The Faded Sun: Kesrith
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The Faded Sun: Kesrith (The Faded Sun #1)

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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  1,182 ratings  ·  28 reviews
This is the story of three people: Sten Duncan, a soldier of humanity; Niun, last warrior of the mri, humanity's enemies; and Melein, priestess-queen of the final fallen mri stronghold. It is the story of two mighty species fighting for a galaxy, humanity driving out from Earth, and the enigmatic regul struggling to hold their stars with mri mercenaries. It is a story of d...more
Mass Market Paperback, No. 300 (UJ1393), 252 pages
Published April 1978 by DAW (first published 1978)
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The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsRendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. ClarkeThe Forever War by Joe HaldemanRingworld by Larry NivenNine Princes in Amber by Roger Zelazny
Classic Science Fiction - 1970-1979
30th out of 107 books — 47 voters
Dune by Frank HerbertFahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyThe Martian Chronicles by Ray BradburyRendezvous with Rama by Arthur C. ClarkeThe Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov
Golden Age & New Wave SF
132nd out of 225 books — 207 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,773)
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Stephen
EVERYONE knows that SF BUFFanatics are all ARCH HIP, COOLaphonic and loaded with silky, smooth BREEZYness, right? RIGHT? Good...however, despite sharing the above stats, SFantasticos often vary greatly in the kind story they like to fill up on. From funny to campy to light-hearted to hearted to character-driven to world-builders to actiony to mega-actiony to detailed orientated to serious to socially conscious to thought-provoking to operatic to epic to life-changing, and all combos and sequence...more
Dirk Grobbelaar
Okay, this novel reminded me of Dune. Kesrith, like Arrakis, is a desert planet; the burrowers are reminiscent of the Shai-Hulud (sandworms); the Mri bear more than a passing resemblance to the Fremen, or as far as their lifestyle on Kesrith is concerned. Yet, despite all this, the novel never felt like a knock off. It goes off in a whole different direction, and, being only the first chapter in the Faded Sun trilogy, can not be read as a stand-alone.

There is one other Dune comparison I can draw...more
Shelly
This was a little too dry for me though I did end up liking it. C.J. Cherryh writes well and does a really good job in this story creating believable aliens that I came to care about during the story. I guess in the end it was just a bit too slow moving for what I was in the mood for.
Susan
This was the start of one of my favorite sci-fi trilogies of all time. I was thinking about it the other night and went hunting through my bookshelves until I found it, thinking I might re-read it. It is so old that it pre-dates ISBNs. So much for scanning with the Goodreads app. The paperback edition cost $2.95 and it was published in 1978. But I felt even sadder when I opened it and the ancient glue of the binding cracked, so I've just ordered the omnibus reprint of all 3 novels from Amazon. I...more
Fayley
Although this was a 250 page book it was a slow read due to the many details. I read the first page 3 times to make sure I understood all the cultural implications. If you like very detailed world building and understanding an alien culture, then you will enjoy this. I was very frustrated when it ended just as the action began - until I found out that this is the first in a series (yay). Getting into the heads of three different species and realising where misunderstandings were made was fascina...more
Sandra
Riveting, exciting, creative and original. As usual, Cherryh nails it. And as usual I must proceed with #2. Only drawback, it's only available in paperback or hardcover with SMALL print that it strains my eyes to read. Gah.
Charles
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Edie
A most excellent series. I found this one on my bookshelf, and found the reason I had kept it all these years. This is one of the first of the alternate world series I so love. The language that CJ Cherryh uses is finely-honed - not the big thick books that have come to be more recently in this genre, but sparse and evoking of the worlds and the peoples she creates here. I had to really focus on the story to be sure I was pulling from it as much as I could. The three (4 if you count the dus, whi...more
Cristie
Took me a little while to get into this book - I think C.J. Cherryh is often very detailed in her world building, so it helps when I'm in the mood for it and not just looking for a quick easy read. The anthropologist in me really liked that there are not only three different alien species interacting with one another (one of which is humans), but that the book took some moments to portray the story from each of their perspectives. Much harder to draw a good/bad line when you can really see the d...more
Kristin
I really wanted to like this--I do love old school sci fi a la Ursula K Leguin, original Star Treks, etc., but I just couldn't do it. I'm all for invented languages and names, but both of those were so frequent in this book that it essentially wasn't written in English. And pains weren't taken to reveal the meanings of these invented linguistics, either. You're just expected to jump right into the world, feet first, instantly fluent in these alien tongues. I suppose it might ultimately be readab...more
Ernie Jr.
Kesrith was in some ways like reading the Silmarillion. It had a lot of important back-story with a little bit of action. For the most part I found the book slower to read than the Chanur saga, but certainly interesting enough in its own way. It was definitely worth the read to get to the big reveal of the second book and the final psychological interaction and climax of the third.

