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Necessity's Child (Liaden Universe) Mass Market Paperback – 4 Mar 2014

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Baen Books (4 Mar. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1476736316
  • ISBN-13: 978-1476736310
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.5 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 650,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Maine-based writers Sharon Lee and Steve Miller teamed up in the late 1980s to bring the world the story of Kinzel, a inept wizard with a love of cats, a thirst for justice, and a staff of true power. Since then, the husband-and-wife have written dozens of short stories, and eighteen novels, most set in their star-spanning Liaden Universe(R). Before settling down to the serene and stable life of a science fiction and fantasy writer, Steve was a traveling poet, a rock-band reviewer, reporter, and editor of a string of community newspapers. Sharon, less adventurous, has been an advertising copywriter, copy editor on night-side news at a small city newspaper, reporter, photographer, and book reviewer. Both credit their newspaper experiences with teaching them the finer points of collaboration. Sharon and Steve passionately believe that reading fiction ought to be fun, and that stories are entertainment. Steve and Sharon maintain a web presence at http: //

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Bedel live underground on Surebleak, a close kompani of kin, surviving mostly by stealing from The Others. But a new kompani, Korval, has arrived, in conflict with the Department of the Interior. Their plans for Surebleak unknowingly threaten the Bedel’s homestead. When Kezzi, a young Bedel, meets Syl Vor, Nova yos’Galan’s son, things will be changed for both.

This is a further tale in the great long-running Korval-on-Surebleak saga, as seen through the eyes of children. One of the things I like about this series is how we see well-known people from new perspectives: here we see Nova as mother through her son’s (very Liaden) eyes, and as a Surebleak Boss, rather than as the remote and austere nadelm in earlier books.

I found the tale rather slight and fragmented, taking a long time to get going, being more dance of (exquisite) manners than a major plot advancement. But it is still an interesting and absorbing story of culture clash.

No turtles, though.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't really need to say more except if you haven't yet read any others on the series (I say that in the loosest sense as they are all stand alone stories) you are missing out on some great reads!
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 12 Mar. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Yet another excellent addition to the Liaden Universe will be keeping an eye out for any further adventures of clan Korval.A nice stand alone story that enhances the overall series.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 92 reviews
28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Interesting addition to the series 31 Jan. 2013
By Avid reader - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Necessity's Child is a very interesting addition to the Liaden Universe. There are three distinct writing styles within this book. The first is Surbleek a rough and tumble 1930's gangster style that reminds me of the original Star Trek episode, A Piece of the Action. It contains all the "action" and chopped words that rough hooligans of the planet used. The second is a flowing narrative of the Liadens and clan Korval. Normally there is a very dry humor running through this that has helped to create such a memorable series. Finally was a new group, the Kompani. I found myself stopping while reading to really think about who they were and what they stood for. Especially in the beginning this really took some effort and open mindedness.

This book starts just after Meri is attacked at the dance and ends shortly after she had her child. Although there are glimpses, this book does not contain much of Korval and does not progress the general story arc, or answer any of the cliffhangers from the previous few books. I felt cheated about this at first, until I realized how powerfully this story could affect the future story arc. It still makes waiting for the next installment frustrating. LOL.

This book really had three main characters: a girl of the Kompani, a boy of Korval and a hurt operative from the Department of Interior. It measures the progress and growth of these individuals and the possible future alliance. The Kompani girl is confronted with a culture very different than her own and has to try to balance her culture/traditions with this other culture. The continuing costs of Plan B are demonstrated by a boy who is too serious for his age and must try to interact with other cultures and bullying. In doing so, he asks his mother to adopt a sister for him. Finally, is there hope for a former Department of the Interior agent of change? Val Con broke their training (twice) but with the help of the clutch turtle training; what can help these formerly smart dedicated individuals who have done terrible acts of terror? What if someone highjacks their programming and forces them to do it again?

