Korval's Game (2011) is the third SF omnibus edition in the Liaden Universe series, following The Agent Gambit. It contains Plan B and I Dare. The initial omnibus in this sequence is The Dragon Variation.
Plan B (1998) is the fourth SF novel in this series, but it is something like the seventh by internal chronology. It is a direct sequel to Carpe Diem.
In this story, Shan has contacted Val Con and learned about the Department of Interior. They decided to meet on Lytaxin. Then Shan and Priscilla took the Dutiful Passage away from Liad and converted it into a battleship.
Val Con and Miri take the DoI ship away from the Interdicted World. The DoI Commander of Agents watches the tracking device on the ship leave orbit and travel to Waymart. Later the trace disappears from his screen.
Val Con and Miri head toward Lytaxin. That world is the home of Clan Erob, a close ally of Korval. On the way, Miri gets a gene test and discovers that she can use sleep learning without harm.
They land on Lytaxin shortly after the end of a civil war. Val Con introduces Miri as a scion of Clan Erob. The Erob delm is doubtful at first, but another gene test convinces her that Miri is from her clan.
Clan Erob questions Miri about her mother and grandmother. Miri finds that her grandmother had been a daughter of the House who had fled from her home. Miri guessed that her grandmother had crashed on Surebleak and raised her child there.
Miri searches out Jason among the mercenaries readying for departure from the planet. Jason offers her a commission in the Gyrfalks. When he learns that she is now a pilot and that Val Con is a Liaden Scout Commander, he raises the offer for both of them. Miri sadly refuses the offers.
Then the Yxtrang 14th Conquest Corps invades Lytaxin. They are very surprised when a Liaden Scout ship destroys the planes attacking the Erob House. Nelirikk No-Troop intervenes to draw attention to the Scout vessel. His general punishes the former Explorer by sending him out with defective equipment to scout the Liaden and Terran forces.
Meanwhile, Nova has declared Plan B and the Korval clan disappears from Liad. Only Anthora -- the dramliza -- is left behind to guard Jelaza Kazone. The Commander of Agents sends a team to attack her.
I Dare (1998) is the sixth SF novel in this series, but it is something like the eighth by internal chronology. It is a direct sequel to Plan B.
In this story, Pat Rin is accidently left behind on Liad. He gets an offer of assistance from Natesa, a Sector Judge of the Juntavas. Then he is approached by DoI agents.
The DoI team forcibly escorts them to an abandoned warehouse. The agent informs Pat Rin that he is the only survivor of Clan Korval. He offers the Clan Ring as proof.
Rin knows that the ring is a fake, but is worried about his kin. He shoots the agent and guard. When he and his pilot Cheever venture out to face the rest of the team, they find Natesa and the Juntavas have already taken care of them.
Natesa leaves the planet with Pat Rin and Cheever. The Juntavas have modified the ship ID so that DoI will not be able to track them. After a stop to buy goods, they travel to Surebleak.
The planet is near several minor trade routes, but is not visited very often due to its reputation. Surebleak is cold and the social structure is violent and unfriendly. Pat Rin has a plan to use the planet for Balance against DoI.
Pat Rin opens a rug store in Boss Moran's territory. When the Boss' second-hand man comes by to collect the monthly Insurance payment, Pat Rin refuses in a polite way. So the Boss and several guards drop by the next morning.
Afterward, Pat Rin is the new Boss. He lets the second-hand man go, but allows the surviving guards to stay. Then he checks out the Boss' house. He not impressed.
Meanwhile, Miri and Val Con are in the infirmary. Miri is in a bed, but Val Con is being treated by the autodoc. Sheather believes that the medical equipment is not synchronized with their life forces.
Edger demonstrates Clutch turtle healing songs by healing Shan's knee. So Shan turns off the medical equipment attached to Miri and leaves her with Sheather. He then accompanies Edger to the autodoc.
Miri is healed quite easily, but Val Con is in much worse shape. Shan guides Edger in singing the scout well. They leave Val Con sleeping peacefully on a cot.
Nelirikk Explorer brings two other Yxtrang to take oath with Miri. She is still in the infirmary, so Daav takes temporary oaths for the Clan. Then they wait for Miri to recover.
On the Dutiful Passage, Ren Zel is promoted to First Mate, but he is having strange dreams. After one such dream, he wakens to find a cat whisker of his bed. He takes the whisker to the ship librarian and she recognizes it. But she will not tell him any particulars.
These stories are full of action and strangeness. They end the story arc started with Agent of Change. The last novel also ties into the Fledgling trilogy. The next omnibus will be the prequels to this series: The Crystal Variation.
Highly recommended for Lee & Miller fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of interstellar travel, covert conflict, and competent agents. Read and enjoy!
-Arthur W. Jordin