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In Conquest Born - Book Review

In Conquest Born by C. S. Friedman is what I’d call a hardcore space opera. It’s not a quick read. It’s not a simple read. Complex names, concepts and characters fly fast and furious. It also feels like a plot on two levels.

First is the background, which is well enough developed to be a major part of the story. This is the Azean-Braxian war that almost seems to have alway been in progress, and has no end in sight. Azea and Braxi are both spacefaring civilizations of basically human form. They have drastically different views on how to handle conquest, genetics, mating and leadership. War is almost a defining characteristic for both civilizations, but often on the fringes of society… the border zone is far enough in the galaxy that it rarely touches the lives of most.

The other plot is of two people… not surprisingly an Azean and a Braxian. Anzha, born a genetic in Azea struggles to find her place. Zatar, born to the ruling class of Braxia, quickly makes a name for himself, striking a deadly blow to the Azean war machine and getting elevated into the leadership council.

As a far-reaching space opera, this is not your typical sci-fi novel, detailing a single journey or discovery. The scope encompasses nearly a century of current events, and frequently segues off into historical background. The unexpected (for me) ending still has me pondering, two weeks later… always something I love in a book. I was fascinated with the explorations of eugenics, phsycic ability, government and space combat.

If you’re ready for a sci-fi adventure that’s not your average space romp, give this one a try.

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