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A Beautiful Friendship

(Honorverse: Stephanie Harrington #1)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  4,148 ratings  ·  313 reviews
Stephanie Harrington always expected to be a forest ranger on her homeworld of Meyerdahl . . . until her parents relocated to the frontier planet of Sphinx in the far distant Star Kingdom of Manticore. It should have been the perfect new home --- a virgin wilderness full of new species of every sort, just waiting to be discovered. But Sphinx is a far more dangerous place t ...more
Hardcover, 361 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by Baen
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4.01  · 
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 ·  4,148 ratings  ·  313 reviews

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Oct 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Perhaps the Beginning of a Beautiful Series?

Published in 2011 by Baen

So, David Weber decided to make a Young Adult (YA) series.

Yes, a sci-fi author known best for his highly-descriptive military sci-fi works characterized by very long conversations is entering a field where too much violence and too much conversation are both problematic. Well, I thought, this should be interesting.

Weber expanded a short story that first appeared in an short story collection More Than Honor from 1998 as part o
2 Stars for the audiobook.

OK, I didn't actually listen to the whole book. At about 10% from the end I picked up my epub version and scanned the last few chapters - because I was bored and tired of the book. I should have done this earlier, but I was reading and enjoying another book at the time. If I had switched I might have gave it 3 stars. There was too much talk and information dumping about politics, history and such. Oh, I know it was essential to the story, but in the audio version it did
David Fernau
Jun 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
(Review originally posted on Otherwhere Gazette)

If you’re a fan of David Weber’s Honor Harrington series, as I am, chances are good that you have a special fondness for Honor’s treecat Nimitz. I also suspect that you’ve probably wondered about how treecats started bonding with humans.

Weber has, in previous books, hinted at how it all started, as well as written that treecats run in the Harrington family, but until A Beautiful Friendship we didn’t have much more than that.

Fortunately, we now have
This was a fun read about Stephanie Harrington, Honor's ancestor who first formed a bond with the treecats when she was about 13. It covers about 1.5 years, maybe 2 of her life in 3 separate story arcs, although they look like one novel. If you enjoyed reading about Honor & Nimitz, you'll probably like this because only the names & the age have changed. Even the parents & friends seem pretty similar in most ways.

The story all takes place on Sphinx & Nimitz is about the same. Hon
Anna Erishkigal
I enjoyed this story immensely. A spunky, intelligent young heroine who uses her head to solve her problems. A sentient, psychic, six-legged alien cat. A distant world. And a believable villain out to enslave the newly discovered sentient Treecats as 'pets' all made for an immensely enjoyable read. I have already purchased Book 2 of this series to read.

Now for the not-so-good ... as somebody who reads a decent chunk of Young Adult fantasy-based novels, this is a commendable attempt by David Webe
Feb 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
I picked this book up at Half Price Books because I wanted something with more substance than the books I've been reading lately. I was tired of young adult books and I wanted some grown up science fiction. The joke's on me. A Beautiful Friendship could definitely be read by young adults because Stephanie Harrington is only 12-14 years old through the course of the book.

I love the Honorverse. I especially enjoy the relationship between Honor and her treecat, Nimitz. I really was looking forward
I got and read in a sitting the YA Honorverse A Beautiful Friendship, based on the story with the same name and recounting the first contact between treecats and humans on Sphinx; the first part which was the story expanded was great as the original story was, the second which continues after the first contact was more conventional - various moneyed and powerful interests do not like treecats or the idea of treecats being protected and "given" vast pieces of land said interests want, others want ...more
Johanna Jouppila
Oct 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book.
The young female protagonist, Stephanie Harrington, was likeable and strong-minded. I loved how crafty she was with her parents with whom she still had a nice relationship with. I found it easy to relate to Stephanie who yearned to explore the fascinating new planet her family had just moved in to and how she didn't do very well with kids her own age because they were, according to her, all idiots.

