Authors: David Weber and Jane Lindskold
Series: Star Kingdom, Book 3
Publication: Baen; First Edition edition (October 1, 2013)
Description: New York Times and Publishers Weekly Best Selling Young Adult Series. Book Three by international writing phenomenon David Weber. Two young settlers on a pioneer planet seeks to stop a war and to save the intelligent alien treecats from exploitation by unscrupulous humans.
The fires are out, but the trouble’s just beginning for the treecats
On pioneer planet Sphinx, ruined lands and the approach of winter force the now Landless Clan to seek new territory. They have one big problem—there’s nowhere to go. Worse, their efforts to find a new home awaken the enmity of the closest treecat clan—a stronger group who’s not giving up a single branch without a fight
Stephanie Harrington, the treecats’ greatest advocate, is off to Manticore for extensive training—and up to her ears in challenges there. That leaves only Stephanie’s best friends, Jessica and Anders, to save the treecats from themselves. And now a group of xenoanthropologists is once again after the great secret of the treecats—that they are intelligent, empathic telepaths—and their agenda will lead to nothing less that treecat exploitation.
Finally, Jessica and Anders face problems of their own, including their growing attraction to one another. It is an attraction that seems a betrayal of Stephanie Harrington, the best friend either of them have ever had.
My Thoughts: Spinx's human and treecat populations are dealing with the aftermath of the fire season. Because all the rangers are needed, Stephanie and Karl are given the opportunity to go to a special forestry course on Manticore. While Stephanie is excited for the opportunity, she is very hesitant to leave her new boyfriend Anders behind. She is also worried about taking Lionheart away from Sphinx.
Staying at home are Jessica and Anders who are dealing with a new group of anthropologists who have to come to Sphinx to study the treecats. They seem to have a hidden agenda about wanting the treecats to be declared minimally sentient and in need to being put on reservations.
Meanwhile, the Swaying Fronds Clan is suffering because their range was decimated in the fires and many of their most able members died when trying to escape the fires. The remaining clan are the old, the sick, and the very young. They need to find a place to live to survive the coming winter but the neighboring clan is also suffering and can't take in another clan. Even worse, the one member of the clan dealing with Swaying Fronds has gone insane because of the stress and managed to hide his condition from the mind healers of his clan.
Jessica and Anders find themselves caught in the war that occurs between Swaying Fronds and the neighboring clan and trying to keep the fact that treecats can and will kill each other from the anthropologists with agendas. Jessica and Anders also find themselves falling in love despite the fact that Anders is Stephanie's boyfriend and Jessica is her best friend.
I especially liked the sections of the books that were told by the treecats. I could feel their frustration in trying to communicate with the various "two legs" in their lives. Fans of science fiction will enjoy this entertaining story.
"It isn't the sort of thing we encourage," Karl acknowledged. "Bad for tourism if too many tourists get eaten, you know."This one is from my TBR pile. You can buy your copy here.