Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Faded Sun Trilogy (The Faded Sun #1-3)” as Want to Read:
Faded Sun Trilogy (The Faded Sun #1-3)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Faded Sun Trilogy

(The Faded Sun #1-3)

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  4,717 ratings  ·  184 reviews
They were the mri—tall, secretive, bound by honor and the rigid dictates of their society. For aeons this golden-skinned, golden-eyed race had provided the universe mercenary soldiers of almost unimaginable ability. But now the mri have faced an enemy unlike any other—an enemy whose only way of war is widespread destruction. These "humans" are mass fighters, creatures of ...more
Paperback, 756 pages
Published 1991 by Mandarin (first published 1978)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Faded Sun Trilogy, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Faded Sun Trilogy

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,717 ratings  ·  184 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Faded Sun Trilogy (The Faded Sun #1-3)
mark monday
Dec 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
grim, dry, melancholy, frustrating, riveting, endearing, and tragic are all good words to describe this moving anti-epic. well it looks like there are two more words to add to this list, moving and anti-epic. now how about another: bromantic.

grim: this trilogy is about a human and two members of an alien race known as the Mri, their long flight back to their homeworld and what they find there. this is not an "adventure". it is a stark, dark tale about how easily betrayal can be rationalized and,
Dirk Grobbelaar
S.T.O.P. right there!

Now pay attention:

If you like character driven and immersive Science Fiction you need to read this. It’s a slow burner, but beautifully crafted and deeply poignant. It’s frankly criminal that this isn’t better known, overshadowed as it is by Cherryh’s other high-profile works. Other authors can learn so much here, especially how not to lose focus of the story being told. Yes, there are frustrations, but they are purposefully introduced to underscore story elements, and in
Oct 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of C.J. Cherryh's Foreigner series
Three points:

1. NOBODY does aliens as well as C.J. Cherryh (at least in my experience).

2. This is not a page-turning barnburner. This is a slow, deep immersion that stays with you for a long time.

3. No book that has inspired a Michael Whelan cover has ever disappointed me.

But back on that first point. Cherryh's mri and regul are two awesomely different species, the former mercenary fighters for the latter, who don't fight themselves, but really can't be trusted. They're both battling humans,
Jun 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every now and then I take a break from the new releases stacked atop my desk to treat myself to a classic. This time I chose Kesrith, which begins The Faded Sun Trilogy by C.J. Cherryh. I meant to read just one volume, then set the trilogy aside and get on with reading those new releases. Then I meant to read just the second, Shon’Jir before getting on with business. Then I had to read the last, Kutath.

The Faded Sun Trilogy has long been available in one volume and should, in my opinion, be
Sep 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, sci-fi
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
While I have read some fantasy by C.J. Cherryh, this trilogy (Kesrith, Shon'jir, and Kutath) was the first science fiction I've read. Wow! I was completely engaged while reading and thoroughly satisfied when I finished. What more can you ask?

The three species that dominate the story (mri, regul, and human) are each carefully drawn and distinct. The non-humans are not human-like in different bodies--they are definitely alien. And yet we are drawn into their stories as completely as we are into
Jul 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
The contemplative plot of this book seemed to meander at times, but I was swept away by the characterization and atmosphere. As I write this review, months after finishing the book, it still resonates with more than almost all the other books that I've ever read.

C. J. Cherryh's Faded Sun Trilogy is comprised of three books: Kesrith, Shon'jir, and Kutath. As with so many of Cherryh's works, this book revolves around deep, psychological characterization of alien cultures. In this case, the two
I currently re-read this book, and it keeps its place as my favorite science fiction novel of all time. A few of the things I particularly like about it: First, the characters. Cherryh taks a good deal of time developing her characters to the point that you actually CARE about them. Many authors (sci fi and otherwise) are too concerned with the plot to let the reader get to know the characters, and so when it comes down to plot crunch-time, nobody really cares what happens. Cherryh is very much ...more
Here’s the short review: This book gets five stars because it made me agree with genocide, against a sentient alien species that I found beautiful and wanted to live.

But that alone is not very satisfying, so here’s the long review:

One of the most wonderful aspects of science fiction (particularly space opera) is that humanity itself is characterized. Whereas in other genres, there might be foils to the protagonist, in space opera, an alien species serves as a foil to all of humanity.

So it is
Stevie Kincade
It took me so long to read this book I should be booted from Goodreads for being a disgrace to readers everywhere. I went through 2 girlfriends, 2 Presidents and 3 holidays before I finished this book.

