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Pirate Sun (Virga #3)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  594 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Return to Virga, a bubble universe artificially separated from our own future universe, and the setting of Sun of Suns and Queen of Candesce.

Chaison Fanning, the admiral of a fleet of warships, has been captured and imprisoned by his enemies, but is suddenly rescued and set free. He flees through the sky to his home city to confront the ruler who betrayed him. And perhaps
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published August 5th 2008 by Tor Books (first published August 1st 2008)
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On the surface, there's a lot to like about Pirate Sun, the third of Karl Schroeder's Virga books. Unlike the second book (Queen of Candesce), which seemed to progress orthogonally from the plot of the first book (Sun of Suns), this new installment picks up loose ends established early in the series and resolves many of the driving conflicts that were established from that onset. However, upon closer examination, Pirate Sun begins to have the musty aroma of a formula.

The Virga books are well-des
Jesse Whitehead
Karl Schroeder's Virga is the most interesting world in science fiction right now. After Sun of Suns I thought I would be willing to read books in that world forever. It was grand adventure, beautiful, filled with action, great characters, great character arcs, and an absolutely stunning setting to imagine.

Queen of Candesce left all the characters from the first book behind and spend an entire book with Venera Fanning. This third one turns to Chaison Fanning, her husband, incarcerated after by F
Jan 31, 2010 Jeffrey rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: sci fi fans, steampunk
The third book in the Virga (series, trilogy?) revolves around Chaison Fanning, the admiral husband of Vanera Fanning and his journey back to Slipstream. If you have not read the first two books in this excellent sf series, basically, Virga is a world inside a metal container and there are various suns that light the inhabitants. The main sun is called Candesce, and in its interior controls is some high level technology that acts as a damping field, preventing various higher level technologies f ...more
Ben Babcock
Few authors manage to win me over the way Karl Schroeder has done. After the mediocre Sun of Suns , Venera Fanning's con game in Queen of Candesce impressed me enough to do an almost complete about-face. So it was with eager anticipation that I started the third book in the Virga series, anxious to find out what will happen to Venera; her husband, Chaison; and the pirate sun builder, Hayden Griffin.

The world of Virga is always a factor in the action of Pirate Sun, but like Queen of Candesce its
Althea Ann
I really liked the first two in this series (as well as other books I've read by Schroeder) but this one really just didn't do it for me.

It picks up a character that I was never particularly enthralled by in the other books (Chaison Fanning) and puts him front and center. However, even though he's the main character in this book, I still never got a good sense of who he is as a person. I can't even picture him clearly.

The story starts with a prison break - Admiral Fanning's bad-ass wife, Venera
Karl Schroeder’s Virga series caught my eye a few years back with its intriguing blend of hard sci-fi and medieval humanity. I’ve always been interested in media that explores humanity’s reaction to discovering that an underling truth of their world is false: The Matrix, Scrapped Princess, and now the Virga series. Schroeder’s books cut an extremely advanced form of humanity off from any technology more sophisticated than a jet engine and the culture has regressed to the point that they no longe ...more
Mar 10, 2010 Lucas rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: sf
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chaison Fanning, the principal character in this part of the series, is a much more sympathetic figure than his wife, Venera, who was the focus of the previous book. Consequently, I enjoyed this episode more than the 2nd book. And it was good to catch glimpses of what Artificial Nature means outside the planet-sized balloon Virga. If this seems like damning with faint praise, that is unintentional. Both of these books are good, solid reads. But neither has the impact of the first in the series, ...more
The third book in the Virga series (starting with Sun of Suns), this book mostly follows Admiral Chaison Fanning, probably the closest thing to a classic adventure hero in the series, from his imprisonment in a foreign land after the events of the first book, to his rescue by a mysterious woman who looks like an anime character, and getting drawn into conflicts that aren't his own along his way home.

This one's closer to the first book, a journey through the wondrous possibilities that the enviro
I think Karl Schroeder is an amazing author. The setting of this book, a dyson sphere around a small artificial sun, surrounded by post-human, post-singularity AIs, is brilliant. The types of bootstrapping technology used by the inhabitants of the sphere to secure themselves gravity, water, and civilization is all just background, but very cool to read about. This book's failings for me were in the characters. Most of the book is told from the viewpoint of Chaison Fanning, Venera Fanning's belea ...more
Draws in some of the swashbuckling elements that I enjoyed in the first one and jettisons some of the politicking that felt forced in the second, creating a much more pleasant mix of the two.

Unfortunately the characters don't live up to the promise. Chaison, the lead on this outing is much less of an interesting character compared to his wife, the star of the last outing. The plot also begins to take on the well-tread pathways of the "monarchy bad, democracy good" trope that has been done to de
I maybe should have reread Queen of Candesce before tackling this one, but I didn't have the patience. Once it hit the library, I was on it.

The story is a bit rambly. There's one adventure that could have been lifted from the book entirely and never been missed. I get the sense Schroeder had a place to get to and couldn't quite decide how to do it. If I had the book in front of me, I'd tell you where to skip ahead, but I don't. At any rate, it might be setup for something that happens later.


