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Conquerors' Pride

(The Conquerors Saga #1)

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  2,753 Ratings  ·  97 Reviews
Four alien starships attack without provocation, destroy an 8-ship Peacemaker team in six savage minutes. Officially no survivors - Lord Stewart Cavanaugh asks fighter pilot Adam Quinn to rescue son Commander Pheylan Cavanaugh. Quinn assembles elite Copperheads like himself, minds united with ships, who will return home as heroes or traitors, if at all.
Paperback, 389 pages
Published September 1994 by Spectra Bantam Doubleday Dell (first published 1994)
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Oct 21, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Hard Core Fans of the Space Opera Genre Looking for Something New
Shelves: sciencefiction
"Conqueror's Pride" by Timothy Zahn is a good, solid space opera. It's a good read for fans of the genre.

By "space opera", I mean a science fiction book that doesn't really explore any hard scientific themes, but instead focuses on plot and adventure. Maybe there will be some character development, but you definitely won't have a lot of scientific explanations as to how people can travel huge differences without the relativistic time dilation effect, and the aliens encountered won't be really we
Mel Anie
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Rating: 4

Conquerors' Pride is the first installment in The Conquerors Saga by Timothy Zahn, author of several StarWars books. Conquerors' Pride is a sci-fi space opera which focuses on adventure and story of its characters. The story is not as much complex as I feared it would be. At some points, I felt lost and had plenty of question. However, with progress, most of those questions found their answer while some of them probably will be answered in the next book.

We are introduced to the
Dec 11, 2016 rated it liked it
“When lives are at stake, you do what you have to, whether it’s personally comfortable for you or not.”

Typical Cold War-era space opera. Independently-minded heroes take on bumbling bureaucracy as well as the heinous enemy. Standard space opera opening: new alien obliterates friendly human greeters.

“No empire looks oppressive to those in power.”

Well conceived (first published in 1994) and well written. The technology and science aged well: despite being written before the advent of smart phones,
May 26, 2015 rated it liked it
An interesting start to the saga, though by itself this book is hardly a novel. Feels like a commissioned work, but a good one, with some interesting aliens and a vague human polity that tentatively rules the stars. Will start Conquerors' Heritage immediately, if only because of the abrupt - way way abrupt - ending here, with nothing resolved or exposed beyond barebones technical details and very little in the way of worldbuilding.
Apr 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
This book had a similar feel to the Thrawn Star Wars trilogy that Zahn also wrote. In my opinion, that's a good thing. Conquerers' Pride really sucked me in, and I had a hard time putting it down until I had read all 389 pages of it.

Part of the reason I liked the book is that as far as I can tell it was written solely to be entertaining, and that's what I was looking for when I checked it out at the library. It didn't try to teach me a lesson, it didn't have deep hidden symbolisms, etc.

Great bo
May 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scifi, scifi-fantasy
(Update July 2013: The Conqueror's series is one of the most impressive stories I have ever read (I've read 2000). Although not all the books earned an A grade on first read because of the complexity, the overall series is a strong grade A. I suspect each story will earn a grade A on second read. The story includes more characters, situations, interactions, species, and concepts than most authors deal with in a lifetime. Yet the author manages to keep it all straight for the reader, an impressiv ...more
May 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a trilogy that is one continuous story: Conquerors' Pride, Conquerors' Heritage, and Conquerors' Legacy.

The first book opens from the Human point of view. They detect an alien ship and try to open communications with them. As soon as they attempt to say hello, the aliens open fire on them. The Humans are fully justified in defending themselves and going to war with these Aliens.

The opening of the second book revisits this initial contact from the Alien point of view. They detect "alien"
Ford Prefect
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
I love many of Timothy Zahn's books, but not this one. I read the first 100 pages before giving up in boredom. There started to be more action occurring in the book before I stopped, but since I didn't care if the main characters lived or died, succeeded or failed, I stopped reading in spite of the action.

