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The Pride of Chanur by C.J. Cherryh

The Pride of Chanur (original 1982; edition 1981)

by C.J. Cherryh (Author)

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1,120247,356 (3.93)145
Title:The Pride of Chanur
Authors:C.J. Cherryh (Author)
Info:Daw Books (1981), Edition: Book Club Edition, Hardcover
Collections:Read but unowned, SciFi Fantasy

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The Pride of Chanur by C. J. Cherryh (1982)

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Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
I've heard a lot about C.J. Cherryh, and was really excited to finally read one of her books. The Pride of Chanur is the first book in the Chanur series, about Pyanfar Chanur, a member of a feline species called the hani. She is a ship captain that commands The Pride of Chanur, a ship owned by the Chanur family.

The Pride of Chanur is docked at Meetpoint Station when they find a stowaway on their ship. He's small, blunt fingered and has no fur, and he calls himself a human. No one has seen the likes of him before, but he's on the run from hostile aliens, so they give him shelter, not realising that this would put their whole world in jeopardy.

This book definitely felt a bit dated, probably because of the cat-like and bear-like aliens. That doesn't stop it from being really fun and really good, though!

The Pride of Chanur is written entirely from Pyanfar's point of view. Tully, the human, isn't really a huge character, he's alien to them and they don't know his language in the beginning. He's more of a catalyst for the story - the discovery of a whole new race. I found this pretty refreshing, I've never read a story with a wholly alien protagonist. I really enjoyed a look at humans through the eyes of other species - we would be quite strange to aliens.

Hani society is interesting too, it's completely female dominated. I enjoyed the little intersection of family trouble into the intragalactic trouble.

The only complaint I have about this book is that there was a bit too much action for me - it almost felt more like a movie than a book. I would've appreciated a bit more plot or backstory or worldbuilding. But then again, it's an old book.

I'm definitely looking forward to Chanur's Venture. ( )
  kgodey | Apr 11, 2017 |
I rather liked this, especially the hani race and how they deal with others. I thought the flow was hampered a bit by some of the space maneuvering and fighting, though. I would have liked more interaction between the different characters. ( )
  zjakkelien | Jan 2, 2017 |
Love this book! Just reread it again and thoroughly enjoyed being back in this universe. ( )
1 vote RyanWriter | Nov 20, 2016 |
This is my first real Space Opera type book. It is a novel about an alien cat-like race, Hani, and specifically the Chanur family. In this section of the universe there are several alien species that have formed a compact for reasons of trade, the Hani, the Stsho, Kif, Mahendo'sat, and Knnn (methane breathers). The outright bad guys are the Kif. However as in any soap opera, there are good and bad in all species.

While docked at a space station, the Pride of Chanur under Pyanfar Chanur with a female crew are conducting their normal business when a mysterious outlander bursts up their ramp and runs into the ship. The Kif want this outlander back. Pyanfar has no idea what she has in this being (a human) but refuses to return the pitiful outlander back to the Kif, rejecting a reward and subsequent threats to her and her race.

There starts the race as Pyanfar bolts for her home planet with the Kif in pursuit.

I liked the story though for many there will be spots where the plot seems to drag a bit. You see Pyanfar Chanur wrestle with the nature of the outlander, who is he? Is he a threat? why do the Kif want him? She also has the additional responsibility of looking after her niece, Hilfy, who starts as a ditzy child and ends a woman. This seems to be a female dominated society and the males seem to stay home but there is trouble for her family back on her planet.... all this and she must outwit the Kif as they try to hunt her down.

A well written book in my opinion. The author paints a good picture of life on an alien vessel and alien culture. There are 2 more books to this space opera and I will hunt them down to read. ( )
  Lynxear | Mar 26, 2016 |
C.J. Cherryh is one of the most respected SF authors in the genre, she has written hundreds of books over several decades and won several awards. Yet – until now – I have never read any of her books, I attempted her highly esteemed [b: Cyteen|834518|Cyteen (Cyteen #1-3)|C.J. Cherryh|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1316469389s/834518.jpg|820134] but had to give it up after struggling mightily with it for 50 or so pages. So, The Pride of Chanur is my second attempt at a Cherryh book. I did finish it but it was still a mighty struggle. I thought I had a false start with [b: Cyteen|834518|Cyteen (Cyteen #1-3)|C.J. Cherryh|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1316469389s/834518.jpg|820134] but this Chanur book may just be the deal breaker for me. I appreciate her talent but I just can not seem to tune into her wavelength.

