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    Review of THE FADED SUN TRILOGY by C. J. Cherryh

    Daw Books, January, 2000

    Review by Jennifer Vilches

    The mri are a proud warrior race; mercenaries for the regul for thousands of years. But when the regul went to war with humans, the mri lost. Now the regul have ceded the mri homeworld to the humans. With the mri numbers dangerously depleted, and humans coming to claim the planet Kesrith, they are left facing a dire situation. Two surviving mri, Niun and Melein, are thrown into a very unlikely, and very uneasy, association with a human soldier, Duncan. Together the three of them embark on a quest to explore the origins of the nomadic mri in hopes of saving the species from the regul and humans both.

    Cherryh does an excellent job of creating aliens that don't act too “human” and function logically within the framework she constructs for them. The characters are definitely the highlight of this book - their motivations, feelings, and relationships are explored in depth. This makes for fairly slow pacing, especially in the beginning when the scene is being set. But there is enough action and political intrigue to keep things interesting and the pace picks up after the first third. Cherryh has several books where characters seem to endlessly toil through a desert setting, and this is definitely one of them. But if you make it through the slow set-up and occasional repetitiveness, it's a thought-provoking and compelling book. One of the main themes showcases human adaptability in the face of alien thought patterns.

    The three books contained in the Faded Sun Trilogy (Kesrith, Shon'jir, and Kutath) were originally published in the late 70s. They don't feel dated, and it's nice to have them all in one book, because I don't think they'd be good as stand-alone reading. Taken together, the trilogy is much stronger than the individual books.

    See more reviews of books by C. J. Cherryh,

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 2/17/05

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