The good:
Solid action... when it occurs.

The boring:
Lack of interest in any of the characters. They were pretty bland and uninteresting.

If you don't care about character development and
Janet Sketchley
One minor character in Conquerors’ Pride is a Sanduul artist who does threadings: pictures made of spiderlike silk. Her finished images reveal two different moods depending on the angle of view: the same subject, two separate effects.

This was my second reading of Conquerors’ Pride, and I enjoyed watching Timothy Zahn do his own “threading” of the story. In true Zahn style, the picture as viewed from the end of the book has a different feel from what you see while you’re reading. Re-reading, I co
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
First contact with new alien species is always so exciting, but it's not as much fun when the aliens respond to "Hello there!" with overwhelming firepower. The book opens with a tense battle as Pheylan Cavanagh tries to understand how everyone is dying so quickly... and then the battle is over with him as the sole survivor. The aliens, which the human-dominated government dubs The Conquerors, take Pheylan hostage and begin interrogating him.

Pheylan's father Stewart notices his body wasn't found
Feb 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Oh I do enjoy Timothy Zahn's writing, and it's always fun to go back to it. I've only read his individual novels (outside of Star Wars), so I'm curious how a full trilogy holds up. So far it feels like there is less of the "systems" sort of approach I love in his sci fi (taking one ecological principle and running with it), but perhaps it just takes longer to develop across three books. Certainly enough hints at a more complex story that I'm happy to continue on.
Rob Markley
Mar 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi
Didn't work for me. Not enough depth
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
An interesting start to the series, a little short on Zahn's signature twistiness, but promising more to come.
Alan Miller
Jun 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
Man I did not enjoy this book, which is surprising because this stuff is my usual cup of tea. I would recommend anything by Mr. Zahn though
Pat Beard
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Solid invasion novel. Liked the family at the center of the story. Looking forward to the rest of the trilogy.
Amelia Nichole Defield
Jul 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned, scifi
Great book, lively characters and unique aliens.
M Hamed
Mar 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2017, military-sci-fi
he manged to make an interstellar war between aliens with superior tech and humans with a chance made super weapon
John Sugden
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
I read some of Zahn's Star Wars books as a teenager and they were better than most. When I spotted this in the local second hand shop I picked it up in a mood of pure curiosity.

As the two star review should indicate 'it was ok'. It's a basic Space Opera world with touches of science, mainly difficulties of interstellar communication but not much else. The plethora of made up names and new words are meant to add colour, sometimes this works. At times they are plain irritating. What would have bee
Seth the Zest
Feb 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-read-2017
Well-written space opera. This book skews toward hard science fiction and rugged individualism but was still rather enjoyable. It pulled me in so I finished it about a day after starting.
Dec 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first book of a sci-fi trilogy. Yes, are you not amazed? I did say the first book in a trilogy. For once, I read this in order.

An eight-ship peacekeeping convoy of humans is utterly obliterated by vicious aliens as this book opens. Even the survivors, who manage to escape their doomed vessels in tiny life pods, are systematically vaporized—all, that is, except one.

This seemingly barbaric alien race has captured one human for eventual examination. Problem is he’s one of the best comma
Cathleen Ash
In this first book of three, we meet Aric & Melinda - who set out to rescue their brother illegally. The invasion of the Commonwealth by a new and highly advanced alien species (with a willingness to kill all in their path), has put NorCoord on high alert. When the government refuses to acknowledge their brother may be alive, and may have been the sole survivor of 6 warships patrolling the edge of the sector, the family takes matters into its own hands. There's more going on though: their fa ...more
James R. Hardin
Oct 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Reviewing the whole trilogy (I highly recommend reading all three):

Conflict often seems to drive civilizations to war, like a force of fate. Sometimes people don't spend the effort to understand the source of the misunderstanding that drove the conflict. Other factions may be able to use the conflict to their own advantage, showing how disinformation and false diplomacy can be as powerful as military might. But maybe the standard narrative of conflict and war can be pushed off the rails if enoug
May 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars, sf
I forgot how much I liked Timothy Zahn's book. This is a story about a war with aliens... but there isn't a lot of fighting with it. The story seems very simple and straightforward, focused on a couple of character from one family... but somehow it is really gripping.