The Pride of Chanur starts off well with an intriguing premise and clever narrative from an alien point of view. At the beginning of the book a man named Tully stowaways on board the eponymous "Pride of Chanur" spaceship owned by Captain Pyanfar Chanur, an alien of the “hani” species. Tully does not speak the alien language and has to rely on the ship’s not terribly effective translation machine to communicate with the hanis. Tully is on the run from evil aliens of the “kif” species who captured and killed his crewmates when they came across and captured a human ship. The kifs want him back for commercial gains but he finds the hani species to be more sympathetic and begs for their protection.

Great plot, I was initially intrigued by the possibility of this plotline and the potential for a tremendous adventure of a lone human aboard an alien ship, gradually assimilating into their crew and society, each species learning something from each other. To my chagrin Ms. Cherryh did not go there, perhaps the idea seems too predictable for her given the setup. Instead the narrative concentrates on the kifs pursuing the hanis across space (and hyperspace) in their spaceship with their superior firepower. This is not even as exciting as it sound as there is no sense of momentum in the narrative, the attack on the “The Pride of Chanur” spaceship is described in a rather detached manner and I just could not feel involved in it.

Around the half way point I became more and more disengaged from the narrative and by the time I was reading the last 50 pages of the book I decided to just speed read through them without worrying about missing nuances or some plot details, the alternative is to give up on it. To be fair to the author the problem is my personal expectation of what I thought the story is going to be about vs. the actual story C.J. Cherryh wanted to tell. It’s like I was happily riding on a horse and suddenly the damned thing shook me off and dumped me unceremoniously on the ground.

The protagonist Pyanfar Chanur (not the human character) is quite well developed and I like her well enough (the ladies are in charge in the hani culture), the other supporting characters did not come alive for me, perhaps because the narrative is strictly from Pyanfar’s point of view and there is not much dialogue from the supporting characters to get a feel of their personality. The scenes featuring the lone human Tully are of the most interest to me (as a fellow human!) but he is not featured all that much, besides he is depicted as cautious, fearful and miserable for most of the book so he is not as dynamic and interesting as I hoped he would be. The ending of the book is actually quite good and I wish I had liked the book more so I can read the sequels, but for me to read any more from this series would be ridiculous.

While I definitely do not like The Pride of Chanur I do appreciate Cherryh’s talent, imagination and the attention to details that went into its creation (there is an impressive appendix at the back of the book). Her execution of this book alienates me completely but I guess that cannot be helped, this is an intelligent book and a lot of people like it even though I don’t. I still want to give her [b:Foreigner|57043|Foreigner (Foreigner, #1)|C.J. Cherryh|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1386924617s/57043.jpg|1592031] series a try as I have read a lot of good things about it. One more attempt won’t hurt.

(2.5 stars) ( )
  apatt | Dec 26, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
C. J. Cherryhprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cherry, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cherry, David A.Mapsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Whelan,MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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There had been something loose about the station dock all morning, skulking in amongst the gantries and the ines and the canisters which were waiting to be moved, lurking wherever shadows fell among the rampway accesses of the many ships at dock at Meetpoint.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0886772923, Mass Market Paperback)

No one at Meetpoint Station had ever seen a creature like the Outsider. Naked-hided, blunt toothed and blunt-fingered, Tully was the sole surviving member of his company -- a communicative, spacefaring species hitherto unknown -- and he was a prisoner of his discoverer/ captors the sadistic, treacherous kif, until his escape onto the hani ship The Pride of Chanur.

Little did he know when he threw himself upon the mercy of The Pride and her crew that he put the entire hani species in jeopardy and imperiled the peace of the Compact itself. For the information this fugitive held could be the ruin or glory of any of the species at Meetpoint Station.

Cover art by Michael Whelan

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:21 -0400)

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A human finds refuge on a spaceship operated by catlike beings. A sequel is Chanur's Venture.

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