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Conquerors' Heritage

(The Conquerors Saga #2)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  2,027 ratings  ·  52 reviews
Zhirrzh alien Searcher Thrr-gilag is disgraced, his engagement imperilled. He is a target of hidden and powerful forces seeking to remake Zhirrzh society in their own merciless image. His only hope is to prove authorities wrong: Humans did not start the war.
Paperback, 360 pages
Published August 1995 by Spectra Bantam Doubleday Dell (first published 1995)
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Average rating 3.94  · 
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 ·  2,027 ratings  ·  52 reviews

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Troy G
Dec 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
With this book Timothy Zahn accomplishes several things few authors are capable of. 1) He write a book from the point of view of an alien living on an alien world without any character to act as a audiance representative that learns about the world and culture along with us. 2) He makes an extremely alien culture and government seem mundane. Aliens have to do paperwork too.
3) He advances the story of the series without relying on the characters of the first book in a way that feels mostly natura
Mel Anie
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
Rating: 5

Mini review:

Conqueror's Heritage is the 2nd book in The Conquerors Saga. This book tells the story from the perspective of Zhirrzh people, mostly Thrr-gilag, while learning the truth behind who really started the war.

I dare to say that this book was way better than the 1st one. Easier to read and more interesting. Also funnier and surprising. I really enjoyed reading this book from the perspective of Zhirrzhs. Differences between characters were really entertaining. I could easi
Jun 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi, scifi-fantasy
(Update July 2013: The Conqueror's series is one of the most impressive stories I have ever read (I've graded ~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 impres ...more
I'm so glad that I'm done with this blessed book! I dragged my way through it and to be honest, really ended up super speed- read my way through the last 100 pages. This genre is really not my thing and now I can say it with certainty having just read a decently rated book in the science fiction/ fantasy/ space setting genre. I hate completely made up worlds, people, language, religion, etc,,,, I thnk it's because I don't have anywhere to put the ideas n my head because they are obviously so for ...more
Jonathan Koan
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Science Fiction can be a hard genre to read. It can be especially hard if there are a lot of alien names and words used. But what if the entire book is from the aliens point of view, on alien planets, with minimal references to the Humans from the first book? Well, Timothy Zahn set out to do that.

And it works!

The first thing I'll say about this book is that it is ambitious. It takes a drastic turn from the first book in the series and brings you to all new places and settings and characters, and
Oct 05, 2010 rated it liked it
Don't you hate the second book of a three (or more) part series? Zahn wrote an excellent story, but it didn't go anywhere. I suspect that all the major plot points were at least hinted at in Conquerors' Prideand everything will be resolved in Conquerors' Legacy.

Don't waste your time on this book unless you happen to like the way Zahn writes, which I do . . . but not that much.
Luke Zwanziger
Dec 24, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
While not as engaging as the first book of this trilogy, still was sufficiently interesting.

The book picks up at the end of the previous, but with a unique twist, being told from the alien's point of view. The twist of the trilogy is relatively apparent, but the intent is for the reader to know and build tension as the information is not readily apparent to the majority of the characters.

It is a good read for the space opera genre. Probably nothing that will blow you away, but a good well writ
Nov 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thrr-gilag is in trouble. Despite the Conquerors' despicable surprise attack, the Zhirrzh navy was able to fight back, and they even took a prisoner! Thrr-gilag was sent to interrogate the prisoner, figure out where these "humans" come from, and why they attacked without provocation. But before he can get those answers, his prisoner (Pheylan Cavanagh) escaped! Now Thrr-gilag is disgraced, and what fool would let his daughter marry into a disgraced clan? There's only one chance: find a way to pro ...more
Mar 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
The middle volume of this trilogy takes the unusual step of more or less abandoning the characters of the first volume, to instead look at this human-alien war entirely from the alien side. It's a deep dive into an alien culture that carries the plot forward only a little (although the big twist that's been fairly easy to spot coming since about page 20 of the first volume finally lands in the last pages of this one), while introducing many a complication in a way that makes me wonder how Zahn w ...more
Dec 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
I will say this. It's bold to start a big space opera series and immediately change viewpoints *completely* from one side to the other for the second book. First book? Pretty standard human viewpoints. This book? The enemy from the first book is the entirety of the viewpoint. Not a single human character to be found. Which I'm torn on because it was nice to get an alternate look at events, but now going into the third book I expect that I'm going to be a bit lost for a while as to who is who wit ...more
Dec 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'm not usually much for reading military SF ("war porn", to some folk), but I DO like to read science fiction told from the perspective of a non-human species. So I skipped the first book in this series (which covers many of the same events from the human perspective) and went right for this one, told from the point of view of the alien Zhirr. The best way to describe this book is "immersive": You hit the ground running, with little background explanation of how their alien biology or society w ...more
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love the change in viewpoint from the humans in book 1 to the aliens in book 2. Seeing the turmoil on both sides of a war is more than an empathy play, it is a brilliant set up for what I'm sure will be an incredible finale!
Nov 17, 2017 rated it liked it
the weakest of the three
Rob Markley
Mar 03, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
I'm always interesting in deep plausible alien intelligences/civilisations - unfortunately these aliens didn't really delivery
Jun 25, 2020 rated it liked it
An interesting premise, but overly long - needn't have been a trilogy. Book 3 is the strongest and brings things together satisfyingly, but it takes an awfully long time to get to that payoff.
Kevin Eckenhoff
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A very unique and interesting perspective for telling a space opera
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good

