstellar Culture Clash
Lee and Miller once again drop you in a strange time and place and ask you to hang on for the ride - and what a fun ride it is.

Jethri Goeblyn can't imagine a life off of his family's trading ship, but soon learns that he has to get used to the idea and fast - he is being transferred to another ship, and not one of good quality. He will never make his dream of becoming a Master Trader at this rate! But when all seems bleak, an unexpected opportunity arises when he is offered a spot as an apprentice on a Liaden ship. But Liaden culture is strange to Terrans and Jethri is the first Terran to be offered a position on a Liaden ship. But Liadens are human too, so it shouldn't be too hard, right?

This is a very interesting addition the Liaden books. It explores a time period between the Agent Change Sequence and the Crystal prequels. It stands by itself well, requiring no knowledge of the characters set up in the other series. When I first read this book, I have to admit I was a little unsure how it fit in with the other books, but after the Crystal prequels were released, suddenly everything made a lot more sense. You do not need to read this book to understand what happens in the others, but it does make quite a few details make more sense in the books that take place before and after.

5-0 out of 5 stars Better work on your bows!
It may be a matter of prejudice, but when I first encountered this superior example of "social" science fiction, I had considerable doubts whether it would be worth reading. Any novel worth publishing will be snapped up by a large commercial publisher, right? So why was this one coming from somebody's kitchen table (so to speak) rather than Tor or Baen or Ballantine? Well, I still don't know the answer to that one, but I'll definitely be hunting up the rest of this series. It's basically a Bildungsroman starring Jethri Gobelyn, a young but talented Apprentice Trader on his family's merchant ship, which ekes out a more or less comfortable living between planets. At one port, however, shortly after he's been informed he's being apprenticed to another ship (a notion he doesn't like at all), he becomes the victim of a con artist. But the con involves a (completely innocent) Master Trader of the Liaden, a society whose trading skills are legendary and whose attachment to ritualized etiquette approaches the Japanese in intensity. It's very easy to insult a Liaden. Jethri suddenly has the opportunity to apprentice instead to the Master Trader in question, and he naturally jumps at it. From there, Jethri becomes our guide in the complexities of Liaden culture and psychology -- and a fascinating journey it is, too. The authors do a deft job developing all their characters, and they also show real skill at dialogue and delightful turn of phrase. The plot is complex but clear, and they leave room for a direct sequel. (The rest of the series appears to be separate, independent stories set in a shared future.)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Liaden Universe---kids version
I've been reading SF for many a decade and I have really liked all of the previous Liaden Universe books by these co-authors and was thus very happy when I found this paperback a few days ago. Unfortunately, this book was disappointing;the plot was thin, characters and situations fairly hackneyed and lacking in real surprise and dramatic tension. This book does not measure up to its predecessors.

The plot reminds me of so many of Andre Norton's books; a young person, untried and at a great disadvantage because he is an orphan, dispossessed, has paranormal abilities, is lost, etc, etc, finds a magic item, place or being, a relic of ancient technology, a mentor, his true calling, etc., etc. and solves his problem, matures, is on the path to become a being of power and authority, etc.etc.Balance of Trade struck me as more of a book for a young adult audience than as a work for adults.

4-0 out of 5 stars Ah! the Pleasures of the Liaden Universe
One of the best ways to help a reader understand a strange culture is to plunk an outsider down in the middle of it and observe what happens. In Balance of Trade, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller put Assistant Trader Jethri Gobelyn, the youngest member of the crew of a Terran trade ship, right in the middle of Liaden culture by apprenticing him to Master Trader ven'Deelin.

Suddenly he is plunged into a totally new world where an incorrect bow can cause extreme offense. Jethri has always been fascinated by Liaden culture, however, and takes to his new world with alacrity.

While Jethri is an interesting character, the book at times seems to lose focus, and there are some things that are just never really explained to satisfaction. Why does Jethri's birth mother hate him so much? What on earth is that business at the end regarding the salvage cargo about? I feel as though I caught about two thirds of what was actually going on, the rest was much too obscure. Jethri, himself, did not completely understand the events that unfolded around him and, I must confess, neither did I.

