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Mouse And Dragon (Liaden Universe Novels) Hardcover – 1 Jun 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Baen Books (1 Jun. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439133816
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439133811
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 3.3 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,769,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Sharon Lee and Steve Miller live in the rolling hills of Central Maine with two insistent muses in the form of cats and a large cast of characters. The husband-and-wife team's collaborative work in science fiction and fantasy include twelve novels and numerous short stories in their award-winning Liaden Universe(r). In addition to their collaborative work, Steve has seen short stories, nonfiction, and reviews published under his name, while Sharon has seen published short stories, newspaper pieces, and two mystery novels. Steve was the founding curator of the University of Maryland's Kuhn Library Science Fiction Research Collection and a former Nebula juror. For five years, Sharon served the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, consecutively as Executive Director, Vice President and President. Sharon's interests include music, seashores and pine cones. Steve also enjoys music, plays tournament chess, and collects cat whiskers.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is one of the better stories in a GREAT series. It is also one that does best as stand alone book, but is always richer when taken as a whole series. The world building is so complex, subtle, society and character based, the complexities of manners and protocol so developed, that every page is gripping, intelligent and intriguing. This is sci-fi at its best.

This is the tale of a mathematician, a mouse, what might have been a bullied wreck but for inner strength. It is a tale of triumph over adversity, justice, qualities (the good and the bad) hidden behind facades and yet dug up and recognised. The joy of the plots premise reaching its full potential in the end is a triumph! I couldn't put the book down, or stop thinking about it afterwards. It is not one of the complex space opera, spying, battling or technology books, it is much more and much richer than that: it is people first and tech as a product of or tool for their own hard earned work and skills.

I won't put in any plot spoilers, it's too good a book to want to take that away from any reader, besides you can get that elsewhere... can't recomend this highly enough. On my shelf in hard back. So glad its on Kindle too now.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is another thoroughly enjoyable read about the Liaden universe. It is a direct follow on from the book Scout`s Progress. I`d recommend reading Local Custom and Scouts Progress prior to this for maximum enjoyment. (These 2 books came out in a volume entitled Pilot`s Choice.) If you haven`t read any books by these authors, I thoroughly recommend them for a great blend of action, romance and a very enticing believable universe. A great heart warming tale. I love the fact that as the number of books grow, they are linked together. The volume " Partners in necessity" contains the 3 books, Conflict of honours, Agent of Change, and Carpe Diem. These are my favourite Liaden stories so far and tell the stories of children of the first 3 books above. I do feel that Conflict of Honours etc had more action than Mouse and Dragon. All I can say is I have all these authors books. Buy them you won`t regret it.Mouse And Dragon (Liaden Universe Novel)
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a big Liaden fan and Aelliana and Daav are two of my favourite characters so can't wait for the next development in the main story. This 'step back' filled a gap for me while waiting for the next one.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a big fan of the Liaden series but I think this is one of the weaker books. On the other hand the prequel is excellent.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars 54 reviews
41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthy sequel to Scout's Progress, but not much new 29 May 2010
By James McCain - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a fan of the whole Liaden series, and was pleased at this chance to revisit the older generation of Clan Korval. The book picks up just before the end of Scout's Progress, with Aelliana at Healer's Hall, and the majority of the book takes place in the year immediately following that. The book mostly continues the plots established in Scout's Progress (the aftermath of everything with Aelliana's brother, including new conflict with Aelliana's delm; Daav and Aelliana working her ship; etc.). The one negative thing I have to say about the book is that, in some ways, it feels like the characters have moved backwards from the end of Scout's Progress, as the authors stretch out the "will they/won't they" plot of the original (although to be fair, Mouse and Dragon may be more of a "can they/can't they" plot). Despite those hesitations, Mouse and Dragon is a great addition to the Liaden Universe and anyone who liked Scout's Progress will definitely want to pick up a copy of the follow-on. (For those new to the series, Scout's Progress -- which is currently available in the compilation volume The Dragon Variation (Liaden) -- should definitely be read first).
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent continuation of "Scout's Progress" -- five-plus stars. 29 July 2010
By Barb Caffrey - Published on
Format: Hardcover
"Mouse and Dragon" is the sequel to Sharon Lee and Steve Miller's earlier "Scout's Progress" (currently on display as part of "The Dragon Variation" omnibus from Baen Books), and as such, a short synopsis of the earlier work is necessary to understand what's going on in "Mouse and Dragon."

