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Reviews by Contributor: Friedman, C. S. (5)

Little Evil Me

When True Night Falls  (Coldfire, volume 2)

By C. S. Friedman  

12 Aug, 2021

Special Requests

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1993’s When True Night Falls is the second book in C. S. Friedman’s Coldfire Trilogy. 

Having vanquished a Big Bad in the first volume (as explained in the lengthy mission report provided at the beginning of the novel), Damien Vryce (Warrior Priest), Hesseth (a rakh, native to the planet), and Gerald Tarrant (former Prophet of the Church for Human Unification on Erna) head East, pursuing some as yet unidentified great evil they believe resides there. 

The expedition is not the first to set out from the West for the East. There have been several previous expeditions, all of which vanished without a trace. Now Damien and his allies get to find out why. 

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A Friend in Me

Black Sun Rising  (Coldfire, volume 1)

By C. S. Friedman  

4 May, 2021

Special Requests


C. S. Friedman’s 1991 Black Sun Rising is the first volume of her Coldfire trilogy. 

The Terrans who discovered Erna initially deferred settlement due to concerns about the planet’s seismic activity. Ultimately, the world was too promising not to colonize, a decision to which their descendants might well object. The incessant quakes are annoying … but they’re not the biggest problem. What is? The Fae.

The eldritch force called the Fae transforms human will into tangible consequence. The result is indistinguishable from magic. If that were not challenge enough, simple human expectations alter the world around them. Consequently, science and technology, reliable elsewhere, aren’t reliable on Erna.

Centuries after settlement, visionaries like Damien Vryce, priest of the Church of Human Unification, are still trying to come to terms with the implications of the Fae. Damien is not all work, however. He is courting Adept Ciani, which is why he is very upset when she is killed and her shop is levelled in a Fae-related mishap. 

Matters are not as they seem. They are much worse.

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Certain as the Moon

The Madness Season

By C. S. Friedman  

14 Jul, 2020

Space Opera That Doesn't Suck


C. S. Friedman’s 1990 The Madness Season is a standalone science-fantasy novel.

Centuries ago the Tyr had crushed the Earth. The Tyr are many bodies but one immortal mind. Consequently, they do not truly comprehend humans. They demand obedience from their peons. Immediate execution is the usual punishment for any deviation.

Daetrin Haal is eager to keep a low profile. He has a secret, which is that he’s immortal. As such, he’s a threat to the Tyr. He remembers the pre-invasion human past, which the invaders have carefully erased. 

His mind and his memories make him a threat to the Tyr order. Eventually he is noticed.

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All Kinds of Kinds

This Alien Shore

By C. S. Friedman  

2 Mar, 2019

Special Requests


C. S. Friedman’s This Alien Shore is a standalone space-opera/cyberpunk novel. 

The Hausman drive gave humanity the stars. It also induced mutations in crew, passengers, and colonists. The mutations thrived in the new colonies, which became known as Variants. A bigoted, xenophobic Earth abandoned its colonies. Two centuries later, the Guerans developed an entirely new method of faster-than-light travel, via ainniq, points that give access to an alien realm governed by unfamiliar laws. The Gueran Guild reached out to all of humanity’s worlds, including standoffish Earth, and rebuilt the interstellar community Earth had cast aside. 

Now someone is trying to destroy that community. 

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That’s My Plan

In Conquest Born  (Azean Empire, volume 1)

By C. S. Friedman  

18 Feb, 2019

Big Hair, Big Guns!

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1987’s In Conquest Born is the first volume in C. S. Friedman’s Azean Empire series. It was the author’s debut novel. 

The Azean Empire has the misfortune to border territory claimed by Braxi. Braxi lives for war and conquest. If it concludes a peace treaty, that’s a temporary measure; they’re preparing for the next attack. There have been many comprehensive peace treaties between Azea and Braxi, each as short-lived as the one before. 

The latest treaty collapses when Vinir and K’Siva, high-born Braxin, birth a son. The Braxana feel strongly that it would be inauspicious to name the child in peacetime. Braxin forces descend on an Azean colony world to celebrate Zatar’s birth. 

Zatar grows into an ambitious and talented warlord. This would not bode well for Azea were it not that one well-placed family has also produced a capable child. But there is a slight problem. 

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