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The Crystal Variation

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
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  • Posted August 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    These three tales are the prehistory of the Liaden Universe with the first two entries being a duology

    "Crystal Soldier". Jela was genetically created to be the ultimate soldier. He knows the ruthless enemy former human Sheriekas are destroying the universe as his High Command is either treasonous or inept. Fearing he is losing his grip on being human, Jela finds hope when he meets Cantra and her Spiral Dance smugglers. Cantra needs to jettison this unwanted soldier and an escaped slave as they bring enemies in pursuit of them; she has enough of her own. They consider escape to the mythical Liaden universe

    "Crystal Dragon". Cantra recalls she is a genetically engineered aelantaza, which allows her to go so deep undercover that she believes that the persona she uses at that moment is truly her. Cantra gains access to Landomist University where she frees Liad dea'Syl. She also forges an alliance to protect her child that will one day shake the universe.

    "Balance of Trade". Jethri has lived on the spaceship Gobelyn's Market all his life going wherever the trading takes him. When the ship goes in to dry dock for repairs, Jethri is transferred to another ship. He rejects the ship his estranged mother Captain Iza Gobelyn chose for him. Instead Liaden Master Liaden Trader Norn Ven 'Deelin makes the human an apprentice aboard the Elthorial. As the first Terran to be apprenticed by a Liaden. Jethri has enemies who wish to see him fail

    These three tales are the prehistory of the Liaden Universe with the first two entries being a duology while the final story is a separate novel. Each thriller brings home a sense of realism that enables saga fans to believe in the Liaden Universe. However that also decelerates the overarching themes. Still this omnibus collection affirms Sharon Lee and Steve Miller have created an incredible universe.

    Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2013

    Don't be put off by the cheesy covers! This is a must-read series.

    The review written by "Harstan" requires very little more in terms of a descriptive review, so I will just add that if you are wondering where to start in the exploration of the Liaden Universe, this is a great beginning. After reading the two "Crystal" books, move along to "Dragon Variation" which contains Local Custom" and "Scouts Progress". These are the two books that set the stage for all of the rest of the series. I will just add that this series and these authors (along with McMaster-Bujold and Cherryh) are my favorites. I have every novel in hard or paperback and now on my Nook. I was so pleased when B&N began carrying them. The short stories fill in and fill out many of the questions and situations left hanging in the novels. Don't miss reading them if you are or become a fan. If you like your science fiction to be well-written and to contain humor, action and romance, you will truly enjoy this series and these authors. IVAN TT

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  • Posted March 25, 2013

    Two very different people come together to save the galaxy.

    Love this book. Great origin story of the Liaden Universe. Plus characters that I'll miss. Am buying all the other books in this series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2011

    Great book.

    Just when I think I have read everything along comes another Liaden universe book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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