The third book in the Chanur saga. It starts immediately after the end of the previous book Chanur’s Venture.
The Kif have kidnapped Hilfy and Tully. Pyanfar Chanur and her crew are determined to get them back. Unfortunately, in order to do that, she will have to get involved into the politics of the Kif and the Mahendo’sat. Other Hani don’t like that at all.
The stakes are raised impressively. Pyanfar has to rely on her non-Hani allies who might betray her and her crew. Paradoxically, the other Hani in the book are quite hostile to the Pride of Chanur and it looks like Pyanfar and her crew might have brought big trouble on the Chanur clan no matter how things go.
The pacing is good and the writing is very intense, especially in the latter half of the book. We get to know more about Pyanfar herself and about her crew members, especially the First Officer Haral, and the wounded Chur and her sister Geran. Hilfy is changed after her captivity and torture at the hands of the Kif.
We also get more information about the jump ships. Apparently, when a ship jumps, it burns calories off the crew. Where there’s not enough calories, it starts to burn off flesh and bone so, it’s important for jump ship crews (and passengers) to eat enough and jumping can be very dangerous for the wounded.
Despite the high level of politicking, there’s also a very intense battle near the end. It’s very different from the clinical phaser or blaster battles usually seen in SF.
The book doesn’t end in a similar cliffhanger as the previous one but it’s more of a breathing space before the continuation. Everything is still out in the open.
Excellent continuation to the series and I’ve already ordered Chanur’s Endgame which is an omnibus of the next two books.