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Crystal Soldier (The Great Migration Duology, #1; Liaden Universe, #1)
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Crystal Soldier (Liaden Universe #1)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,858 Ratings  ·  71 Reviews
Centuries in the past, mankind fought a seemingly unbeatable adversary from sector to sector across the Spiral Arm until the war ground to a standstill and the Enemy withdrew. Believing that they had won, the citizens of the galaxy rebuilt. The Inner Worlds, which had escaped the worst of the war's ravages, became even more insular, while the Rim worlds adopted a free and ...more
Hardcover, 321 pages
Published February 11th 2005 by Meisha Merlin Publishing (first published 2005)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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I was looking for something like Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Series, which I came to love. (See Barrayar, for one example.) The Liaden Universe series fit the bill well enough. This is a fun space-opera series. It's interesting, and occasionally profound.

Crystal Soldier is set at the chronological beginning of the Liaden Universe series, but written long after the series began. I recommend the series for its mix of characterization, romance, cultural and linguistic insights, humor, battl
Jun 16, 2009 Cindy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, keepers
Excellent read. I love the Liaden Universe books. The Liaden Universe is strongly drawn and the details are consistently well thought-out. The books have action, suspense, romance and characters you really care about. The hero and heroine of Crystal Dragon and Crystal Soldier are Cantra and Jela, both people you would like to know and definitely people you would want on YOUR side in any disagreement. In my opinion, though, neither is really the best place to start the series even though chronolo ...more
Laura (Kyahgirl)
Re-Read: August 2013 - with every iteration I gain an even deeper appreciation for the Liaden Universe. I loved this book. Love the characters; Jela, Jela's tree, Cantra, Rool and his lady. Awesome

Review updated: Feb. 23/12

4.5/5; 5 stars;

I enjoyed the adventuring and excitement of this tale. Having read Liaden Universe books set in the future, I found it helpful to read this book and learn some of the history of the great wars in the universe, the 'designed' humans, DNA manipulation, psychic po
Sherwood Smith
Fans of the Liaden books will have bought this sight unseen. New readers, especially who like space opera, could begin with this one because at last we have the ur-story.

It begins with a sure, deceptively gentle pace. M. Jela Granthor’s Guard (there is a reason for the odd name) is alone on a planet after a crash landing, with enough supplies to survive a short time.

As he follows a line of dead trees down toward what once was an ocean, he reviews his situation: shot down in the on-going war aga
Jul 14, 2013 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Planet-killing Shereika, M-class generalists, dark traders, diehard space opera fans
I want to say either I liked this book or I disliked it, but really, it was just pretty bland, and had neither any Big Ideas nor characters memorable enough to leave an impression. Filled the time but left me with no desire to read the rest of the 11+ book series. Evidently, this book introduces plots and characters who recur throughout the series and is something of a prequel.

The Shereika want to wipe out all life in the universe, and humanity is fighting a losing war against them. Humankind ha
Laura (Kyahgirl)
4.5/5; 5 stars; A

This time I listened to the audiobook from Audible. Kevin T. Collins was the narrator and he did a fantastic job. I put off listening to this book because I had a bad experience with this narrator and, in fact, hated his narration of Trade Secret so much that I returned the book.

He did a great job on this book. I love the expansive world building and the interesting back story in this duology. As much as I loved reading about Val Con and company from later books, its so much fun
The book that introduces us to the origin of the characters and the universe that the epic Sci-fi Liaden series expands from. One of the best Sci-fi series ever, and one of my top 10 series of any kind. You will love the whole series. I promise! Re-read 4/16/16 - So very good, Lee and Miller are so very good at creating, and conveying a whole universe, cultures, and characters. Superb!
Jun 09, 2013 Ric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Like learning how to swim, it is somewhat daunting to start on a long-running series, with all its built-in history and side stories, and rabid fans. But after sitting by the planks for a while, there comes a point where the only thing left to do is jump in. So I did. And was pleasantly surprised.

I was looking for space opera, and found it in this book. I was also looking for scientific extrapolation, and there was some of that, though the focus is more on the adventures of the main characters,

Carolyn F.
Jan 03, 2012 Carolyn F. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book, sci-fi
Super slow start, at least to me, then about a 1/3 of the way in, everything started getting exciting. I'm planning on reading the rest of the series, which appears to be huge.

Jela crash lands on a planet that's been stripped and comes across a tree that's barely alive. He's on his last leg and somehow the tree not only communicates to him with images it helps to save him. Jela promises he'll take the tree with him to help it survive. He's rescued with the tree, given a super secret assignment,
Mike (the Paladin)
Well, you can't win them all. I just finished a string of good reads and picked this one up based on recommendations.

