on April 24, 2011
I disagree with the prior review here; I think This House is one of the best examples of the Liaden body of work. It's sentimental rather than action based, but has a delicate touch and great heart. I admit Lee and Miller often struggle a bit to convey the more metaphysical sequences (e.g. a paragraph in This House or some early parts of Crystal Dragon) as well as some other authors (the unduly maligned S. Meyer does a good job in the last Twilight book). And they haven't mastered the use of momentary humor in advancing a dramatic arc as well as McMaster Bujold. Those minor weaknesses aside, the Liaden books are worth reading and rereading. I think they're some of the best space opera ever written, and their writing continues to improve (the Ghost Ship advance reading copy is simply terrific, but read the other works first). I'm very glad I read these two stories. Lord of the Dance struck me as the weaker of the two, but it has some important tidbits for fans of the series. That said, they've been republishing things in omnibus form and so sometimes shorts like this are available in both chapbook length and also (often later) in collections. Sharon is busily porting their work to ebooks so keep an eye out for more. It might be possible to pick this up in a e-collection, but for a few bucks I wouldn't wait to read this if you're a fan of their work.
on November 9, 2015
Just finished my second readthrough of the two short stories, "Lord of the Dance" and "This House", which make up the "With Stars Underfoot" bundle.
This House - is about healing inner wounds, or at least decreasing the scar tissue so one can move. It is a stand-alone, not closely connected to the main family of the Liaden Universe.
Lord of the Dance - clearly fits into the Liaden Universe chronology. Can be read without the background, but the point of the dance will be lost on readers not familiar with the universe.
I like both stories about the same but for very different reasons. Dance is just fun; House is captures "necessity", as defined by the Liaden Universe, and has a weight to it. Together these books bring balance.
on December 15, 2013
The first story, "This House," is a charming and emotional story about love, deciding choices about losses or fear of losses. As with most things connected to the Liaden universe, the characters deal with truth and honor. Honor not just to others, but honor to one's own self. A man in love whose lover finds another that cannot be denied-- is it not more honorable to hurt a person than stay in a relationship that has become a lie? Does not the one left behind honor that honesty by accepting and moving on? Is the cost of great love worth the fear of loss? Well worth the read.
The second story, "Lord of the Dance," frankly had at it's main event a silliness that even on 2nd reading I could not get into. The writing is great, the easy wonderful flow of story telling on par with the writers other excellent works. But that a dance can be so challenging and complex it proves ability in piloting simply left me with a "meh" feeling. Try as I might, it just was too contrived and unrealistic. Others may find it perfectly reasonable to equate the skills, however for me it was one of the weakest MAIN THEMES I have seen from these writers. The problem lies in the fact that however silly I found it, I actually recommend reading it to anyone. Even if another reader agrees with my dismissal of that premise, I feel confident that the story as a whole will engage and be worth the time to read it.
on July 20, 2014
These two short stories both set in the Liaden Universe, are highly recommended. The first (spoiler alert) is for anyone who, fearing the pain of loss, chooses safety over love.
The second should be read after 'I Dare'. While beautifully crafted, it isn't going to mean much if you haven't yet read at least that chapter in the exploits of Clan Korval.
It is for all those who have followed the career of Pat Rin yos Phelium (aka Boss Conrad) in Surebleak, have come to care for him and want to know WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? and Did he ever pilot again?
Reading 'I Dare' - and all the Liaden Universe books is strongly recommended so you can appreciate the second story!
on April 7, 2014
Lord of the Dance concerns Clan Korval after the relocation to Surebleak, wherein Pat Rin yos'Phelium is convinced of his ability to pilot by the concerted actions of the local Master pilots led by his cousin Val Con, Val Con's lady Miri, and Scout Clonak ter'Meulen. A lovely fill-in story falling after the Clan has left Liad and settled on Miri's home planet of Surebleak.
This House concerns one Mil Ton Intassi, who is a healer with an unusual method of healing, who in healing is himself healed. An excellent short story based on Liad. Both stories are highly reccommended for fans of Clan Korval and the Liaden Universe, but also stand alone very well.