As with any great book you think about the issues raised long after you finish reading the words on the page. I have been unable to stop thinking about this book since I finished reading it. While not action packed like others in the series or fun like Theo's books can be, this is a strong book within the series. It will not be an easy book to read and will require some dexterity on the part of the reader to follow all the transitions in style and characters, but it is worthy of the effort.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
An outstanding addition to the Liaden Universe series 21 Jan. 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was so excited that Necessity's Child would be available on Kindle a little earlier than the book release in February. I am glad I sprung for it, as it is a worthy addition to the series, focusing on an unknown character, a youth, who has borne up bravely during his family's daring and complicated run for their lives under Plan B. He continues to approach life with the same responsibility and seriousness as his mother and grandfather. The continuity through the family line is sweet. I really like this character, he makes his choices with a quirky blend of honor, industriousness, reason, and intuition; and in doing so the Luck continues to weave its way through the lives of his clan and the people around it. Also introduced in this book is the Kompani, an intriguing gypsy clan with an arcane, almost Steampunk blend of technology and magic in their culture, that dwells mysterious and unseen among the other denizens of Surebleak. I plan to read this one to my kids, save one chapter that is graphically sexual. It's just that awesome. I love these authors, can't wait for the next one!
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
More excellent writing from Lee and Miller 28 Jan. 2013
By Hacksaw - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a fan of all Lee and Miller writing, which is no mean feat. Many authors I love have a few works which leave me tepid; I have yet to say this of Lee and Miller.

Necessity's Child entertains, first and foremost. It introduces a new culture, and highlights interesting qualities of a known-to-readers people. It also tells more of a story those of us who are faithful followers have been hankering for, and gives everyone ideas to ponder.

Chief among the qualities that I admire in Sharon and Steve is their ability to make characters that are both real, and sympathetic, but at the same time exotic, with a fascinating, thought provoking culture.

This novel is late in the Liaden story arc, but it's a solid, stand-alone work, with sufficient context to keep the flow going. If this is your first Liaden novel, you will not be lost. You will likely find yourself looking for more. To that I say: much good reading awaits you.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A Pleasant Digression. Now get back to the main story! 23 Mar. 2013
By E. Nolan - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
_Necessity's Child_ is the latest "Liaden Universe" novel by Lee & Miller,
and like all such is quite enjoyable. This particular book is something
of a digression though. If you want to know if Kamele gets back together
with Daav and Alieana (and finally realizes that that's what she's doing)
or find out what Theo and her newly bonded ship are up to.. well, you
won't find it out here. The action of _Necessity's Child_ overlaps
several recent Liaden offerings (for instance, Val Con goes off on his
mission to rescue the Interdicted World from The Department of The Interior
during this book), but the focus is different.

The action largely centers on two middle school children, clan Korval's
Syl Vor and Kezzi, a child of the "kompani" (space gypsies, essentially),
with one of the DOI's cast-aside "Agents Of Change" Rys added to the mix
to keep the stakes reasonably high.

Finally arrived on Clan Korval's new homeworld of Surebleak, Syl Vor
is a child used harshly by the clan's emergency regimen "Plan B".
Given perhaps too much responsibility then, he is unsure how to
adjust to a normal childhood again, especially as his older cousins
scatter. It doesn't help that his mother, Nova, is habitually somewhat
cool and distant and that strict security keeps him from making local
friends. When the clan's ongoing effort to mold Surebleak's feudal
"boss" system into something that will support a modern economy
and reasonable public safety entails establishing an "all territory"
public school, Syl Vor sees his chance to do something useful for the
clan as he did under "Plan B" and perhaps make friends and bond with
his mother.

Kezzi is the child of a dying subculture, too inbred to continue much
longer. The kompani have always kept apart from Surebleak though they
have lived there in hiding for perhaps hundreds of years. Now the lone
member of what is likely to be the last generation of kompani children,
she finds herself guided by her mentor, the local priestess, to become
involved in the affairs of Surebleak & Korval. That and chance (but
chance is always an active agent in the Liaden Universe) lead her to
Syl Vor's new model school and a stint as Nova's temnporary daughter.

If she and Syl Vor can bring Korval & kompani together, and if Rys
can overcome the demons which threaten to destroy him and those nearest
to him, perhaps Korval's plans for Surebleak may advance further than
anyone expected. If not, perhaps hope for Surebleak ends here..

Lee & Miller always describe their stories as "character driven". That's
very true. Liaden Universe technology is just "Star Wars and whatever
we need for this book", but I find myself waking up in the mornings
wondering what is going to happen to these people and hoping things will
work out well for them, and that rarely happens for me with other books.

Now, come on and tell us what happened with Daav, Alieana, Kamele, The
Uncle & Theo!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
an engaging read 3 Feb. 2013
By J. Aumir - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was a little hesitant about this book initially, but as I get older I get less and less interested in coming of age stories. I needn't have worried, the teenage angst in this book is limited and there are a number of different character viewpoints. Also, it was nice to see a story in which the teenagers retained faith in the adults in their life and communicated their feelings with them and considered their advice in dealing with their issues.
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