It started out fair...but it had to strain apparently to remain fair and at last it just got to be too much for it. It then collapsed into poor and finally into boring.

The best way I can come up with is to describe this one is "airy-fairy". What opens as a military survival story descends into a long running weak look at a philosophical situation/problem...

It got to be more than I
Jan 21, 2011 Joy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Billed as deep background to the other Liaden books, this is full of aha! moments for the Liaden fan. Bioengineered solder M Jela Granthor's Guard crash-lands on an alien planet where the last sentient tree has withstood Enemy attack. When Jela and his Commander realize that the mysterious Enemy is now completely obliterating entire star systems without warning, he is catapulted into a web of intrigue in which his destiny becomes entwined with the tree he rescues, bioengineered slaves and their ...more
Mar 23, 2008 Tori rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: new-fiction
While it had its moments, the pacing was uneven, and a lot was left unexplained. The beginning dragged, though the main character is likable. Part two, when his female counterpart is introduced, picks up, especially when things blow up and our characters are running through a firefight carrying a tree. Yep, that's right! Wouldn't want to leave your tree behind when you're running for your life! Basically, that's what kept me reading. You've got to like the tree. Ends inconclusively, priming you ...more
Lis Carey
Apr 13, 2016 Lis Carey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: f-sf, fiction, audiobooks
M Jela is a soldier, genetically engineered, of the "M" strain. He's still young, but a hardened warrior, and very nearly gets killed in space battle with the Sheriekas, humanity's enemy returned after centuries of absence. The Sheriekas' distant ancestors used to be human; that hasn't been true for a very long time. And the Sheriekas' plans for the galaxy, and the universe, are not compatible with human survival.

Cantra yos'Phelium is a jump pilot with a surprisingly well-armed ship, and a murky
Jan 16, 2010 Red rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: SF fans
I am a happy camper. I just picked up all of the books in the Liaden series for my Kindle from Baen Books website. Started reading in chronological order, this being the first in that fashion.

Events are always moving forward, and enough time is spent in space to keep me happy. I love (love!) seeing the origin of the Clan Korval tree. This is a fun, easy to read series.
First, although Goodreads has this listed as the first book of the Liaden Universe series, it probably wasn't a good choice for my first read in the series. Although this book apparently takes place earlier than other books, it's not the first book written in the series. I had the feeling throughout that I was missing information which I assume I would have gathered from reading in publication order. I get the impression this is trying to establish how the entire universe of the series began.

A s
Oct 15, 2012 Kerry rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebooks, 9, 8, sf, reread, 2011, 2005
ORIGINAL READ: 9/10 (13 May 2005 - 20 May 2005)

A few hundred years ago humanity fought a great war against an implacable Enemy. That Enemy then withdrew and most believed they were gone. Unfortunately, this is not true; they were only biding their time and building their strength and plans. Now they are returning.

Jela is a soldier, specifically bred and trained to fight the Enemy. As the book begins, he is forced down during a space battle and finds himself stranded on a harsh, desert planet. H
Mar 29, 2012 Sara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, rom
This is the first book in the Great Migration Duology (Crystal Dragon is the second). This review goes for both books.

Although I am decidedly on the internal chronology side of the Reading Order Spectrum, I’d recommend reading these dead last. They deal with Jela, Cantra, and the tree, in the most part, but they also contain a dizzying array of cameos which will only be recogniseable if you’ve read the rest of the Liaden books first (I'd recommend starting with either Local Custom or Conflict of
Oct 15, 2012 Melanti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-book, sci-fi, 2012
As far as the characters and plot go, Crystal Soldier isn't as good as the rest of the series but I'm really liking the Liaden pre-history. The series has entire families known for producing pilots, or producing shopkeepers/tradesmen/merchants, etc. And it's pretty clear that they have more of a genetic specialization than we do - faster reflexes for pilots, etc - and some of that was explainable through selective breeding since generally families of one trade will only have children with other ...more
Jul 11, 2014 Debrac2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the story! It explained quite a bit of what was written before, such as the luck of Korval. I found it interesting that the dramliza were made by the sheriekas!
Joe Martin
(Reviewed together with Crystal Dragon.)

I read these two books back to back and they easily combine to form one large story. I’ll review them together. These books (the “Migration Duology”) form an origin story to the entire Liaden Universe. They literally explain how the universe came into being.