However, the plot and characters are compelling enough to make this a very fun read. Young Jethri is a well drawn character and I'd like to see more of him.
... Read more

20. Conflict of Honors: A Novel of the Liaden Universe
by Sharon Lee, Steve Miller
Mass Market Paperback: 311 Pages (2002-07-30)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$1.14
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0441009646
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
In the third novel of the Liaden Universe, Priscilla Delacroix is betrayed and abandoned by her shipmates. But confronting the crew will be far easier-and safer-than confronting the demons of her past. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (22)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Matter of Balance
Conflict of Honors (1988) is the second SF novel in the Liaden Universe series, following Agent of Change.In the previous volume, Val Con and Miri were caught by the Juntavas, but were released onto a derelict ship. Although damaged by the Yxtrang, the ship was somewhat repairable.Then the Yxtrang came back.

In this novel, Priscilla Delacroix y Mendoza is a Terran, a native of the planet Sintia.She became a spacer at age sixteen.She is now Cargo Master of the Liaden ship Daxflan.

Shan yos'Galan is a Liaden.He is Theodelm of Line Galan and nadelm of Clan Korval, a Master Trader, and Captain of the Liaden ship Dutiful Passage.

Lina Faaldom is a Liaden and Theodelm of Clan Desnol.She is the Librarian on Dutiful Passage.

Sav Rid Olanek is a Liaden of Clan Plemia.He is Trader on the Daxflan, which is owned by his clan.

Dagmar Collier is a Terran.She is second mate on the Daxflan.

In this story, the Terrans on the Daxflan are very disgruntled by their conditions.They are treated as nonpersons and eat disgusting food in an impromptu messhall away from the Liaden crew.Priscilla's friend Shelly has just bought out her contract to get off the Daxflan.

After Shelly leaves, Priscilla saves her file containing suspicions of contraband in the sealed cargo.Then she is unexpectedly assigned to go down to Jankalin.Since the planet is only a dropoff point, she is puzzled about being included within the landing party.

On the world, Dagmar takes her aside to help carry something.Once they get through the recalcitrant door, Priscilla is knocked out and left in the locked room.When she awakes, Priscilla discovers that she has been stranded.

Priscilla gains employment on the Dutiful Passage to overtake her ship.The captain requires her to take a battery of strange tests before hiring her under personal contract.Then he assigns her to Lina as Pet Librarian, with additional duties as needed.

Priscilla does many and varied tasks on the Dutiful Passage.The pet library is the most pleasant, but she also really enjoys the piloting lessons.These are required in her contract, but are without charge to her.

When the Dutiful Passage next encounters the Daxflan, someone tries to murder Shan.Priscilla saves the Captain, but he does not allow her to reveal their suspicions of Dagmar's involvement.Shan does tell her of Dutiful Passage's outstanding complaint against Daxflan.Shan even mentions the conflict between his sister and Sav Rid.

This tale involves Priscilla in a balancing of debts against Sav Rid and the Daxflan.She learns much about Liaden customs and culture during her time on the Dutiful Passage.And the crew of the Dutiful Passage also discover and admire her own talents.

Although this tale has few similarities with the previous novel, it is still about Clan Korval.Shan and Val Con are cousins and are like brothers to each other.This story seems to take place prior to the previous novel, but the Liaden Universe timeline is very confusing.

The story is filled with action and conflict, but also with satisfying interpersonal relationships.The next installment is Carpe Diem.Read and enjoy!

Highly recommended for Lee & Miller fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of alien cultures, social conflicts, and paranormal talents.