Very good. Can not wait to read the last book. Good plot development and chacter development. I will enjoy reading his other works.
Feb 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
I give Zahn points for flipping the perspective to the aliens' side for the whole book, though I wish they were a little less human-like. I do like the worlds he creates, but his characters tend to sound an awful lot alike, and that is a weakness here. Still, he clearly had fun coming up with what kind of assumptions an alien race might make about humans and their motivations, and it's fun to go along for that ride. I kind of appreciate that he balances correct and incorrect interpretations, it ...more
Seth the Zest
Feb 15, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: books-read-2017
More fun space opera. This one dealt more with the aliens and was wholly from their viewpoint. I found it a nice break from expected tropes into something a bit more imaginative.
May 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf, 5-stars
I loved this one! The whole idea of writing a story first from the perspective of humans, then from the aliens is great!

It is easy to write a war story from two POVs showing that both sides THINK they are right.
It is much harder to write one where both sides ARE indeed right.
It is exceptionally hard to show that both sides are certain that they are LOSING the war.

Zahn managed to accomplish all of this.

What is more important, the Zhirrzh are wonderful! They have fully realized society. On one ha
Feb 08, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2nd "Chapter" adds interest.

The 1st book Conquerer's Pride is required reading for this episode. The intriguing thing about this book is it is entirely from the alien's point of view. I don't like to do plot summaries, so suffice it that throughout the story, the war brewing between the 2 parties seems more and more a colossal mistake, possibly fomented by still other aliens.
The main impediment to my enjoyment is that the alien Zhirzh are a bit too human, even though having an incredibly uniqu
Feb 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
This one is written from the Zhirrzh's (what's the possessive of 'Zirrzh' anyway?) point of view. It also takes place after the events of Pride, so you don't see what exactly what happened at every point during that time from this side, but you pick up the basic idea. The Zirrzh are interesting in that they have essentially conquered death, and that makes for some unique societal features.

The chief complaint I have in this book is that it has a touch of "we need a new word for no reason" syndrom
R. August
Sep 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
I was hoping that this second book would continue the trend of the first, but I was sadly mistaken. Rather than a bunch of incomprehensible names and switching out time words (minute, hour, day, etc) with equally burdensome names (tenarc, thoustride) in order to make the aliens seem alien, just made the text an annoyance to get through since, outside of changing the vocabulary a little, there was absolutely nothing alien about the aliens. This happens a lot in sci-fi, the humans talk about how a ...more
Andrew Lloyd
Jul 14, 2016 rated it liked it
When an author decides to write a book from the point of view of an alien race, they have to make a touch decision. Do they write very similarly to human point of view, using the same speech patterns, ideologies, units of measure, etc, or do they write from a very alien point of view? The former makes a novel easier to digest and understand, while the latter definitely feels more alien, but at the risk of not letting you get as immersed in the story. Zahn chose the latter, which many may love, b ...more
Apr 14, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
This is the second book in a sci-fi trilogy. The first book was hard for me to put down, so I was disappointed when I discovered that book 2 switches the point of view of the narrative from the human characters that are featured in book 1 to the alien characters that are the bad guys in book 1. It wasn't until the last few chapters of this book that I felt as hooked as I had with the first book.

Conquerors' Heritage is still a good read, and perhaps I would have enjoyed it quite a bit more if it
Oct 31, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
The second in the series, written more from the point of view of the opposing force, the Conquerers. I found this added to my interest and kept the plot moving forward well. It also allowed Zahn to revisit some of the earlier episodes and fill in motivation for the aliens behavior, something most authors don't take the time to do. It is important in this case because the plot hinges on these moments. Once again, if you are a fan of what I call "good ole' sci-fi", well-plotted, character-driven, ...more
Nov 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
Pretty good book, though it takes a bit of getting used to. It continues the story started in Conquerors' Pride, but from the side of the "invaders". Interestingly enough, they are under the impression that the humans began the conflict. It did take a bit of getting used to some of the terminology, and at times I found myself a bit lost, but once I got into the flow of the story it was every bit as gripping as the first book.
Aug 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Truly fascinating by virtue of it's focus on the prior works "villains". These are handled with tremendous detail and insight into their culture, birthed out of their unique extra-sensory physiology; a compelling metaphor on euthanasia and the right to die, coupled with thrilling narratives on the ongoing stalemate of a war with the humans. Ends on a brilliant cliff Lhanger, setting up not only for the conclusion in "Legacy", but the core MISUNDERSTANDING that threatens to destroy them both.
Cathleen Ash
In this second book of three, Pheylan has been rescued by his brother Aric and the Commonwealth continues to dealw with a deadly and dangerous agressor: the Zhirrzh. The races are more clearly developed, and even more of the Zhirrzh become likeable characters as the war continues between the Zhirrzh and the Commonwealth. Enter the Mrachianis - and decide for yourself whether they are as helpless as they seem - or whether they are indeed manipulating both species to their own benefit.
Oct 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
Hmmm... hard to rate this book. And I'm tempted to wait until reading the finale, but I won't. I didn't like it at all for most of the first half and I nearly gave up on it. I'm glad I didn't though as it got going and I was fully engaged by the end. I'm tempted to go to three stars, but I'll stick with two. It's quite a feat to write a whole book from the alien perspective and hopefully I'll get the pay-off in the last book.
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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' Pride (The Conquerors Saga, #1)
  • Conquerors' Legacy (The Conquerors Saga, #3)

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