The story starts in the misty depths of history when a group of humans began genetically modifying themselves. They continually modified themselves until they no longer remotely resembled humanity or co
Cedar Sanderson
Aug 30, 2011 Cedar Sanderson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having previously read all of the other Liaden books, coming back to this felt like reading about people who I knew existed, and who had led exciting lives. Reading this was like reading about ancestors as I've come to know and love the Korval clan in all the other stories. I would have liked more explanation of how the Yxtrang came to be, and I'm still unclear as to what happened when they switched universes... why didn't the Iloheen just follow them?
Mar 05, 2012 Scribal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: good-syfy
This was the first Liaden Universe book I read. I'm glad I stumbled on it first. Some reviewers have said that it starts slow. From my point of view it starts by completely pulling me into a place with all five senses. After I'm there I want to know more about the story that starts there.

I've found this book and it's sequel Crystal Dragon important to getting all the nuances in the rest of the series.
Jul 20, 2010 JoyfulK rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Liaden universe is, as always, fascinating. The authors' unfortunate inability to figure out where to end the novel (about 2 chapters before they ended would have been best) was the main trouble. Despite their wide number of publications, they continue to have this difficulty in many of their books, and I continue to read them anyway because everything else about their work is so excellent.
Apr 30, 2013 Holly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved book one in the The Migration Duology. Can't wait to read part two.... Here are my general thoughts of The Liaden Universe on my blog Thank the Maker
Apr 23, 2016 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: re-reading
Loved seeing more of the tree. Such a good read. Vivid and detailed world building, engaging complex, WELL THOUGHT OUT characters. Not a one TSTL.
Charlie Moses
Apr 02, 2016 Charlie Moses rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just read this book again, in March of 2016. The goodreads system ought to be amended to show books people read more than once. This is the first book in the Liaden Universe bibliography. There are a couple of short stories that precede it in time, and a whole lot of books and stories that come after it. I re-read several of them last year, when I discovered the "Reading Liad: From Dragon Tide to Dragon Ship and beyond" website, where a Liaden fan decided to read one story or chapter per day, ...more
Jan 05, 2016 Jacob rated it liked it
For me this was right on the border of worth my time (3 stars) and not (2 stars), so I'm calling it 2.5 stars and rounding up because I think others might enjoy it a lot more than I did. There are a LOT of cool ideas in here, some more developed than others. There's a large variety of genetically modified humans, with the solider types and "Batchers" who are grown and raised as a group to be teams of slaves being more developed, and the assassins and sheriekas not showing up much at all despite ...more
Phil Johnson
Nov 26, 2014 Phil Johnson rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up
I got about 3/5 of the way through this book, and i just noticed i kept getting more and more annoyed at what was going on until i decided i really didn't need to finish. My mind kept screaming 'oh my god, who cares!!'
I really liked the beginning. The idea of these unbeatable enemies killing everything, and destroying this planet of trees because the trees might be important in some unforeseen way. And the main character trying to protect the tree? Loved that.
The parts where the author focused o
Please tell me that the rest of the series is better than this. I was looking for something similar to Bujold McMaster and this, this Crystal Soldier, was not it. How can I describe a book in which the most exciting thing is a tree; seriously a telepathic tree (yawn)? I fell asleep 3 times reading this book and I stayed awake till 5am to read the Outlander. Why are people raving about this book? What am I missing? There is very little action or anything remotely interesting. I mean every time so ...more
Aug 22, 2012 Roger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, src_baen
Note: This is mainly for me to remember books I have read, not to give really useful reviews to others.

Short summary: In the long past Earth learned how to modify and grow organisms. Some of these modified organisms decided that normal humans are not perfect enough to live and try to kill them off. The humans pushed the bad guys out of the Galaxy. They're back.

The hero (I'm really bad about names) is a person that is a soldier. He is shot down on a plant that has been destroyed by the enemy. Whi
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Sharon Lee has been married to her first husband for more than half her lifetime; she is a friend to cats, a member of the National Carousel Association, and oversees the dubious investment schemes of an improbable number of stuffed animals.

Despite having been born in a year of the dragon, Sharon is an introvert. She lives in Maine because she likes it there. In fact, she likes it so much that she
More about Sharon Lee...

Other Books in the Series

Liaden Universe (1 - 10 of 22 books)
  • Crystal Dragon (The Great Migration Duology, #2; Liaden Universe, #2)
  • Balance of Trade (Liaden Universe, #3)
  • Trade Secret (Liaden Universe, #4)
  • Local Custom (Liaden Universe, #5)
  • Scout's Progress (Liaden Universe, #6)
  • Mouse and Dragon (Liaden Universe, #7)
  • Conflict of Honors (Liaden Universe, #8)
  • Agent of Change (Liaden Universe, #9)
  • Carpe Diem (Liaden Universe, #10)
  • Plan B (Liaden Universe, #11)

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