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The Faded Sun Trilogy by C. J. Cherryh
Published by DAW Books
Reviewed by Leigh Kimmel
This omnibus edition combines all three volumes of the Faded Sun trilogy -- Kesrith, Shon'jur, and Kutath -- into a single binding. It tells the story of the mri, a race of warriors whose society and reasons for acting make them far more alien than their humanoid appearance might suggest. It is the story of Niun and Melein, the last mri to survive a genocidal war. And it is the story of Sten Duncan, the human soldier who was adopted into their number and accomplished the nearly impossible adaptation of becoming a kel, a mri warrior.
When humans first encountered them, the mri were employed as mercenaries by the regul, a race of alien merchants. The war that followed was particularly terrible because humans and mri had different fundamental expectations of how and why wars are fought. By the time it ended, the mri had nearly been wiped out.
After the regul tried to exterminate the last survivors of their own mercenaries, the humans decide it is better to let the mri escape than to corner them into a desperate last stand. The humans give the mri a spaceship and let them leave, but follow at a distance. The mri lead them through a trail of dead worlds to their ancient homeworld.
The humans are frightened by the implications of all these ruined worlds. Are the mri too dangerous to leave alive? Only Sten Duncan, human turned mri warrior, offers a hope for understanding the truth about the mri. Might the answer lie in something as simple as a game?
Click to buy The Faded Sun in mass market paperback.
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This review posted October 18, 2000
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