I would recommend this story to hard core sci-fi fans, but not to the casual or young readers.
Aine
This is a re-read, so I'm going to count the pages, but not the book.

This is the first installment of my favorite science fiction trilogy. Cherryh's writing is engaging and interesting, and her characters are first-rate. I love the two entirely different cultures (humans make a third) that she introduces to us in these books, and how truly different they are from human society. Niun is just about my favorite literary science-fiction character.
Annii Frazer
This is a re-read, so I'm going to count the pages, but not the book.

This is the first installment of my favorite science fiction trilogy. Cherryh's writing is engaging and interesting, and her characters are first-rate. I love the two entirely different cultures (humans make a third) that she introduces to us in these books, and how truly different they are from human society. Niun is just about my favorite literary science-fiction character.
Kay
I found "The Faded Sun" trilogy fascinating. It was recommended to me by an anthropologist friend, and indeed there is an anthropological element to the series that is part of its appeal. While I'm normally not a fan of "alternate worlds" fiction (you know, the kind that makes up its own language and goes into excruciating detail about alien societies), this one hit the mark for me.
John Dredla
I like the tight first person, and I'm used to the rhythm C. J. Cherryh uses. I like looking at humans through alien eyes.
Charles Dee Mitchell
Anytime I have considered entering C. J. Cherryh's Alliance-Union Universe, I think about Anthony Trollope. With either author I have always thought that if I read one of their books and liked it, I could spend the rest of my life reading the rest of them. That might be more true of Trollope than Cherryh, since although she has him beat 60 novels to 48, his are much more fantastically long. Then again she continues to write, so it could go either way. There is another odd similarity between the...more
Oni
This book is my first C.J. Cherryh book, and certainly will not be the last. She got me hook into her story telling style, the richness of the world design, the race description, and the conflict.

The setting is the aftermath of human vs regul war, in a planet called Kesrith, surrounding what looks like a red giant star. Regul was hiring another race as mercenary, the mri, a warrior-like race. The war ends in human favor, regul surrendering a system, in which Kesrith lied. Thus the story begins,...more
Todd
Past the first chapter (which I had to read twice, all the made up names with apostrophes and hyphens were frustrating and sometimes confusing) and you'll enter a slow build to a lot of excitement. This book in ways reminds me somewhat of the series, Earth's Children, but in a setting different not in time, but in space. Very interesting and rather thrilling at the end, I've just finished and thank goodness I have the other two books in this trilogy as I want to continue reading what for me is a...more
Caleb
This was a difficult book for me to read, let alone rate. Its imagery is powerful and gives you a taste of lifeless despair with only the smallest shred of hope.
Heather
This book was okay, but I felt it was a poorly written version of Dune, just with more female characters. I found it to move way too quickly, and very poorly developed. I have the entire trilogy, so I will probably read the other two, but if I didn't have them, I wouldn't bother trying to get the other two.
John
It's definitely better than the cover looks. Overall, it's a sweet book, but it owes too much to Dune to get five stars. That said, it doesn't end up seeming like a lame imitation of Dune-- this book can definitely hold its own with pretty much any science fiction I've read.
Brenda ╰☆╮
I first read this book as a teen and loved it. It still holds true for me today.

The alien characters are as different from one another .......as apples are from oranges. The delicious adventure kept me turning the pages till the end, right through the trilogy.
:)
Elijah Kinch Spector
I was very good at this year's Housing Works bookstore outdoor fair. $1 books and I only got three. This was one of them. I shouldn't keep buying books by people whose books I've already bought and not yet read, but it was a cool edition for a dollar!
Michael Barnette
Sep 06, 2010 Michael Barnette rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: to scifi buffs
Shelves: scifi
One of the best series C. J. Cherryh ever wrote, This is the first book in the series and it is a masterpiece of world building full of great characters.
Jessie
Awful cover, amazing book ... read the covers off and pages fell out .. bought the omnibus edition ... sorrowfully saying farewell to this edition
Aaron
Reminds me a little of Gene Wolfe. At least one of Wolfe's lesser works. Well written, but lacking excitement.
Rick Thomas
A race that wants to travel the stars and only has one way to pay.
Service.
Kelly
May revisit my rating after I finish the trilogy.
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Currently resident in Spokane, Washington, C.J. Cherryh has won four Hugos and is one of the best-selling and most critically acclaimed authors in the science fiction and fantasy field. She is the author of more than forty novels. Her hobbies include travel, photography, reef culture, Mariners baseball, and, a late passion, figure skating: she intends to compete in the adult USFSA track. She began...more
More about C.J. Cherryh...
Downbelow Station (Company Wars, #1) Cyteen (Unionside, #2) The Pride of Chanur (Compact Space, #1) Foreigner (Foreigner, #1) The Faded Sun Trilogy (The Faded Sun, #1-3)

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