Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, DRAGON IN EXILE

Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, Dragon in Exile. Baen, 2015 (forthcoming).

I have lost track of how many volumes Lee and Miller’s Liaden series runs to now. They aren’t all consecutive, that’s for sure.

Dragon in Exile is the latest, taking place after Dragon Ship and Necessity’s Child but returning to focus primarily on (mis)adventures of the main branch of Clan Korval on the planet of Surebleak, rather than on the trials and tribulations of Theo Waitley – or the somewhat exoticised “space Roma” that play so large a part in Necessity’s Child.

This is very definitely a series novel: it cannot stand on its own. The cast is large and various, and difficult for me to keep track of – and I’ve read the whole series, albeit no volume more recently than six months ago. Several incidents take place, but none seem to be the focus of the novel: indeed, the book seems to be setting up the pieces for conflict further down the road.

If you like spending time with the characters – and to be honest, I really rather do – you’ll probably enjoy this book. But to me it feels rather slight and directionless, and not the exciting new space opera I was hoping for. More explosions next time out, maybe?