-Arthur W. Jordin

3-0 out of 5 stars On Par with Other Books in the Liaden Universe
I found the book to be OK science fiction.Not incredibly deep nor were there any philosophies or sophisticated themes.No intriguing characterizations or interesting scientific concepts.I actually found the book to be a bit tedious because it was so episodic.They go from planet to planet. Pricilla gets into trouble, Shan gets her out of it.As with the other Liaden books, the females are victims. Strong but not strong enough to prevail without a handsome prince to swoop in and save them.A bunch of one dimensional characters that are put in an artificial environment.This scifi element is not necessary in the telling of these tales.In fact the tales of chivalry might have made more sense in a historical setting rather that a futuristic one.Let's hope the future is more "balanced".This book was actually less misogynistic than some of the others. This one actually had important female characters that were not weak or evil.A step up from some of the other novels.This has been my complaint about this series in general.As a part of the romance genre, there seems to be this inherent misogyny that I don't like. At this point, there may not be many more Liaden books in my future.They aren't awful, it's just that I would rather invest my time into more thoughtful books.Adequate escapist fare if you like this sort of thing.

4-0 out of 5 stars Generally intelligent space opera
Having read the latest two novels set in the Liaden universe first, I'm now having to go back and do it right. In this one, the first of a series of four, Priscilla Mendoza, having been declared persona non grata on her own world at the age of sixteen, has come up in the world and is now a skilled ship's cargomaster -- except she's just been abandoned again, essentially left for dead. Shan yos'Galen, captain of the flagship of one of Liad's most ancient and powerful houses -- and also a Master Trader and a trained Healer -- takes her on for his own reasons, having to do with Balance against another family. It's high quality space opera combined with romance, with a strong vein of sociological SF reminiscent of C. J. Cherryh, and a touch of mysticism as well.

2-0 out of 5 stars A little too much talking not enough action
I enjoy sci-fi with good character development and t I was intrigued by Lee's world. It seemed well thought out, great characters and excellent dialog. I really enjoyed the character of Shan but was lukewarm about Priscilla the heroine. She seemed way too much of a victim for my tastes. When she's not getting harassed by co-workers, she's getting beatup by thugs while on shoreleave.I guess I like my heroines more kick @ss.

I also admit that I didn't find the romance that believable. Priscilla is bi-sexual which is fine by me but her relationships lack passion. I just didn't care whether the character got her happy ending or not. She seemed so blase about her relationships that there was no tension.

The final straw for me was just how much dialog was in this book. Pages and pages of characters sharing their feelings and chatting about events, rather than experiencing them. I like well-written dialog but parts of this novel read like a script. I found my mind drifting after a while and found it difficult to remember which character was speaking.

2 stars. Started off great, but Priscilla the prozac princess did not cut it for me. I like my heroines tougher and more involved in the story.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stellar Space Opera
I can not say enough good things about these authors and this series, and I think it's unfortunate that not too many people have read them. They are very accessible and draw you in quickly by putting you in the middle of the action right away. The characters are amazing. They are very rich and complex, and also a great deal of fun. It is very easy to get attached to them and their adventures. By the end, you the reader are firmly invested in Clan Korval's well-being.

The best aspect about Lee and Miller's writing style is their ability to create a world so completely that you can taste it, but at the same time they don't take huge paragraphs to explain things. Without wasting time on boring exposition, they show you the world, piece by piece. You pick up the different cultures in the book the same way you would in real life: by experiencing them. I would argue that this interaction of culture, between the Liadens and the Terrans but also between our culture and the cultures in the book, is the real heart of the series. While the romance and adventure are excellent and important parts of the book, it is really about how these different cultures interact, displaying the high points and low points of each. This is world building at its height and most beautifully displayed.

I recommend this book as a starting point to the series, though I know many fans suggest Agent of Change as the starting point. Since the Agent of Change sequence all take place one right after the other and since this book takes place earlier, it's harder to fit in and then would seem an odd place to come back to. This way you are introduced to the Dutiful Passage and that set of characters, as well as the world they operate in without having to sort through everything else at the same time. It also gives you a baseline for what Korval is like, so that when you see Val Con at the beginning of Agent of Change, you FEEL that something is wrong, instead of being told that by other characters. All and all, I feel that this is the best book to start with, though it wouldn't be the end of the world to start somewhere else.

These books make me happy whenever I pick them up, and I can't give any better review than that. ... Read more

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