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Chanur's Legacy by C. J. Cherryh
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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
A sequel to the wonderful Chanur Saga books. It's not quite as good as the previous stories, but still a very good follow up. ( )
  fuzzi | Jan 21, 2013 |
For my full review of the Chanur series, see http://bit.ly/bZvj6T ( )
  timjones | Jul 21, 2010 |
Even in the 5th book, this series still is worth reading, and really hasn't dropped off any in quality. The Hani continue to try and figure out the muddle of galactic politics while still siding with the humans, trying to make kif allies, and keeping their own interstellar trade options open. These books really have a unique quality of plot and action. ( )
  Karlstar | Oct 23, 2009 |
The four Chanur universe books are my favorite books in the entire universe. Bar none. Cherryh slyly takes on sex, gender, culture, first contact, money, and power, among other issues, all in a rollicking good adventure story. ( )
  KarenIrelandPhillips | Sep 30, 2009 |
This is the 5th book in the Chanur Saga . It is one of my favorites and I hope that at some point there will be more. I also should say I love C.J. Cherryh, and this series, so for me it is a 5 star book, though not particularly serious or life changing.

The Chanur are a clan of cat-like aliens known as Hani. The Hani are clannish, and female oriented. Females go out into the world, run the businesses and households, and the males are kept sequestered and only good for breeding. They are considered flighty, emotional, violent and not too bright.

In the previous books the clan leader of Chanur, Pyanfar, has challenged these ideas, and turned her culture on its head. Through diplomacy, courage, machination and battle she has become the most important person in Compact Space. There are 7 or 8 alien species that live in Compact Space. 2 to 3 are methane breathers, and keep to themselves. The others are air breathers and they compete for trade, power, status and the usual items that along with different cultures and outlook can lead to hostility, violence and war.

The main character of this book is a younger cousin, Hilfy, who has become the clan leader against her will. She heads her own small ship, that is crewed with female relatives. They are traders and trying to establish Chanur as a going concern, without using the power and pull of her Aunt, Pyanfar. In fact Hilfy and her Aunt have some unpleasant history.

In the aftermath of Pyanfar's ascendancy there is nominal peace in Compact Space, but there are unhappy pockets who want the old violent days to return so they can grab power. Besides the Hani. the 3 main alien races are the Kif: They eat live prey, and will kill and eat each other, they have no sense of loyalty, or friendship; The Mahendo' Sat, a bear-like species that are pretty normal, and the Stsho they are physically fragile, have 3 sexes are incredibly formal and dedicated to living in beauty 24/7, and when stressed will Phase into a totally different personality and sex.

The story of the book is how Hilfy in a moment of weakness agrees to a contract that is too good to be true. Her ship will take a religious object from the Stsho Governor of Meetpoint Space Station to the Stsho recipient at another location. The fee is one million credits, and it is a small object that will take a short space jump to deliver. Hilfy reads the contract that runs to 720 pages, which has terrible financial consequences if she fails.

The object arrives and comes with its own Stsho minder. The Stsho live and breathe white and the Chanur have to create a white and lightly tinted cabin for the minder, who will not be parted from the Preciousness. Another part of the agreement was to take a Hani from the station jail off the station. It turns out the Hani is a male, his ship left him when he got in trouble, and the ship he is from is a clan that the Chanur are feuding with.

The Chanur try to find the recipient but gtst is never there. Gtst has always left on a ship that just jumped out, almost as if gtst was avoiding or running from them. They in fact can't find any Stsho, they have all left, or been killed. Hilfy thinks that something is up and worries that she is being used to get to Pyanfar. The male Hani meanwhile is young and trying too hard, and creating problems just by breathing. The ship is also being stalked by a Mahendo' Sat ship. They want to know what the Preciousness is, what it looks like, and even want Hilfy to give it to them. Meanwhile the Kif are circling and Hilfy fears the worst.

The story is about the trips they make to different ports, the politics of trying to catch the fleeing Stsho, without giving anything away, while trying to figure out the bigger political picture They deal with the male who wants to stay on the Chanur ship, but Hilfy doesn't want him, and some of the crew are old-fashioned and don't think males are capable.

There is a high amount of humor in dealing with the Stsho, the contract, the Preciousness, and the threat of a personality switch. The methane breathers pop in an out of the story. They tend to procreate spontaneously when stressed, and they have 5 compartmented brains, so they are unable to think, act, or drive (sealed ground vehicle or space ship) in a straight line. The appearance of the methane breathers prompt something akin to a meteor shower warning whenever they show up, and have unpredictable impacts on the business at hand,

Also I have to say that the way Cherryh describes the space stations is how they will be one day when they exist (real large cities in space - not the puny one we have now).

The writing is great*, the story is wonderful, there is lots of good description, and wonderful characters. A good meaty book. I want more.

* Cherryh is not always easy to read. I found it was something I had to just get used to her style and cadence, and once I did it was fine. ( )
1 vote FicusFan | May 6, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
C. J. Cherryhprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Whelan,MichaelCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0886775590, Mass Market Paperback)

A game of interstellar politics in which Hilfy Chanur and her vessel Legacy are commissioned to transport a small, mysterious religious object. The price is extremely generous, perhaps too generous.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:31 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Hilfy had been crew on THE PRIDE OF CHANUR when her Aunt Pyanfar, captain of the THE PRIDE, gave shelter and protection to the human Tully, shattering the equilibrium of Meetpoint Station and disrupting the complex power balances which existed between the seven races of the Compact. Tully was the sole surviving member of an expedition sent by his own race, a race previously unknown in Compact space, and his presence added a dangerous and potentially deadly element to the intricate interspecies rivalries of Meetpoint. For the information this fugitive held--the potential of a trade contract with a new species--could be the ruin or glory of any of the worlds in Compact space. Pyanfar's actions pitched her crew into the center of a galactic maelstrom which imperiled the peace of the Compact itself. But in the end she won a treasure beyond measuring--the trade contract with Earth.… (more)

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