Monday, November 10, 2014

Conflict of Honors (Liaden Universe #2), by Sharon Lee (author), Steve Miller (author), Andy Caploe (narrator)

Audible Frontiers, September 2012 (original publication 1988)

Priscilla Delacroix y Mendoza is declared legally dead and exiled from her homeworld at just sixteen. She spends the next few years working her way up through the ranks of spaceship crew, moving from ship to ship, and getting pilot training whenever she can. The Liaden trading ship Doxflon is not a pleasant ship, but she's gotten to the rank of cargo master, and she can't afford to buy out her contract before its end in six months anyway.

Even though she thinks she's found evidence that the ship's Trader, Sav Rid Olenik, is engaged in some very serious smuggling.

She's been very careful and quiet with that evidence, though, and is not expecting it at all when Olenik arranges for her to be attacked and stranded on a rather nowhere sort of depot world. Another Liaden ship is in port, though, and with no other real options, she asks Shan yos'Galen, captain of Dutiful Passage, for a job--any job.

Shan has his own issues with Olenik, and gradually he and Priscilla become allies in the quest for, as the Liaden say, "balance" with Sav Rid Olenik.

This is, as far as I can determine, the second book written in the series, and not all the concepts later important in the series are fully developed yet. Shan is also intentionally playing a bit of a fool in this one, which doesn't always work well. If you didn't grow up in a family or culture where alcoholic beverages are just beverages, and wine might well be served with breakfast, his drinking may well not play well for you, either. (Although, honestly, it's much like what I saw growing up in the Sicilian part of my family--which was not the part of the family that had the alcoholics.)

Lee and Miller get stronger as writers as the series progresses, and the Liaden universe gets more fully and richly developed--but this is an enjoyable book, and Priscilla, Shan, and the rest of the crew of Dutiful Passage are likable and worth getting to know.

Recommended.

I bought this book.