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Centuries in the past mankind fought a seemingly unbeatable adversary from sector to sector across the Spiral Arm until the war ground to a standstill and the Enemy withdrew Believing that they had won the citizens of the galaxy rebuilt The Inner Worlds which had escaped the worst of the war's ravages became even insular while the Rim worlds adopted a free and easy way with law and order Now hundreds of years after their withdrawal the Enemy is back and this time they'll be satisfied with nothing less than the extinction of the galaxy

10 thoughts on “Crystal Soldier

  1. says:

    I was looking for something like Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Series which I came to love See Barrayar for one example The Liaden Universe series fit the bill well enough This is a fun space opera series It's interesting and occasionally profound Discrepancies do crop up occasionally where facts differ from book to book and even within a book or short story Crystal Soldier is set at the chronological beginning of the Liaden Universe series but written long after the series began I recommend the series for its mix of characterization romance cultural and linguistic insights humor battle action and suspense The characters are varied including humans engineered soldiers engineered aelantaza assassins artificial intelligences wizards clones cats gods and Tree — a sentient Ssussdriad It's fantasy than science fictionIt took a while for The Liaden Universe Series to capture my imagination but eventually I became engrossed Be aware the authors are fond of abrupt scene transitions and tend to dump the reader into the action Invented terms are confusing Eventually things make sense especially after rereading the entire series Too many problems are solved by wizards or godsKindle format There are some typos in the collection titled The Crystal Variation containing the first three Liaden stories in chronological order not publication order Crystal Soldier Crystal Dragon Balance of Trade To my mind there were too many ellipses and too many m dashes improperly formatted like hyphens There is no table of contents showing where each book begins Even worse no link to the dictionary of invented words at the end I didn't know it was there Oh Publisher?? The dictionary would have made a huge difference to my understanding of Crystal Soldier and Crystal Dragon — collectively titled The Great Migration DuologyStart the series here?? Yes why not — it’s a fun read along with Plan B I Dare and Necessity's Child but don't start there My advice is to start here at the beginning where you'll meet a sentient Ssussdriad Tree and Jela the Crystal Soldier crystal indicates life not obliterated or decrystalized Do utilize the dictionary at the end of the Crystal Variation anthology Or for an easier transition into the series start with Local Custom It's lightweight space opera regency style romance with Clan Korval's master trader falling in love with a Terran scholarI've upgraded this book from 3 to 4 stars because NOW it makes sense after having read the ENTIRE series despite some cross series discrepancies We see that Jela was lucky from birth and grew to become kind smart stubborn and always dutiful We see that Cantra was indeed an amazing pilot and uite a dragon We witness the conception of the first child ever born to Clan Korval named Val Con There are two scenes in this book that bring to mind Neliriik and Val Con's midnight discussion in Plan B for example when little Jela single handled defeated numerous Recon super soldiers We see the origins of facial tattoos on the engineered soldiers or trang which means troop the Xtrang We see the beginning of the current day schism between humans and Yxtrang We see how Cantra transformed from a smuggler to an honest trader as her descendants make a living in the seuels We also hear tales of planetary carnage reminiscent of the robotic mass murder machines seen in I DareLong meandering review my apologies I have read the entire series now except a few short stories but I started the series here with this book I started here with the ssussdriad a sentient tree and Jela a dutiful determined insightful super soldier I started here and the tone was engrossing intriguing and yet serious I felt like I was beginning an epic science fiction fantasy series How I wish the authors had not let the tone and the tree change to something much lighter view spoilerIn latter years the sentient tree became little than a prop to bolster the family opera as the series developed In this book the tree is a warrior the last survivor of its kind the sole stick standing on a dead planet intelligent prescient and willful It's not just a clan totem nor a pet who warms to the touch of family and freely shares specially tailored super tasty seed pods Now don't get me wrong We get glimpses of the warrior tree across the series but it simply does not live up to Crystal Soldier and Crystal Dragon hide spoiler

  2. says:

    Excellent read I love the Liaden Universe books The Liaden Universe is strongly drawn and the details are consistently well thought out The books have action suspense romance and characters you really care about The hero and heroine of Crystal Dragon and Crystal Soldier are Cantra and Jela both people you would like to know and definitely people you would want on YOUR side in any disagreement In my opinion though neither is really the best place to start the series even though chronologically they fall before the Conflict of HonorsAgent of Changeetc books I would recommend reading them in the following orderCurrent generation KorvalConflict of HonorsAgent of ChangeCarpe DiemPlan BI DareFledglingSaltationPrevious generation KorvalLocal CustomScout's ProgressEarlier in Liaden and Terran contactBalance of TradeFounding of Liad and Clan KorvalCrystal SoldierCrystal Dragon

  3. says:

    Re Read August 2013 with every iteration I gain an even deeper appreciation for the Liaden Universe I loved this book Love the characters; Jela Jela's tree Cantra Rool and his lady AwesomeReview updated Feb 2312455; 5 stars; I enjoyed the adventuring and excitement of this tale Having read Liaden Universe books set in the future I found it helpful to read this book and learn some of the history of the great wars in the universe the 'designed' humans DNA manipulation psychic powers military plots evil megalomaniacs Great fun At the end of this book M Jela and Cantra have become firm friends and shipmates They have rescued the sentient tree from a dead planet and discovered that there are many others fighting to if not defeat at least escape the evil sheriekasOriginal review Nov 2009;The Crystal SoldierCrystal Dragon duology is an excellent set There was a surprising amount of humour in this story I came to really appreciate the Tree and the history of the Liaden universe

  4. says:

    I want to say either I liked this book or I disliked it but really it was just pretty bland and had neither any Big Ideas nor characters memorable enough to leave an impression Filled the time but left me with no desire to read the rest of the 11 book series Evidently this book introduces plots and characters who recur throughout the series and is something of a preuelThe Shereika want to wipe out all life in the universe and humanity is fighting a losing war against them Humankind has bred people to be soldiers slaves and assassins creating a fairly traditional aliens light space opera universe Even the Shereika are actually genetically engineered humans Humans are losing the war and falling back from the spiral arm The Shereika are mostly an off stage threat in this book intergalactic bogeymen who have listening devices and agents everywhere but don't show up in their planet killing ships yetThe POV alternates between two main characters M Jela Granthor's Guard is a genetically engineered soldier who while fighting the Shereika on a distant uninhabited planet happened upon a group of sentient trees and deduced that they had somehow fended off the Shereika So he carts a tree around for the rest of the book On a special assignment from the military he runs across Cantra yos'Phelium a generically engineered assassin who's now the solo captain of a dark trader ie a smuggler The two of them end up rescuing a genetically engineered slave Dulsey and taking her to a mysterious man known as the Uncle who runs some sort of free colony for other slaves like Dulsey out in the beyond Crystal Soldier has a bit of a Firefly vibe to it and also reminded me of The Phoenix in Flight by Sherwood Smith and Dave Trowbridge another first novel by an authorial duo in a sprawling epic space saga and another one I found moderately entertaining but just too paint by numbers to really get invested in what happens next I don't know what it says about my reading tastes that star destroying mega battlecruisers no longer intrigue me I loved Niven and Saberhagen back in the day but 11 books of this just make me think of better or interesting books on my TBR listSo this was good SF not great SF and if you are looking for a long series maybe it will grab you than it grabbed meI do find it very amusing that when I search Goodreads for Crystal Soldier the second of two results below this one is I'll Be Your Drill Soldier I would really like to know how that search algorithm works

  5. says:

    Fans of the Liaden books will have bought this sight unseen New readers especially who like space opera could begin with this one because at last we have the ur storyIt begins with a sure deceptively gentle pace M Jela Granthor’s Guard there is a reason for the odd name is alone on a planet after a crash landing with enough supplies to survive a short time As he follows a line of dead trees down toward what once was an ocean he reviews his situation shot down in the on going war against the sherieka who were once human but who redesigned themselves so radically that they now consider themselves perfect and in order to make the universe sublime enough for them to live in must eradicate all traces of their human past Oh and the human worlds as wellA battle the humans are losingJela discovers as he reaches the shoreline that the trees are getting smaller and at last he realizes that the line of trees was deliberate that is accomplished by the trees themselves dropping pods that rolled a ways downhill to grow on the banks of the diminishing water a desperate tactic to survive Just before he’s picked up he finds one remaining tree still barely alive and he decides to take it with himHis superiors send him for further training despite the fact that his series of genetic warriors the M series has been superceded; they appreciate a survivor Along with his training comes advanced mathematics theories about the crystallization—and decrystalization—of the universe Don’t lose sight of any of these threads—genetic development of people bred to a specific purpose mathematical theories or the tree—because everything begins to add up about the time Jela meets another Pilot named Cantra who walks into a restaurant randomly seeking companionship of another pilot over a mealThe two share a pleasant meal begin to depart and their lives are wrenched from personal choice into resistance to the will of rapidly multiplying forces The pacing becomes the headlong run that is a signature of a LeeMiller adventure Cantra is than she seems Jela is than he seems The Batcher serving woman they rescue is than she seems and again do not forget the treeThe novel does end on a cliff hanger—we are told on the cover that this book is part one of the Great Migration Duology but there is a small arc of resolution that renders the cliff hanger anticipatory instead of exasperating Pay attention to everything names places even phrases I was delighted by the buried references that functioned like memory hypertext evoking the grand tapestry of the Liaden series

  6. says:

    Well you can't win them all I just finished a string of good reads and picked this one up based on recommendationsIt started out fairbut it had to strain apparently to remain fair and at last it just got to be too much for it It then collapsed into poor and finally into boringThe best way I can come up with is to describe this one is airy fairy What opens as a military survival story descends into a long running weak look at a philosophical situationproblemIt got to be than I could take I skimmed forward to see how it picked up It didn't The close is there not great not satisfying Don't care for it Some of you will like this one greatly For you I'm happy Enjoy Not for me

  7. says:

    Great story04142018 I realized that I still need to read 4 books in the Liaden Universe so I decided to start over and read the series in chronological order04162018 Loved this book just as much the second time03042020 I read this again I just love the tree

  8. says:

    455; 5 stars; AThis time I listened to the audiobook from Audible Kevin T Collins was the narrator and he did a fantastic job I put off listening to this book because I had a bad experience with this narrator and in fact hated his narration of Trade Secret so much that I returned the bookHe did a great job on this book I love the expansive world building and the interesting back story in this duology As much as I loved reading about Val Con and company from later books its so much fun to get to know Cantra and Jela and the tree and find out where it all startedThe only caveat I would state for anyone reading this book is not to start it unless you also have Crystal Dragon on hand The two books are really one story split into two Thanks Kathleen for recommending I give Collins another chance

  9. says:

    The book that introduces us to the origin of the characters and the universe that the epic Sci fi Liaden series expands from One of the best Sci fi series ever and one of my top 10 series of any kind You will love the whole series I promise Re read 41616 So very good Lee and Miller are so very good at creating and conveying a whole universe cultures and characters Superb 2018 re read Even on a 4th or 5th reading the characters and the sentiments still capture the reader 2019 re read It is less than a year since the previous re read I just couldn't resist revisiting this superb series 2020 re read again so good to revisit this universe

  10. says:

    I honestly wanted to like this book because the Liaden universe sounded very appealing to me unfortunately I was disappointedThe first section of the book was interesting and things were pointing out for a promising start of a great saga however the following section of the book after Jela left the planet was dull and dragged for too longThat section could pretty much be compressed into a single chapter or less with no negative impacts to the story The world building was below average flat characters the situations were mundane basically nothing interesting was happening and it was somehow challenging to wrap my mind around the language in this book looking up the odd word here and there and going back a few times and re read to understand what was happening especially on the action scenes other reviewers mentioned this same problem this is the kind of thing that rarely happens with other books i readAt that point I wanted to give up on this book I just kept pushing because of all the hype around this Liaden saga maybe later in the book things will get better and make sense well they didn'tI knew from the start and understand this wasn't considered one of the best books in the saga and according to many people reading in chronological order was not the best order that this 2 preuel books were very different from the other books in the sagaProbably some things may make sense only if I had read some of the later books but Crystal Soldier as a stand alone book was a disappointment for me The dragging of a short story into 300 pages mostly dull and weird languagewriting style killed it for meNot sure if I'll bother to read the direct seuel Crystal Dragon and some of the later books I give it 2 stars mostly because of the start of the book