In "Scout's Progress," Aelliana Caylon found that she wasn't merely a battered woman and brilliant mathematician; she had piloting skills, and had more ability and daring than she'd ever previously knew. In exploring her new field, piloting, she found an unexpected ally and friend -- Daav yos'Phelium, Delm Korval -- and a halting romance grew between the two, as makes sense when one of the pair has been beaten down repeatedly by the vicissitudes of life through no fault of hers. Daav was kind, patient, knowledgable about piloting, and had never before felt so strongly about any woman because on their world, Liad, men and women usually get together for brief periods (a year or two) in order to produce a child through an arrangement called a "contract marriage." Love plays little part in this, and while long-term love matches are not unknown, they are rare.

Because of Aelliana's systematic abuse at the hands of first her ex-husband, then her brother and Nadelm (second in command of her clan, and the heir apparent), she had more or less sworn off all men, but slowly grew through the course of "Scout's Progress" to realize her very real attraction to Daav the man -- an attraction that was just as much mental and emotional as it was physical. (The realm of the spirit is dealt with differently in Lee and Miller's Liaden Universe; let's just say their spirits were aligned as well, but they were unaware of this at the time.) And despite the worst her brother could throw at her in his last-ditch attempt to control Aelliana and keep her from Daav or anyone else intending good things for her, it looked as though Daav and Aelliana would live happily ever after at the end of "Scout's Progress."

But time marches on, and circumstances are sometimes brutal even to true lovers; in Daav's case, he has marital complications to extricate himself from (yet another contract marriage was on the horizon, something Daav was dreading), while Aelliana's Delm and mother has finally decided to take an interest in her daughter as due to the events of "Scout's Progress," her son (and favorite) had to be disinherited and declared "dead" to the clan. (As in, he was now an untouchable, unseeable presence. Not an actual, physical death.) Aelliana's scholarship is praised by her mother for the first time, and Aelliana's piloting skills suddenly have become a huge prize for her clan of Mizel; despite the love match between Daav and Aelliana (a soul-deep connection called a "lifemating"), Mizel's Delm refuses to grant permission for Aelliana to marry. (Aelliana is well over the age of consent and has been previously married, but this is a highly mannered society. Without her mother's consent -- as her mother is the Delm -- Aelliana can't do very much about her own wishes.)

And Daav's own family has its share of problems; the beautiful but cold Kareen yos'Phelium, Daav's older sister and sole member of the Korval Clan who does not pilot (thus, she cannot be Delm by Korval's own rules), is spiteful and cruel. She has abused her own son to the point that Daav had Kareen's son Pat Rin taken from her and placed with the amiable Trader Luken bel'Tarda, something which is not an accident and is not as small a part of the plotline as it seems at first. Because of Daav's forthright action in this matter, Kareen will stop at nothing to keep Daav from any happiness of his own, and while she hasn't outright colluded with Delm Mizel in anything, she's more than happy enough to pass rumors along at the glittering parties she throws nightly. This is not a complication Daav and Aelliana had expected to face, and it throws an even bigger monkey wrench into the proceedings.

Finally, Aelliana's sister Sinit, who is now the only possibility to become Delm of Clan Mizel after their mother passes on, needs to be provided for . . . and it is through Aellina's compassion for her sister and the resolute and steady love she has for Daav that finally settles matters in a highly satisfactory way.

These are the main elements of the book, but the minor elements -- how Aelliana and Daav form their partnership, how their marriage goes (they don't get more than a few short years together, something which resonated strongly), and seeing their young son Val Con along with Anne Davis' and Er'Thom yos'Galan's son Shan in their youth is worth a great deal all by itself -- also add an almost indefinable sense of place, a way to completely nail down the pair of them without giving up too much of Daav and Aelliana's privacy.

Note -- the final paragraphs contain spoilers, so look away if you do not want your reading spoiled.



. . . Go!

All right. You need to realize as a reader that this great love story is no less great due to its brevity or its poignancy; as many have pointed out already, Aelliana's fate has already been determined by the later books in the series "I Dare," "Fledgling," and "Saltation." Knowing what's happened to her because of those books, the entirety of her brief and joyous union was thrown into especially sharp relief. The SFnal solution Miller and Lee found remains no less surprising to me now than it did the first time I read "I Dare" -- it is a fully unique way to deal with the issue of the spirit and the spirit's great love for a spouse after the physical death of one of the pair.

