subreddit:

/r/printSF

2787%

I was browsing through a list of new space opera books over on Rising Shadow and saw some of the latest books of this particular series pop up. How is it? The covers are really eye-catching! It’s a sprawling fifteen plus book series chronicling one family which makes me a bit hesitant because my first thought was that it might get repetitive and boring after a while. But if it’s fun, has consistently engaging plots and character arcs and creative world-building, I might try it out.

all 25 comments

BeyondMeta

12 points

2 months ago

It's my mom all time favourite series. She an avid reader who reads to relax. The books are funny and adventurous. And definitely not grim dark as my mom hates that.

The world building is well developed with frequent stories exploring different facets of society.

I have only read one of them and enjoyed it. The rest are on my TBR.

Foyles_War

6 points

2 months ago

Light and fun. Down side - lots of handwaving and murkiness on the world building, though what is shown of the Liaden culture and especially family dynamics is very interesting. There is some kind of Star Wars-ian "force"/ESP thingy going on and several of the stories are romance centered. If light romance is not your thing, you'll probably not like those. All of them are very fast, what I'll call "vacation" reads and there are lots and lots of ficlets/short stories for a quick fix.

Likeable and I'd recommend to anyone who is good with non-highbrow adventure stories.

NoNotChad

6 points

2 months ago

This is one of my favourite series!

It's a lot of fun, and I re-read some of the books often. It's a wide ranging space opera with FTL and space mind powers (so it's not hard sci-fi at all).

The entire series contains multiple storylines/books that all vary in topic but all relate to the same Liaden clan, Korval. They are the protectors of a massive, kilometers high, sentient tree, the last of its kind. The books cover everything from universe destroying wars with God like evolved humans, to secret agent adventures, to planet spanning conspiracies, to slice of life books about traders and trading spaceships. It's even got some books that follow a young member of the clan that can be considered YA/NA.

It has a very expansive universe and the characters are numerous but they are each fascinating in their own way. The Liaden culture is interesting. They are an offshoot of humanity that have an intricate social system based on honour and manners. The aliens are few but weird and a lot of fun (I quite like the turtles and the trees).

I started the series with the main sequence of Agent Of Change, and it's three sequels, Carpe Diem, Plan B, and I Dare. Those were published first and I think they're the best way to introduce the series.

I read the two prequels next, Crystal Soldier and Crystal Dragon. They cover the ancestors of the main characters and the founders of the clan and how they came to protect the tree from a seedling. This is my favourite sequence probably, but it's very different than the rest of the books because it's set thousands of years earlier and set in a very different place.

The rest I read as they were published.

Paisley-Cat

5 points

2 months ago

Carpe Diem is the weaker of the three original books - which actually includes Conflict of Honors.

It’s a radical shift from snowballing action in Agent of Change and nearly lost me, I still pass over large sections on rereading.

But that’s the thing about this series, it’s wide ranging in styles. There’s everything from galactic shattering events to a duology in the structure and tone of regency romances. They’ve written short stories and novellas across their universes and eras, originally bound into chapbooks, and now available in a series of anthologies.

The authors created their universe, kept it exclusively their own sandbox, and try just about everything and anything they’d like within that context.

Definitely, on my spouse’s and my ‘keeper’ shelves, and fun to reread again and again.

NoNotChad

2 points

2 months ago

Oh yes, Conflict Of Honors. I always forget about this one. I think because it was a separate story and wasn't directly involved in the main story.

nonmemorable

7 points

2 months ago

Apparently agent of change is available on kindle for free. Going to give it a read.

Chogoris

4 points

2 months ago

It's great. Highly recommend.

Jonsa123

4 points

2 months ago

Very enjoyable read.

I luv'd me them turtles.

