Scout's Progress (Liaden Universe, #6)
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Scout's Progress (Liaden Universe #6)

4.41 of 5 stars 4.41  ·  rating details  ·  1,136 ratings  ·  42 reviews
In the second novel of the Liaden Universe, Aelliana Caylon is a brilliant mathematician, but is convinced by her brother she has no worth beyond what value she might have in an arranged marriage. Then on a dare, she plays a game of chance and wins a starship. Now she must learn to fly if she is to escape her dastardly brother. Appeared in the omnibus "Pilot's Choice."
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 30th 2002 by Ace
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Laura (Kyahgirl)
5/5; 5 stars; A+

Well, after re-reading this book, I've had to up my rating from 4 stars to 5. When your heart rate is up and you're all wound up as you're coming to the close of your know you've been thoroughly entertained.

This book is not only an interesting and well paced adventure but it is even more, a close look at the human heart and soul, the power to heal, the value of friendship and community. In the Liaden universe, where I can't call the characters 'human' for they deny the...more
"This is one of my favorite sf romances of all time. If the word romance is putting you off - don't let it: the romance is a very minor part of the plot.[return][return]The real point of the book is the assertion of independence by a woman who has been kept thoroughly cowed by a dominating mother and a downright abusive older brother. It's not as simple as leaving, as it would be in our society; Liad is a clan-based society, where being clanless is akin to being dead. Striking out on one's own i...more
As far as I'm concerned, this is Lee and Miller's finest work. The pacing is beautiful, the characters wonderfully portrayed. I find this and "Local Custom" to be far more satisfying reads than the more action-oriented books in their collection; the time we get to spend in the characters' heads, knowing what it is to be Liaden... that truely makes these a step above space opera.

In this book in particular the sequence of events flows very naturally and the dangers feel very real. The obstacles in...more
I read this story in the Dragon Variation e-collection. It's a solid 4-star story of breaking free and busting out. A romance set on a different planet. A brilliant scholar strives to free herself from a viciously abusive family and to forge a new life for herself, even if she must become "clanless" -- a fate worse than death, in many ways. Our heroine is a "math teacher" named Aelliana. Dealt a crummy hand in terms of clan, she comes into her own on several levels.

Lord Korval, going by simply...more
Aug 25, 2008 David rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Friends who like sci-fi, romance, space opera
Recommended to David by: Nina Mangan
Miller and Lee write great sci-fi. Their books have a terrific mix of action, espionage, witty dialogue, comedies of manners and romance.

This book is about Aelliana Caylon, a talented mathematician who is terribly abused by her domineering brother. She plots to escape her family by becoming a pilot, and during her training is befriended by Daav yos'Phelium, an ex-explorer, star pilot and adventurer who is also head of the most powerful family on Liad (Aelliana's world). But because he's incognit...more
This was a gift from a more science-fiction savvy friend, and presents a complex society which is clan based. Interesting to see how the authors play with that theme and develop their heroine's confidence through the events that take place. Some scenes and humorous dialogue remind me very much of Georgette Heyer.
David Chittenden
The authors crafted a fabulous book. The main focus is on our heroine who is a survivor of ongoing, now primarily subtle, abuse. Her struggles with rising to her own power are very much the way it really is. So many people state and seem to believe that the person who is systematically and continuously abused should just find his / her strength and get over it. But, the emotional and cognitive scaring is not something easily gotten over, even when support systems fall into place. The abused pers...more
One of the classic romance tropes, the secret prince/billionaire who sees a woman and falls into love at first sight, but doesn't tell her who he is (until the next book). In this case, she's abused by her family physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. She finally sets up an escape plan that she estimates will take a year (realistic, as she has to escape not only her abuser, but the whole society, and get off world). Oh, and she's also a genius, and a teacher, and well known in pilot...more
Kathy Martin
Daav yos'Phelium, Delm Korval, needs to find a suitable woman to have a child for him and so enters into a contract with Samiv tel'Izik but is unhappy with this necessity. Aellaina Caylon, Clan Mizel, is being abused by her brother and wants to escape from Liad. She wins a jump ship in a card game and goes to Binjali's where the ship is kept. Daav is spending time at Binjali's with his friends to try to regain his balance of mind. They meet and become co-pilots. She is in lots of danger from her...more
After reading Local Custom and thinking maybe I had rose-colored glasses on when I remembered these so fondly, I picked up the next book in the Liaden Universe, Scout's Progress, and was in love again! The amazing ability that the authors have of putting their hero and heroine through hell to be together is sadistic and effective. I tore through this book in a day, and rooted for the happy ending so strongly that I almost couldn't bear the tension as it looked like the heroine's evil (EVIL!) bro...more
Recommended by a reviewer as one of the best of the Liaden Universe titles, and I'll agree with that. Here Aelliana Caylon, savagely abused for years by her brother, wins a ship in a game of chance and not only frees herself from him to realize her potential as a pilot, but hooks up with Daav 'yos Phelium. There could be more plot, but the characters and culture are developed with all sorts of intriguing nuances, and the dialog is exemplary.