The treecats were interesting creatures. I always love stories that ex
Jenny Schwartzberg
Oct 17, 2011 rated it really liked it
Baen Books just posted an interview with David Weber on his views on YA storytelling and this book which is apparently the beginning of a new series in the Honorverse: This prodded me into picking up this book. I'd been ambivalent since I stopped reading the Honor Harrington series at the Crown of Slaves book since it was getting too grim and close to total war. I'm a fan of most of his other books, except for his most recent books which are too focused o ...more
Aug 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Quick, fun read! Stephanie to the rescue! I really liked The People and the names they gave humans!
Stephanie A.
Dec 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
I am pretty DO NOT WANT when it comes to science fiction, preferring to keep things contemporary, but I do like animal stories, so when a friend recommended this I agreed to give it a go. My biggest fear was that the animals being sentient would take away all the qualities that make animals so enjoyable to read about in the first place, but one chapter from Lionheart's POV and that was gone; I was in love with treecats. And so the babble mode begins:

For starters, Stephanie was an immediately lik
Oct 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Stephanie Harrington is bored and annoyed. Those two qualities lead her into taking dangerous chances on the frontier planet Sphinx. When her hang glider crashes and she is attacked by a hexapuma, she is saved by Climbs Quickly, a sapient "treecat" who has bonded with her because of her strong "mind-glow". Both are severely injured but their bond enables them to survive and flourish. Xeno-biologists from all over converge on the planet to study the cross-species friendship. Of course, a villain ...more
Tony Hisgett
Feb 16, 2017 rated it liked it
An enjoyable story although it was a bit disjointed in places (I think because this novel was originally a couple of short stories).
The big plus for me is that although the story is a bit long winded in places it is nowhere near as bad as the author’s more recent books.
Jan 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: treecats, 2018
2018 re-read. Exceptionally good.
Oct 11, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Decent young adult science fiction fantasy book. Think of it as a light Speaker for the Dead. With cute cat creatures I'm sure most young girls will want.

Aug 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Bookworm Speaks!

A Beautiful Friendship

by David Weber


David Weber…one of the High Lords of Sci-fi and a King of Space Opera.

The Story: The main character is ancestor of the famed Honor Harrington, Stephanie Harrington who is a first generation colonist to the planet Sphinx of the Star Kingdom of Manticore, is not happy with her current situation being moved from another, more exciting planet. This all changes when she meets and bonds with a native life form called a Treecat which may be sent
Beth Dawkins
Sep 18, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2012
Stephanie Harrington moved out to the frontier plant Sphinx. She isn’t happy to be there since her parents keep her home bound for the most part, and she doesn’t get along with most the kids her age. Her mother gives her a mystery to keep her occupied. Celery keeps getting stolen out of gardens. This leads Stephanie to discover a sentient race she calls treecats. When Climbs Quickly is accidentally spotted by Stephanie he feels her ‘mind glow.’ He actually kind of falls into it bonding the two o ...more
Jessi (Novel Heartbeat)
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-i-own, 4-star


Just like the title says, this story was a BEAUTIFUL. FRIENDSHIP. If you want a story about a beautiful, unconditional, powerful bond between a cat and a person, this story is for you ;)

I freaking LOVED the treecats!!! They were 10000% of why I loved this book so much. I freaking LOVED Climbs Quickly/Lionheart!! Oh my lawd I loved him. *cries* Loveloveloveloooove (how many times can I say love without sounding redundant? But I can't help it, IT'S TRUE OKAY.) I couldn't get enough of him.
Kathy Martin
Oct 01, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was a great science fiction story that should appeal to both boys and girls. Stephanie Harrington comes to the planet Sphinx with her parents. She is twelve. She is disappointed to leave her home planet of Meyerdahl but is eager to explore her new home. However, her parents aren't so eager for her to explore because Sphinx is largely a wilderness with at least two major predators - hexapumas and peak bears - who would find Stephanie very tasty.

Climbs Quickly is a member of an intelligent n
Sep 11, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
I got a printed copy of this book originally to send to my grand daughter for her 11th birthday. I thought she might like it because of favorable reviews I had read, because it was a YA book, because of the "tree cat" characters (she likes the Owls of Ga'Hoole books) and because the main human character is 11 years old (although she ages to 14 during the story). However, knowing that my grand daughter's parents like to know what kinds of books she is reading, I decided to get an audiobook versio ...more
F.J. Hansen
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, about a teenage girl living on a recently colonized world, who develops a bond not-quite-accidentally with a "treecat"--the six-limbed arboreal, cat-like sentient natives of the planet which, up until then, had managed to keep themselves hidden from the alien bipeds (Humans).

I always enjoy stories about interspecies friendships, and this one is exceptionally beautiful, as aptly described by the title. Of course, the mental bonding is nothing new. Anne McCaffrey us
May 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, scifi
"A Beautiful Friendship" is a young adult science fiction adventure novel. I liked David Weber's early novels in his Honor Harrington series. His later novels were very slow paced with most of the action happening "off screen," so I wasn't sure what to expect from this novel. While I'm pleased that this novel didn't suffer from the same problems, the second half was a bit more slow-paced than I think most young adults would tolerate. The book also felt a little disjointed. Weber basically took p ...more
Jun 11, 2014 rated it liked it
I am wavering on the stars. I liked it, but I think it feels cobbled together.