This was elegantly written and contained truly original nothing-like-human alien races, 3 dimensional characters and fully developed relationships. It was never boring , I was always happy to read it but i never sucked me in for any length of time either. It is not what I would call a "page
Jun 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
At first, this arrives as a fairly typical, if dense, political space opera, done in Cherryh's typical, inimitable style. For those who have read other Cherryh books of this stripe, like the Chanur books, you may find this one refreshingly comprehensible, as I did. It has the requisite complicated political relationships and plots within plots and betrayals and all that, but Cherryh seems to have gone out of her way, in this early series, to help the reader out and make sure he or she is ...more
Lianne Simon
Sep 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Of C.J. Cherryh's books, these are the best I've read. Better than Downbelow, Chanur, Morgaine, Merchanter, etc.

If you've read Robert Jordan

The Eye of the World

imagine the Aiel as a space-faring force of mercenaries who, through treachery, and their own inflexibility, are all but wiped out. Only two survive. Throw into the mix a special forces soldier who is determined to see the Mri survive, and you have Cherryh's story.

The Mri and humans are physically very similar. Tension in the story comes
Jul 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I want to be a mri warrior
D.D. Price
I’d been wanting to read C.J. Cherryh for a long time but I held back. The reason I held back so long is because she has a huge bibliography, very intimidating to a reader unfamiliar with her works. She also doesn’t have a series/standalone that’s clearly her most renowned work like some authors with huge bibliographies, thus making it even harder to decide what to read first. So for years I’ve done research and a long while ago I came to the conclusion that the Faded Sun Trilogy might provide ...more
Jul 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sciencefiction
I enjoyed this trilogy very much. It's a fascinating story of the dealings of three species. Because the first viewpoint character is mri, we get a particularly good view of this austere and honorable species. They're strangely likeable, despite their extremely strict society with well-defined roles for each caste. I find it odd that they breed mostly within the caste made up of people who weren't judged sufficiently intelligent or talented to become scholars, who are the ruling caste. What do ...more
Writing: 3
Story: 1
Satisfaction: 0

Cherryh is a good writer but the book moves soooo slowly. I finished through the first book and I still wasn't emotionally involved with the characters and the main plot still wasn't even hinted at. The story seems more character driven than anything else and it's done well except for the part where the characters are all whiney and self-indulgent for annoying reasons. I honestly can't say that I really liked anyone that I came across in the reading and I didn't
Justin Kemppainen
I had a hard time overall with the Faded Sun. The mri are a fascinating species, but their existence and survivability in the face of a refusal to adapt and change confuses me. I know it's a huge theme of the book, and it remains compelling all the way through, but on occasion I had a hard time suspending the disbelief. It would seem to me, correctly or otherwise, that such a rigid and unyielding code of life would not lend itself to long-term survival. Indeed it *nearly* didn't, but I wouldn't ...more
Dec 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THE FADED SUN is a wonderful story. Strangely, this was my first introduction to Cherryh. I was impressed so much that I am now on a quest to own her entire body of work. The Faded Sun is so rich in plot, location, and prose that those traits alone would make it worth reading. The story is exciting and full of wonder. However, the true beauty of this book is in the development of character. I am sure we have all read works in which we enjoyed the story but could have cared less about the ...more
Aug 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's been awhile since I've read any SyFy but Cherryh has always been able to spin such excellent tales that I hardly noticed the techno side of the story. In fact swordsman and honor play as much of a role as starships.

Strong development of alien cultures and characters; the misunderstanding, death and wars that are brought about by the ignorance of other's values and ways of thinking make this a gripping tale right to the end. Suspenseful and imaginative if a bit technologically dated since it
Pam ☼Because Someone Must Be a Thorn☼ Tee



They must have used an optical scanner because many of the 'nots' are translated as 'riots'. (squint your eyes and you can see how that can happen)

Not going in afterwards and editing was *riot* the right thing for them to do.
Jun 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Review coming — pretty much as good as the first time I read it, though with definite echoes of things like Dances With Wolves.
Feb 08, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I find over the years that Cherryh is an author that I continue to enjoy, read and reread. Still I found this series strangely unsettling. Cherryh's characters have a habit of living in your mind well past the "I read it and now I am moving on date", but this time around I find that I am haunted by what I did not know or understand about the main characters. Only Cherryh can write characters of whom I seem to know so little and yet am so greatly haunted and obsessed by.
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, scifi
One of the best of Cherryh’s books. So glad it came out in audio!
Jul 03, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
Damn, I hate this book. I am only finishing it so I can give it a bad review.

I have seen it compared to Dune in other reviews, which usually conclude that it is nothing like Dune. I posit that it is like Dune in all the bad ways, and none of the good.