Further, as a widow who lost her own beloved spouse after a few, short years, I appreciated the lessons Daav learned that he carried on into his own mostly separate future without his lovely wife Aelliana's physical presence. This was realistic, one of the most realistic ways to look at a young widower I've ever seen if you strip out the SFnal aspects of it all -- you _do_ think about your spouse, and you _do_ things differently because of what you learned because of your love for your spouse and the love of your spouse for you. Your world isn't the same, and you can't make it the same; all you can do is go on with the gifts you have, and honor your spouse the best you can in the usage of those gifts. I think Daav did that, and continues to do that throughout the series; the reason this book is particularly difficult in some spots for me to read is the palpable and heart-rending nature of his pain. That Daav eventually realizes (due to the SFnal elements) that his wife's spirit hasn't gone anywhere and his wife's love hasn't gone anywhere, either, makes no nevermind about the pain; the fact remains that his wife's body is dead. The world he knows will not recognize that his wife's spirit is alive. And everything he'd hoped for is now in ruins.

I don't know how Lee and Miller got this right, as their personal partnership/marriage remains strong and they're both in good health to the best of my knowledge. Neither of them have been widowed at an early age (or in early middle age) and they shouldn't really know how to convey this as well as they do -- not at the visceral, emotional level. I don't know how they did it. I appreciate that they did it, but I honestly don't know _how_ they did it -- but the tears I cried while reading their outstanding book "Mouse and Dragon," and again while composing this review, are a testament to their ability to get to the emotional heart of the matter.

The upshot: Five stars-plus. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys great books -- but widows and widowers in particular might want to take a look at this as well. There are a lot of "home truths" here that I appreciated and felt valuable, most especially the truth that our spouses live on -- in us.

Barb Caffrey
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars *happy sigh* 11 Jun. 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For a fan and reader of the series, this book is a welcome addition filling a hole in the overall timeline and story that had begged filling. A new reader might be a little confused without any previous introduction to the series as it jumps right into the story where the another book (Scout's Progress) left off. I recommend reading at least Scout's Progress before reading this one. There is less action in this book then in some of the others instead it focuses more on the characters. Still there was never a moment that I felt like setting the book down from anything less then necessity. If you wish more action, I recommend starting with Agent of Change and then moving on to Carpe Diem, Plan B, and I, Dare. These contain the overall plot arc that provides the action to most of the series. Beyond that, I can only say that this is one of my most favorite series and one of the few I read over and over again. If you dive into this world you will not regret it and will soon be like the rest of its fans waiting eagerly for the next installment.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another winner 20 July 2010
By Patricia Bray - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I've been a fan of Lee and Miller's Liaden novels from the very beginning, and I'm thrilled to report that MOUSE AND DRAGON is a fantastic addition to this universe.

While recovering at homewith a bum ankle, a friend sent me a care package from that included MOUSE AND DRAGON, and I devoured the book in a single evening. Adventure, humor, romance, political scheming, all the hallmarks of a Liaden adventure, with characters that you care passionately about. New fans and old will enjoy this tale.

Go, read, enjoy!
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing new here 25 July 2011
By Mike Garrison - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is, without a doubt, the weakest Liaden novel. Partially this is because it is a gap-filler story. We know where it starts (Scout's Progress) and we know where it finishes (Fledgling). So there is no surprise to the plot. But that's not the only problem. In fact, it's not even the biggest problem.

The biggest problem is that this book just is not fun. Part of it is a rehash of Scout's Progress. Much of it is an uninspired plot-line where Clan Mitzel appears to be doing its best to make an enemy of Clan Korval out of spite, rather than seeing an unexpected chance to ally themselves with the richest and most powerful trading clan in the galaxy. And then it ends up with a laundry list of unexplained and unconnected events which end up with the characters placed where we already know they will end up.

If you ever imagined what the story was that covered this period of time for Korval, then trust me, you imagined a better story than you will find in this book.

It is particularly disappointing because Fledgling and Saltation were such new and interesting variations on the Liaden experience. Mouse And Dragon, unfortunately, is neither new nor interesting.
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