This is the 3rd book of the Virga series by K. Schroeder. I thought that it will close the series and I was interested more to see how it ends since the first 2 books while competent hard sf never entranced me that much. However it seems the series will continue since this one focuses pretty much only on Admiral Chaison Manning with Venera making a cameo appearance mostly, while Hayden is just mentioned. Instead we have a mysterious woman from the outskirts of Virga, Antaea that befriends Chais
The title is misleading, having read the first two books the third would logically follow a group of characters (Hayden and his team) but instead they are briefly mentioned within the first few pages and then again in the last few pages. the book wasn't bad but the title is poorly chosen.
it was an enjoyable continuation of the story and I will keep reading book 4
Brilliant world-building, blows your mind. It's real, it's thought through, and you can see exactly how it would all fit in together; the character development, not so much. Given how far in the future we're talking - and the vagaries of the environment - I would have expected the inhabitants to evolve more, become almost unrecognizably alien. Unfortunately, they're all too familiar, and could have stepped off the pages of any standard adventure novel. Feels more 2051 instead of 3000+.
Good enou
Good follow up to the first two books. Once again, the style changes notably. The first two really focused on one or two characters, while this one involves 4 specific points of view. Great setting through out the books, and the idea of Artificial Nature has really gotten me thinking. Some really neat ideas, great books for authors - Ideas and concepts and setting kind of outweigh the story, for the most part
This was a very satisfying ending (ending, right?) to the Virga trilogy. I very much enjoyed following Chaison Fanning (the main character of this book), however I did really miss Venera and Garth Diamandis, who are only present in the very beginning and the very end of the book.

A wonderful read. Though I did feel that a couple of times it fell into the category of "cinematic cliche."
Theo Petersen
I thought this was a good wrap-up for the series, but apparently Schroeder isn't done with Virga yet. Pirate Sun is a little closer to the first book in scope, the second in personality; a travelling adventure about fluid and shifting political alliances. There are a few more revelations about the trans-human world but most of the focus is on the ramifications of the first book.
Good round up of the first 2 books. Wasn't expecting to be spending the book going through the admiral's ordeal. Gave a great insight of his personality, and things going on around him. Touch a bit on what Mahallan had mentioned in the first book. Author does a good job in bringing bits of the first book into the others without taking you back to the whole thing.
Certainly the best of the series so far. Showcasing more of the setting, IMHO the strongest part of these books, and with a much-needed tighter plot than the previous one. As I started reading this book, I checked to make sure that #5 is the last of the series with relief, which is a bad sign. So it's nice to get some confidence back in the series.
Adrian Smith
Developing into a good series. We learn more about the bigger picture in this book.
Grayson Queen
The third book in the series. We find out what happened to some of the characters from the first book.
It's an okay action book with sword fighting and daring escapes. There's even some vindication.
How this story line fits into the series I'm not sure. All 300 plus pages seemed to be there just to get to the end which was painfully obvious.
Joe Gregorio
Certainly closes up the series, and the world building is wonderful, but although it gives a resolution for the two main characters it doesn't move the plot along any for Virga which by the third book really should be a character in its own right.
Philip Hollenback
I thought this was a more coherent novel than Queen of Candesce. I particularly enjoyed the introduction of the Precipice Moth and the further exploration of exactly what the world of Virga is and what exists outside of it.
Either these books are getting better or I forgot how much fun the first two were. I love the setting Schroeder has developed for these books, and the straight ahead, non-stop action makes them a real pleasure to read.
Sergio Poo
Still enjoying the series a lot, we get a glimpse at another part of Virga, really like how in each book we get a bit of information that is building up to what I hope is a big conflict.
This is possibly my favourite series I've discovered at the library. Great world-building and attention to detail, likable characters and an exciting story. Top shelf.
John Hobbs
Very different from the other Virga books. Excellent, though unusual. It's odd having the "main" character change from book to book in a series.
A fun ride. Some of the most creative and well thought-out world-building I have ever read. It is a satisfying conclusion to the Virga series.
Characterization fell into the toilet and never surfaced in the sewer.
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Karl Schroeder is an award-winning Canadian science fiction author. His novels present far-future speculations on topics such as nanotechnology, terraforming, augmented reality and interstellar travel, and have a deeply philosophical streak. One of his concepts, known as thalience, has gained some currency in the artificial intelligence and computer networking communities.
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Other Books in the Series

Virga (5 books)
  • Sun of Suns (Virga, #1)
  • Queen of Candesce (Virga, #2)
  • The Sunless Countries (Virga, #4)
  • Ashes of Candesce (Virga, #5)
Sun of Suns (Virga, #1) Queen of Candesce (Virga, #2) Ventus Lockstep Lady of Mazes

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“DON’T ABUSE ME, I’ve never flown one of these things before.” Richard Reiss put the tip of his tongue between his teeth and squinted at the controls. While he did this, building blocks, tree limbs, and swirling leaves scudded past the plastic windscreen. Chaison stared at the ambassador. “Richard, why are you dressed as a clown?” Ballooning pantaloons and a polka-dotted top spilled out around the edges of Reiss’s seat; he had red smudges on his cheeks that he’d obviously been trying to rub off. The ambassador turned with great dignity, fixed Chaison with a steely eye and said, “It is a very long story, and one I find I would rather not relate.” 0 likes
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