on 24 July 2013
I ran into the Liaden books, in the shape of the New Adventures series, quite recently, and liked those five books well enough to look for the original series of books that set the field for the new series. I read of few of those before I came across this book. Although the three short novels which make up The Crystal Variation were written quite late on in the life of the original series, they are the three that - in terms of the story line - explore the origins of the Liaden culture. The first two cover the events that lead to the colonisation of Liad, while the third looks at an early stage of interaction between Liaden and Terran people, as the culture begins to overcome a "foreign therefor alien therefor inferior" attitude which seems quite widespread. The three novels in this book are well written, but I think I would have liked the first two rather less if I had come to them first instead of before reading much of what, in story-line terms, comes after because a lot of their interest to me was in discovering the cause of some things in other books. I found these three short novels enjoyable to read, especially the third - the first two strained my ability to suspend disbelief enough that I found them not quite as enjoyable as the third.. I like the style and background of the Liaden books enough that I expect to continue to acquire books in the several series until I have them all.