I may have my doubts about a couple of coincidences too many - though to be honest that has been lampshaded by the characters and I may have predicted the big "reveal" but I really enjoyed this one. Especially as there is a constan
Feb 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
The first in a trilogy about a vicious war between humanity and an alien race who attacked the humans' first-contact fleet without warning, stooping even to destroying helpless escape pods.

This novel is written from humanity's point of view. It focuses only on a few characters, but describes the conflict very well. This one mostly deals with tension and build-up, leaving out epic space battles and things of that nature.

I'm not being very descriptive, but it's a fairly complicated plot below the
Dec 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
My sister came across this in a box of my dad's books when she was trying to organize his books and I decided to read it after she had. I absolutely loved it! The first book is great by itself with a really original science fiction story but you are left very confused about what is going on. It is the first of a trilogy and after reading the other two you will love the twist! It's a story of how misunderstandings can arise from having different viewpoints and ignorance of another culture. After ...more
Nov 30, 2016 rated it it was ok
This story deals more with the relationships between humans and alien species than interstellar conquest. Who are the Conquerors and what is their intent. This story tells about the travails of the human commander of the space cruiser Kinshasa after he is captured by unidentified aliens. His attempts to escape, and the attempts by fellow humans to rescue him, provide a little different story line. There is the usual political subterfuge in the background, for both humans and aliens. The story is ...more
An Odd1
Jan 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: action
"But we've got an hour. We'll think of something" p 310 Lord Cavanaugh.

Cliffhanger. Scary fighting. Politics behind scenes. War against alien Zzzrrrh, or something like that. We root for the sole human captive. Can he survive on till the few elite fighters bring his elder brother? (view spoiler) His doctor sister gets trapped on planet Dorcas, under first attack. What about the ultimate weapon, supposedly in parts scattered around the universe for safety after the last big b
Anthony Kizer
Jul 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a pretty solid book, with some very nice action scenes, and a small mystery woven throughout the book. I don't think this is as good as some of his other books he has written, but I did enjoy reading this. There pacing is nicely done, the characters have some depth to them. There are some very interesting mechanics and ideas in this series so far. I wish there was some more world building though, to me it seemed kinda flat two dimensional with as much as this books tries to cover. Solid ...more
Rosemary Cantrell
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
I am usually so-so on science fiction, but this was pretty good. It is the first book of the trilogy and I am looking foward to getting to the 2nd book - as soon as I finish two books ahead of it on my reading list. As with most science fiction, the characters are somewhat predictable and there are more than a few "coincidences" that make things work, but Zahn does a pretty good job making the characters realistic on some levels and there is some adventure and intrigue to keep involved in the st ...more
Luke Zwanziger
Dec 01, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
This was way better than "The Icharus Hunt." A well written story with many mysteries that slowly unfold. Zahn is able to balance several subplots while all the while introducing you to new concepts and new aliens.

While a classic "unknown aliens invading" story, mixed with the "rescue family member against all odds," it is nevertheless an entertaining read.

This book is definitely built as part of a trilogy. So don't expect all of your questions to be answered by the end, but more like a cathart
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Timothy Zahn attended Michigan State University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in physics in 1973. He then moved to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and achieved an M.S. degree in physics in 1975. While he was pursuing a doctorate in physics, his adviser became ill and died. Zahn never completed the doctorate. In 1975 he had begun writing science fiction as a hobby, and he bec ...more

Other books in the series

The Conquerors Saga (3 books)
  • Conquerors' Heritage (The Conquerors Saga, #2)
  • Conquerors' Legacy (The Conquerors Saga, #3)