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The Phoenix in Flight (Exordium, #1)
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The Phoenix in Flight (Exordium #1)

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  142 ratings  ·  17 reviews
The first in a SF/adventure series that glitters with intrigue. As a 20-year-long plot for revenge comes to fruition, the sons of the ruler of the Thousand Suns are murdered, and he is taken prisoner. But the usurper's vengeance is incomplete. For one son was missing at the ceremony where the fatal blow was struck. And now the hope of the Thousand Suns rests in his hands.
Mass Market Paperback, 448 pages
Published February 28th 1993 by Tor Books (first published February 1993)
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I wanted to like this book so much more than I did, but it's emblematic of my ongoing ennui about space operas. I used to love 'em unreservedly, and now and then I still come across one that blows me away, but lately, most of them are either kind of 'meh' or I just can't get past the cheesy juvenilia of "ADVENTURE! AMONG! THE STARS!"

(He says as he works on his own Adventure! Among! The Stars! novel...)

Maybe this is what happens when I start reading more literary and classic fiction - my standard
Sherwood Smith and Dave Trowbridge's five-volume space opera, the Exordium series (of which this is the first), is out of print, which is a shame. As the series begins, Jerrode Eusabian, Ruler of Dol'jhar and called the Lord of Vengeance, has set in motion a plot to assassinate Emperor Gelasaar of the Thousand Suns, along with his three sons. However, Gelasaar's youngest son, Brandon, escapes, and it's up to him to restore the House of the Phoenix to the throne Eusabian has usurped.

The universe
Jun 19, 2011 Estara rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of space opera and great characters
Recommended to Estara by: Sherwood Smith does space opera
Shelves: ebook, read-in-2011
This revised edition (I was never aware of the original because I only discovered Sherwood Smith in 2004?/2006?) of a projected television show that never came to be - and from the scope I think they would have needed Gene Roddenberry's or George Lucas's clout to do it justice - stops exactly at the point where you want to read more because things are really taking off.

Having read the Inda series before this I was aware that when Sherwood Smith does epic, any characters may die no matter how muc
Sherwood Smith
May 17, 2011 Sherwood Smith added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, my-books
This one has a long history.

Basically, this storyline was first begun in 1977.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This first volume of the 5-volume Exordium series won't be for everyone, but it is a rich, well-planned story about a distant empire with roots on faraway Earth. The society's split between upper and lower classes that is shown in this volume is at the core of the overall story, and applies to the real world as well, with the differences between the ultra-rich and the rest of the world become more visible.
This first volume includes political intrigue, assassinations and space battles enough to k
Bronwen Stair
The Bad guys are into torture and other nasty stuff, and the King badguy attracts all kinds of minor nasty characters. Was interested in the "good guy" characters enough to keep reading into the second book. But the nasty stuff just got worse, so I will not finish the series. skimmed the endings of all the books to see if it was worth it to get the final book. Nope, not going to read the rest.
Wow. I read these books I guess in the 90s and stupidly sold them (I was a huge used bookstore user). I've been looking for them since, but they were out of print. The authors are actually re-writing them as they publish them as ebooks. "This was to be Dunnett in space," Sherwood Smith wrote about the books, and I can see that. Space opera on a grand scale...
Vincent Stoessel
Would love to read this series again in ebook format. Very complex but rewarding Space Opera before it was a genre. Very hard to find now.
Jacob Proffitt
Dec 17, 2013 Jacob Proffitt marked it as unfinished  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
At about the 1/3 point, I realized that this just wasn't my cuppa. I like some sci-fi, but I really don't appreciate space opera so much and this is an exemplar of the form. Indeed, this seems like a great tribute to space opera and something of a modernization/resurrection of the form (originally published in 1993, but significantly updated more recently). I greatly admire Sherwood Smith so I went against my preferences to give it a shot, so I'm torn that I just couldn't get attached to the boo ...more
Ria Loader
Space opera meets noir and slapstick

One of my favorite space operas of all time. The writing is tight, it is well plotted and the storytelling is top notch. Memorable characters both heroes and villains, and a few ambiguous bad guys you love to hate. so happy this is out on kindle. I wore out the paperbacks.
Nobbynob Littlun
This review is for the whole series.

What stands out to me the most in this space opera is that not just technology has advanced, but society as well - and it focuses on the society. "Words used as weapons," the phrase goes.

To reflect this, the characters use psychological and sociological jargon as a matter of course, which can make it difficult to read at times. However, if you just file this away under the same heading as the technological jargon found in most sci-fi you can hand-wave it away,
DNF @ 27% when I realized I just didn't care about the characters, universe, or story.
Still deciding if I'll read the next book, I think I will as I enjoyed this enough.
Dec 30, 2011 Tamahome marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Space opera revamped for ebooks. Scalzi Big Idea article:

Seems wordy (the opposite of Joe Haldeman).
really really loved the whole series. Managed to find them in paperback, held on to them even when they started to fall apart and have bought them on my kindle - love the re-writes by the way
I failed to finish this book. I like space opera, but this one was extremely meh. Not bad, just... completely uninteresting.
Michelle marked it as to-read
Mar 03, 2015
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I am a writer, but I'm here on Goodreads to talk about books, as I've been a passionate reader as long as I've been a writer--since early childhood.

I'm not going to rate books--there are too many variables. I'd rather talk about the reading experience. My 'reviews' of my books are confined to the writing process.

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Other Books in the Series

Exordium (5 books)
  • Ruler of Naught (Exordium, #2)
  • A Prison Unsought (Exordium, #3)
  • The Rifter's Covenant: (Exordium, #4)
  • The Thrones of Kronos (Exordium, #5)
Crown Duel (Crown & Court #1-2) Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2) Crown Duel (Crown & Court, #1) A Posse of Princesses Inda (Inda, #1)

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