Fantasist's Scroll

Fun, Fiction and Strange Things from the Desk of the Fantasist.


Review: The Chanur Saga

Filed under: — Posted by the Fantasist during the Hour of the Hare which is in the early morning.
The moon is Waxing Gibbous

Wondered where we’ve been this Summer?

Well, besides changing jobs, I’ve been reading. One of the books I read was The Chanur Saga, though I didn’t read it all at once. This is actually an “omnibus” of the first three books in the Chanur series. There are, to my knowlege, two more. Now, I have to admit, this is not my “usual” kind of book. I like science-fiction, but I often have trouble with female writers because they focus on things that don’t often interest me. (In otherwords, they write romance novels in space or fantasy settings!) But, my wife read these and really liked them, so I gave it a shot. Boy, am I glad I did!
More along the lines of a “space opera” in the fact that the author, C. J. Cherryh, didn’t focus on the hard-science aspects of the Chanur universe, but instead on the “people”, mainly aliens, who live there. The story through out the three books in the “omnibus” follow the discovery of humanity by the Compact, which include a lionlike race called the hani. The Chanur are a clan of hani who have a trading spaceship who take in a castaway human, who’s lost in Compact space. Along the way, we meet the mahendo’sat, the stsho, the chi, the t’cha, the knnn, and the kif, who are all members of the Compact and have their own ideas about what to do with humanity. The kif are the bad guys, generally, but each race has their own goals regarding this newly discovered race. All in all it’s fairly interesting and entertaining.
One of the things I like the best is that Ms. Cherryh uses language and language barriers effectively and realisticlly in her work. We’ve got a bunch of races with various languages among them all trying to work together, and take advantage of each other, without having too many misunderstandings. At times, it makes for very entertaining reading! And, it provides quite a bit of food for thought for my own work in this regard.
Very well done and I look forward to reading the next two in the series!

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