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Compact Space 03, Kif Strike Back

There are some missing for people who are looking like the Doomking Balerdroch was a card i just got from bakura and i didnt see it on this list. Doomking balerdroch? At the end of the previous book one of the Kif factions has taken Pyanfar's niece Hilfy and the human Tully and told This is a reread for me and part of the buddy read of the Chanur series with the SpecFic Buddy Reads group. At the end of the previous book one of the Kif factions has taken Pyanfar's niece Hilfy and the human Tully and told Pyanfar that she can retrieve them at Mkks Station, at the border of Kif and Mahendo'sat space.

Left with little option, the Pride of Chanur follows, along with another Hani ship a hostile one press-ganged by the Mahendo'sat and a Mahendo'sat hunter. In a blatant power-play the Kif Sikkukuk has taken over Mkks Station and has Pyanfar and her friends approach him as supplicants and potential allies. But Kif are ever treacherous, and Mahendo'sat are twisty as well, and the situation is incredibly dangerous and political.

And behind the immediate problems, there's approaching humans, hani and Stsho machinations and involvement from the methane breathers, all of which threaten disaster for the whole of interstellar society in the Compact. This is the slow second book of the trilogy where not a lot happens, but a lot of backstory is given and things are set up for the finale in the next book. This entry gives a lot of much-needed background for the Kif, taking them from repulsive shadows to a fully fledged, dangerous and very alien race.

Moving on to the next one shortly. Having said which, I did enjoy it very much, filled as it was, to quote from the book, with connivance and betrayal and duel aplenty. And I'll be continuing on to the final volume forthwith. It took me a while to finish this one, mainly because it's difficult. A major part of the plot is "what are certain members of this alien race called the kif doing and planning to do? It doesn't help that the point-of-view character, Pyanfar Chanur, doesn't understand them either.

But this is thinky sociopolitical SF, in which the protagonist, Pyanfar, is wrestling directly with the goals and plans of her own species, plus the insectoid kif, the mahendo'sat, and the newly-arrived or arriving humans - and the goals and actions of two or three other species are also alarmingly relevant. It's all move and counter-move and counter-counter-move, with the occasional supralight jump and dockside battle, and if you lose the thread of the action you practically have to go back and re-read whole chapters to figure out what's going on.

The style is also a bit jarring, with a lot of dialogue and deliberate sentence fragments evoking the very stressful and hurried circumstances in which Pyanfar and her crew are trapped. And none of this helped by the fact that it's a middle volume and I read the earlier ones some time ago. Still, when I'm in the right mood I really like this stuff.

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One generally reads C. Cherryh for the exploration of alien points of view, and by the end I think I had something of a grip on how kifish society works and in increased appreciation of how hanish society works and how it's being affected by being launched into interstellar space and commerce via another race's helping hand. Pyanfar is one tough captain, and one who considers the ultimate fate of her crew, her clan, and her whole planet very seriously.

Now I've got to see if I can track down the last volume so I can find out how it all worked out. Classic Cherryh. Reread just now. Love the Whelan cover art! As another reviewer here pointed out. Pretty much fat-free Strong stuff. Cherryh commented that the first Chanur book was a standalone, but were really just one novel, split into 3 Classic Cherryh. Cherryh commented that the first Chanur book was a standalone, but were really just one novel, split into 3 for the publisher's conventions of the time.

And indeed, The Kif SB ends on a cliffhanger. I'll have to find a copy of Chanur's Homecoming Chanur I don't usually rate books that I don't finish but this is book 3 in this series and I feel like I earned rating this one given that I've slogged through 2. I know that the long arc is supposed to be closed up in the next book but I just can't care. I don't know WTF is going on now, or in the previous books, and can't imagine being able to understand what's happening in one more book. I gave the first two books 3 stars as a gift.

I wish I hadn't and may go rate them down to a 2 at best. This series was my biggest waste of time this year. The names are too similar, the amount of incomprehensible alien languages that get used in the narrative is absurd, even reading lists in alien languages, for fuck sake. I am assuming this is one of Cherryh's earlier works because the narrative makes no sense at all. All I know is everyone is betraying everyone else. Nobody is likeable at all. The dialog is painful to listen to. I won't return to this. I won't waste any more time on it.

View all 3 comments. Lots of action. But gosh, the universe is just so complex and confusing with all the double-crossing, triple-crossing all over the place. But I guess I'm invested now to see how it all turns out. Sep 07, Anna rated it it was amazing Shelves: science-fiction.

They say that you should choose the lesser of two evils and that better the devil you know. One would think that to be a perfect guideline when struggle for power between two great hakkikts unleashed a civil war among the kif species. Pyanfar is walking across the thin ice now, trapped between Sikkukkut, his opponent Akkhtimakt and a hani official Rhif Ehrran, who would be happy to see Chanur downfall.

Various political intrigues reach their peak in this book; the grand shoot-out at the docks of Kefk station is a type of climax that keeps you on the edge of your seat. Kif culture and kif mentality is still difficult to comprehend, both for Pyanfar and for the readers. At the end, Skkukuk grows to be a very interesting character and one of my favourites. However, other characters step forward.

In the first two books, Pyanfar and Hilfy were the ones with the most fleshed out personalities, Khym joining them at the end of the first book. Now Chur and Geran go through a great character development, and Haral and Tirun show more of their personalities.

And after everything they went through, Hilfy and Pyanfar are not the ones they used to be: Hilfy becomes a much harsher person, her heart somewhat hardened by her suffering, while Pyanfar, surprisingly, becomes wiser and more acceptable of those not like her. I had hoped to hold my review to the end of the series and write one review for all, but I started reading these in Kindle edition not realizing the last two books are not in eBook format! I immediately emailed Penguin. So strange that they would split up a trilogy like this.

This series! The world building! She does such an amazing job creating these very different races, and describing humanity from an outside perspective.