I listened to the audiobook. The reader had slight tendency to make the females whiny, but it wasn't so bad I had to stop listening.

It may be just my personal preference, rather than a flaw in the book, but I find it very jarring when third person omniscient narration shifts to new character not previously introduced. Because this book started as three stories, these major characters aren't introduced until the 1/3 a
Oct 12, 2012 rated it liked it
This deliberately young-adult novel demonstrates David Weber’s strengths and weaknesses in one short volume. It’s set in the distant pre-history of his by now beloved but progressively more turgid Honor Harrington series and dramatizes the first contact between humans (mostly young Stephanie Harrington) and the cute and telepathic “treecats.” The beginning and end of the story are full of the fast-moving action and compelling situations that Weber excels at (don’t expect complexity!). In the mid ...more
Jan 28, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Beautiful Friendship was an enjoyable listen (or read). It was definitely lighter than David Weber’s other novels, as you would expect for a YA book, but it still had the depth of history and politics behind it that you find in his adult books.
Stephanie Harrington (the protagonist) is an extraordinarily gifted and mature young woman, sometimes a bit much so for her age, although the book spans several years. She does have a few moments of impulsiveness, deviousness, and generally young adult
Sandi Layne
Sep 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
To begin with, I am a huge Honor Harrington fan. So much so, in fact, that if our second child had been a girl instead of a boy, we were going to name her Honor.

So, I am predisposed to like ANYTHING that David Weber adds to his Honorverse, and this story is no exception.

It's a YA offering, featuring Honor's distantly great grandmother, Stephanie Harrington, who was the first human to form a bond with a treecat. (Honorverse fans are up on the terminology, I know.) A treecat is a sentient race, na
William Bentrim
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A Beautiful Friendship by David Weber

Let me preface this by giving you my prejudice right up front, I am a major fan of David Weber and of anthropomorphism.

Anyone who has read the Honor Harrington books will recognize the name: Treecat. This book is Weber’s entry into the Young Adult genre and it details first contact with the Treecats.

Weber may quantify this book as YA but it certainly reads as well and as interesting as all of his books. The characters are well defined and evoke positive emo
Laz the Sailor
Jun 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, scifi
As noted elsewhere, I'm not the biggest fan of the HH universe (I prefer Longknife). However, this prequel intrigued me and I'm glad I read it.

This is a story of a young woman who discovers a new empathic race and manages her way into and out of trouble again. She is smart, but makes typical teenage mistakes. The adults around her have to balance giving her free-range and keeping her from harm. And still they need to rescue her once or twice. That all sounds like a generic YA teen novel, but Web
A great starter science fiction book for kids 12+.
Full of tropes, but handled very well. The first section of the book is an expanded version of a short story detailing first contact between the treecats and humans on the planet Sphinx.
The second closely follows with worries about how to keep the treecats from being exploited or driven to extinction. Of course the young Harrington saves the day, with several helpers.
Overall a positive message book, highly recommend for the younger set. (Not to
Not having read any David Weber before, but being interested in starting, I figured this ARC would be a good place to start when I saw it. From an outsider's standpoint, this was very accessible (and apparently this takes place generations before the Honor Harrington series itself, so that makes some sense) and pretty easy to get into.

Stephanie was an excellent heroine and protagonist, and I was really happy to see that she stands on her own for the most part with strength. The treecats were als
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Space Opera Fans : A Beautiful Friendship by David Weber 28 37 Feb 04, 2015 04:03PM  
Honorverse: Stephanie Harrington Series 4 28 Aug 21, 2012 02:32PM  

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David Mark Weber is an American science fiction and fantasy author. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1952.

Many of his stories have military, particularly naval, themes, and fit into the military science fiction genre. He frequently places female leading characters in what have been traditionally male roles.

One of his most popular and enduring characters is Honor Harrington whose alliterated name

Other books in the series

Honorverse: Stephanie Harrington (3 books)
  • Fire Season (Honorverse: Stephanie Harrington, #2)
  • Treecat Wars (Honorverse: Stephanie Harrington, #3)
“She didn't know a lot about politics – yet – but she'd learned enough in her history classes to know politics could always be counted on to make a bad situation worse.” 16 likes
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