Money line: "I am Korval." Daav said with an austerity...more
Rereading this book was very different than reading it the first time. It is pretty much a given that characters in any story will find ways to get themselves in trouble. However, knowing exactly what trouble they'll get into makes it a very different read. I knew the characters better this time, and so I understood their reactions, hopes and fears earlier in the story. I found this to be a very good book to reread. I also think this would be a good choice for someone looking for a place to star...more
Jeff Crosby
Okay, it was one of those weekends where nothing held my interest for very long. Being the sensible person I am, I started five new novels.

Despite the similarities, this is significantly better than Local Custom. Once again we have a male member of Clan Korval struggling with the realities of true love. However, this story is better paced and much more interesting because of the piloting elements. Ran Eld is also one of the most despicable characters I have encountered in fiction for some time.
Brian Palmer
A somewhat fluffy romance in a science fiction, space opera setting; not anything enormously memorable. The main character stands out in a society ruled by clans, where each individual owes duty to their clan; her clan is in financial decline, and her position within the clan is weak, abused by the rigid structure and an uncaring family. Unsurprisingly, in this , she develops a chance to break out on her own, where she flourishes, until the novel reaches its somewhat predictable ending.
Summary: Another great Liaden book, a damaged personality reaches her true potential.

Plotline: Yes, great stuff, several threads come together nicely. High romance warning.

Premise: I love the Liaden universe, this is more of the same.

Writing: As ever highly readable, fairly simple, character building.

Ending: Well ok a bit sickly, but we like happy endings ...

Pace: Not a fast paced book, but never a dull moment
Abby Miller
Nov 19, 2011 Abby Miller rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Cat Barth.
Recommended to Abby by: Liz Coley
A Cinderella tale, where Cindy just happens to be a brilliant mathmetician and her Prince Charming needs to get his head back on straight.

Thick chewy space opera that I am rereading due to the fact that the sequel, "Mouse and Dragon," came out last year and I want to reaquaint myself with the Liaden Universe before tackling that book.

Favorite quote. "It is said on Liaden, there are many clans...and then there is Korval.
The abuse is hard to stand, the self-hatred more so but love the hero any woman would swoon for.This is what lee/miller do best- men to swoon for. I will say that I think the punishments for the bad guys on liad are rather harsh, given that they were allowed to becom terrible for years- can you blame them for being such villains? they were allowed to be total jerk for the longest. I can't wait to read Mouse and Dragon!
There aren't any surprises here, and there doesn't need to be. (I am reminded of a NYT review of a Counting Crows album: to paraphrase, "This is exactly another Counting Crows album. We will let you know if this becomes a bad thing.") A lovely romance, an interesting setting, and somehow, the Prince-and-the-Pauper gig never gets old in the hands of authors who are as good as Lee and Miller.
Aelliana has suffered years of abuse from her brother. She tries to live a quiet life teaching math to pilots and supressing her natural desires. One night, she wins a ship in a game of chance. She must then quickly earn her pilot's license. Along the way, she falls in love. Very little about space in here. It's really rather more a romance novel set on another planet. Good writing.
This is one of my favorites in the series. I found both Aelliana and Daav to be very compelling characters. There's just something very satisfying about the balance of character and plot in this volume. The pace is never choppy as it can be in some of the other books. And even though it's a romance, the other plot elements are very strong so that doesn't bother me as it might.
I love many things about this book, especially its depiction of how family relationships do--or don't--work, between different sorts of people. But the ending was so abrupt it felt like several of the most fascinating problems raised were being brushed aside with "Woo, true love fixes everything!" I hope the sequel does a hell of a lot more with some of those issues.
Jenny J
I'm falling in love with this series -- space opera with a romantic twist and some excellent female characters (and I adore Daav). Science fiction meets Victorian manners. Reminded me a lot of Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan series (minus the delightfully manic Miles). Good stuff.
This is the story that introduces Ailleanna Caylon to Daav yos Phelium. It is an incredibly satisfying story and journey that the two take. It made me happy the entire time I was reading it. I just LOVE the Liadan universe, and am very happy to have 2 new books to read in this series.
First Second Books
I’m gradually reading through all the Liaden Universe books; a space opera series that generally features Terrible Problems and also Romance. The sentient trees that communicate via seed pods may be my favorite part! But the character interactions are also delightful.
This book was. . . okay. It was a quick read and I was hoping that something really exciting would happen. . . eventually. The world created was interesting, a mix of strict etiquette and “space-cowboys” (if you will). I like the premise but nothing really happened.
Fred Fenimore
God! It turns out I'm a girlie-man. I really liked Local Custom. When I read this one I finally realized that what I like is the space romance these books are. I was under the impression that they were all space opera. This is even better than the first.
This was a re-read and I was even more impressed the second time around. Lee and Miller are masters of the craft. They weave a tight story and build vivid characters. This book is probably the hardest to read of theirs, but well well worth it.
So it ends with (view spoiler) OOOOOOooooooooooooooook. Need that half stars rating yet again...
Read in preparation for the sequel coming out in June -- 'Mouse and Dragon' Daav and Aelliana's story. This is part of 'Pilot's Choice' a Liaden Universe Adventures' also containing 'Local Custom'.
Another good book in what is becoming one of my favorite sf series. Good action (although the tech seems a little halfbaked), well drawn characters, & some very interesting cultural psychology.
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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
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