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Terran Miri Robertson was a mercenary, but she retired to a cushy job as a private bodyguard. What she didn't know what that her client had powerful enemies. Now he's dead, and they're after her.
Review by Reynold Starnes
Agent of Change, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, initially published in 1988, is the first book featuring the Liaden Universe. There are currently sixteen novels and numerous short stories set in this universe, with several later novels and stories set chronologically before the events in Agent of Change.
Agent of Change introduces three strains of humans, Liaden, Terran, and Yxtrang, and an alien species, Clutch Turtles. The key to the plot and set up for Agent of Change is xenophobic behavior by some humans and most Liadens. There are four specific sequels to this book, but each stands alone.
Val Con yos’Phelium, future head of Clan Korval, the most powerful of Liaden Clans has been brainwashed by the Department of the Interior, a clandestine organization intent on establishing Liaden supremacy. As the plot unfolds, he saves the life of Miri Robertson. They become involved in each other’s problems and struggle through this book and its sequels to find solutions.
This is a terrific book. It is a very fine space opera; moreover, it is a space romance. The writing is deft, the characters are well defined and complex, and the dialog is clever and witty. The only real issues are that the science part of the science fiction is sketchy and the military action seems amateurish. The writing is done well enough, and the plotting is quick enough, that these are really not noticeable. The key to good sci-fi is to enable the reader to easily suspend disbelief; Lee and Miller do this well.
Miri and Val Con are likeable, as are their allies, the Clutch Turtles. There is plenty of action here, plus a fully thought out universe, to go with tight plotting and great characters. The back story unfolds without tedious exposition. Be ready for alien customs, powerful turtles, sentient trees, smart cats who always are on the side of good, a terrific self-aware robot, derring-do, and romance. Lee and Miller are a great writing team; this is a favorite series and a really good read.