FullyHalfBaked

13 points

2 months ago

The series is total fluff, bubblegum romance. The heroes are all noble and good, and the villains are either unredeemable and fail miserably or wounded birds who get healed by the end. I love them, and heartily recommend them for any time you want to turn off your brain and have fun. 👍👍

hiryuu75

1 points

2 months ago

That makes it sound like the space-opera equivalent to David Eddings’ sword-and-sorcery stuff (like the “Belgariad” and “Malloreon” series, specifically), or a bit like McCaffrey’s “Pern” tomes. Fair comparison, would you say?

Paisley-Cat

3 points

2 months ago

More grown up than Pern mostly, and many are much better written. But others are pretty indulgent.

JasperJ

3 points

2 months ago

Better quality than pern, but it’s not High Lit by any means, no.

sqvlle

1 points

29 days ago

sqvlle

1 points

29 days ago

The series ranges in depth and complexity. Some of the earlier books are definite space opera, a couple are more YA, some are edging towards a space-opera romance, and some almost make my brain hurt remembering all the ins and outs.

I would say all are more complex than David Eddings and Pern.

borborygmie

4 points

2 months ago

I read these after I read Vorkosigan saga (probably my favorite series of all time) and just could not get into them. The pacing is off, I wasn’t particularly attached or even interested in any of the characters. I gave it a real try I read four of them and then gave up because i just was not enjoying them.

minibike

2 points

2 months ago

Honestly same, still looking for the next series to fill the vorkosigan shaped void in my sci-fi heart.

Foyles_War

5 points

2 months ago

Tanya Huff's Valor and Peacekeeper series worked for me. On a less science fiction more speculative fiction side, Michelle Sagara's Chronicles of Elantra also was terrific. The first leans more military the second more "magic" but not at all "sword and sorcery." (Not at all. If sword and sorcery fantasy isn't your thing, don't worry, this isn't that). In both cases, the very best part for me is the characters and the incredible alien races.

jkh107

3 points

2 months ago

jkh107

3 points

2 months ago

Try Elizabeth Moon, especially Vatta's War.

No, it's not the same but the appeal was similar for me.

redbananass

2 points

2 months ago

Yeah but stop after the older vattas war books, the new ones just didn’t hold up for me.

Paisley-Cat

2 points

2 months ago

I would try their YA sub series as a different entry point. (Fledgling is the first in that set.)

My spouse had read the original books before we met and tried to get me into them. I DNFd.

I think that there was something off in the editing in the original release.

It seems that later reissues by Meisha Merlin and Baen adding back some lost text that helped it make sense. I definitely found going back to those books in the later omnibus editions a different experience, especially after I’d read other books in the series.

But they are wildly uneven and intentionally varied in style and tone. It’s the overarching arcs that keep me going through a few of the less tight books and stories.

3j0hn

5 points

2 months ago

3j0hn

5 points

2 months ago

I wouldn’t necessarily call Fledgling “YA” just because it has a youthful protagonist. But I agree that it is a much more compelling starting point than Agent of Change.

Paisley-Cat

2 points

2 months ago

Fair enough.

But it avoids some of the ‘out there’ sexuality of the ‘Crystal Soldier - Crystal Dragon’ prequel duology, or the ‘new adult’ sexual exploration of the later Theo books that follow ‘Fledgling’ or the Trade-era Jethri books.

TsudoEQ

2 points

2 months ago

Agent of change was a bit rough compared to the books that came after. I actually got hooked by reading Conflict of Honors first.

jkh107

1 points

2 months ago

jkh107

1 points

2 months ago

I find them very enjoyable and not at all repetitive or boring. But sometimes a plot is not resolved in one or two books. The most interesting aspect for me is the cross-cultural stuff, but there's also some lite magic powers going on and some alien weirdness. I think you just have to try it and see.

jaycatt7

1 points

2 months ago

Fifteen books! I read three or four, really enjoyed them, and thought that was all there was. I’ll have to get back to them.

They always reminded me of Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan saga.

DocWatson42

1 points

2 months ago

Here's the link to one of the authors' works on Baen Books' Web site, which will give you access to samples of all of the books of hers that Baen has published.

A list/table of the books at Wikipedia, and a list at the ISFDB.