Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Reviews: Plan B and I Dare by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller

Somewhere around 1999 Sharon Lee and Steve Miller found a new publisher for their Liaden Universe books. Meisha Merlin picked them up, re-released long out of print titles, and bought new stories in the Liaden Universe. Fans were especially eager to know what would happen next for Clan Korval.

Meisha Merlin republished Agent of Change, A Conflict of Honors, and Carpe Diem in the omnibus edition entitles Partners in Necessity in 2000. Meisha Merlin also published two new Liaden novels -- Local Custom and Scout's Progress -- in an omnibus entitled Pilot's Choice (2000) to give fans and new readers the stories of Er Thom and Daav and their lifemates.

In 1999, the long-awaited Plan B was published by Meisha Merlin. In Plan B, the clan is scattered but gradually coming together on Lytaxin. Lytaxin is the home planet of Miri's clan - Clan Erob. Val Con set it as a rendezvous point because Miri's history should have been unknown to the Department of the Interior. However, the Department of the Interior knew that Clan Erob was an old ally of Korval's and so fomented a revolution on the planet. Val Con and Miri arrive just after the revolution has been put down.

Shortly thereafter, the Yxtrang see the disorder and decided to try to capture Lytaxin for its own. A remnant of Miri's former mercenary company is still on planet and Miri and Val Con get involved in the plans to throw the Yxtrang off the planet.

Shan and Priscilla arrive to meet with Val Con and find themselves in the middle of a space battle. Shan is separated from the ship, leaving Priscilla as captain, and finds himself on the planet aiding Miri and Val Con. Meanwhile Nova is also on Val Con's trail. When she finds out where he is and what is happening, she joins forces with the remains of Miri's old Unit and they head to Lytaxin too.

I Dare (2002)

This book brings the Agent of Change story arc to its conclusion. The Yxtrang have been defeated on Lytaxin but not without cost. Val Con was very severely injured and requires a unique and experimental healing by his Clutch Turtle brothers before he can bring the battle to the Department of the Interior on Liad.

Meanwhile, Pat Rin yos'Phelium is working on his own to balance accounts with the Department of the Interior. He has been told convincingly that all the rest of his clan has been killed. Believing that he is on his own to balance these murders, he works to gain allies and resources to take on the Department of the Interior. He retreats to the low-tech and backward planet of Surebleak (which happens to be the planet of Miri's birth) and begins his revenge. One of his first allies is Natessa the Assassin who is a Sector Judge for the Juntavas.

Also rejoining the clan on Lytaxin is Daav yos'Phelium whom we last saw in Mouse and Dragon who left the clan to go live on human worlds to try to balance the death of his lifemate. News of the danger to Clan Korval has brought him back to Liaden space.

And on Liad itself, Anthora is in immediate danger due to actions of the Department of the Interior.

Shortly after I Dare was published with its tantalizing teaser ending with Theo Waitley coming to Korval with a sort-of complicated problem, Meisha Merlin went out of business leaving them owing Sharon and Steve lots of money and leaving fans wanting more.

Check my next reviews of Fledgling, Saltation and Ghost Ship to find out what happens next in the Liaden Universe and what Sharon and Steve chose to do.

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