The Faded Sun: KesrithAugust 14, 2013
This book is my first C.J. Cherryh book, and certainly will not be the last. She got me hook into her story telling style, the richness of the world design, the race description, and the conflict.
The setting is the aftermath of human vs regul war, in a planet called Kesrith, surrounding what looks like a red giant star. Regul was hiring another race as mercenary, the mri, a warrior-like race. The war ends in human favor, regul surrendering a system, in which Kesrith lied. Thus the story begins, for Kesrith is going to receive its new master, human.
Being the first of the Faded Sun series, this novel serves as an intro to the series. Not surprisingly, the world creation takes most part in this novel. The creation of three sentient race: human (no need to explain), regul, dan mri, is really top notch. Each is unique in its own way. Human with its herd psychology, regul with its superior intellegence, but coward, and mri with its strong sense of duty and chivalry. It is also very interesting to see that the two other race are not capable of lying for different reason. The regul cannot lie because of their super memory and intelligence. A lie will create an inconsistency in the logic that is too difficult for them to handle, and can create a “brainstorm”. While the mri cannot lie because of their chivalrous code, lying will make them a low creature. The explanation about the planet Kesrith is not as detail as the explanation of the race. We just know that it is a harsh planet, difficult to find water and has extreme storm. Maybe it is something like the planet in Dune.
But, those strong points above, also becomes the weak points for this novel. The plot merely serves the world building, therefore makes the novel less interesting for general readership. If the human character Duncan were introduced earlier, I believe that the story would become more interesting.
As a novel, it is not very powerful. But as an intro to the series, I find this novel very interesting, which will make me to continue reading the series. 3 STAR.