Central to the book are the mri, an alien species of noble warriors. No, let me rephrase that: genocidal, pompous, primitive, utterly inflexible and utterly implausible savages. You see, they have this ideology that anyone who is not of their
A.B. Gayle
Mar 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Fabulous trilogy. I find it fascinating as a writer the way she starts out deep in the mind of one or two characters, but expands her POV as the series continues.

Most times that would annoy me as I feel I drift away from characters I have come to deeply care about, but the glimpses into minds with totally different attitudes and agendas adds a lot more layers to the story.

Basically this a series about fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of not being true to a way of life (religion?) and fear of that
Elizabeth Wallace
In the end I enjoyed it, but my GOODNESS it was a wade. Oddly enough, it was harder to get through than Cherryh's "Foreigner" series, and I don't think it should've been: Foreigner gets WAY deeper into politics and history and plots and such that occasionally go over my head. The Faded Sun Trilogy was very straightforward for the most part but I still found myself checking how much longer until the end of a particular chapter when I got bogged down. Somehow it didn't hold my interest the way the ...more
Nov 22, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
I want to give this book a good review but I just can't seem to do it. I was so torn while reading this book and never once did I care about what would happen. The climax seemed flat to me, without urgency or excitement. Everything took so long to get to that I found myself bored with it.

Also if there is one book that needed a glossary it's this one. It was probably the most confusing first chapter I've ever read in a book. And not confusing plot wise or what the hell is going on wise but the
Chip Howell
Mar 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is what I'd call an intimate epic, if there was such a term; it's epic in scope, but the third-person limited viewpoint (though it shifts from character to character) enhances the action because you don't get all of it at once. Because the story encompasses more than one species, the viewpoint characters are nicely diverse. In a nutshell, all 3 novels contained here study the aftermath of a war in which one aliens species hired mercenaries belonging to another species to serve as the ...more
Sep 25, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
CJ Cherryh, when she's good is very good, and when she's bad is still very good but just doesn't manage to make me deeply care about what's going on. unfortunately, the 'faded sun trilogy' is some of that latter. told in 3 parts (this hefty edition has all 3 books in one paperback), this is the tale of a mid-ranking human military operative and how he "goes native" and falls into the life of the alien race humans have recently conquered. there's a lot of observations about the nature of ...more
Lian Tanner
Mar 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
If humanity ever finds itself confronted with aliens, CJ Cherryh should be part of the welcoming (or otherwise) committee. The meeting of two intelligent species is clearly a theme close to her heart, and one that she comes back to again and again, with great effect. Reading this trilogy, I could see the seeds of the Foreigner books, but at the same time this is very much its own series, and a deeply deeply satisfying one. Wonderful human characters, brilliantly complex aliens, and a third book ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Is this worth reading? 31 79 Jul 27, 2019 09:38AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Sundiver (The Uplift Saga, #1)
  • The Ship Who Sang (Brainship, #1)
  • Blackveil (Green Rider, #4)
  • The Reality Dysfunction 1: Emergence (Night's Dawn 1)
  • White Gold Wielder (The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, #3)
  • Lord Valentine's Castle (Lord Valentine, #1)
  • Majipoor Chronicles (Lord Valentine, #2)
  • Eulalia! (Redwall, #19)
  • Alien: The Cold Forge
  • Lost Tribe of the Sith: The Collected Stories (Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith)
  • Moon Rising (Luna #3)
  • Dispel Illusion (Impossible Times, #3)
  • King Con: The Bizarre Adventures of the Jazz Age's Greatest Impostor
  • The Druid (Warrior Druid of Britain #1)
  • The Silver Tide (The Copper Cat, #3)
  • Valor's Choice (Confederation, #1)
  • The 13th Witch (The King's Watch, #1)
  • Soul of the Fire (Sword of Truth, #5)
See similar books…
Currently resident in Spokane, Washington, C.J. Cherryh has won four Hugos and is one of the best-selling and most critically acclaimed authors in the science fiction and fantasy field. She is the author of more than forty novels. Her hobbies include travel, photography, reef culture, Mariners baseball, and, a late passion, figure skating: she intends to compete in the adult USFSA track. She began ...more

Other books in the series

The Faded Sun (3 books)
  • Kesrith (The Faded Sun, #1)
  • Shon'jir (The Faded Sun, #2)
  • Kutath (The Faded Sun, #3)
“Is that the end... of all the races and civilizations, and the dreams of the world, to be able to leave a few stones buried beneath the sands, to tell the Dark that we were here?” 8 likes
“He watched the desert slip under the airship's nose, and the land roughened into highlands over which he had traveled at great cost, in great pain - dreamlike, such speed, looking down on a world where time moved more slowly, where realities were different and immediate and he had learned for a time to live.” 1 likes
More quotes…