by Susan Krinard

May 2004
ISBN: 0-425-19655-0
Reviewer Graphic Button Berkley
Mass Market Paperback

In Susan Krinardís newest book, we return to the interesting universe of the Kinsmen. We visited this universe once before in the short story, Kinsman in the Out of this World anthology. Krinard brings us back thirty years later and the universe is on the verge of exploding.

Ronan VelKalevi is running from his shaauri captors. The shaauri are an alien race that superficially resemble felines. They had kidnapped Ronan when he was six. Having never found a place among the shaauri who raised him, Ronan feels that his only shot is to find other humans who might accept him.

Cynara DíAccorso rescues Ronan from his damaged spaceship. She knows the risks she takes, but can not overlook the fact that he is human. The danger comes from the emotions that he seems to be able to invoke in her. Her first duty must be to the Alliance and her ship. As commander, she has already stepped far from the bonds that tied her to her own people. Loyalty is hard to overcome though and she finds herself in a difficult position as she grows closer to Ronan.

As the heavy steps of fate close in around them, Cynara and Ronan must decide which path they should take. Will it be one that will separate them in the end? Or will it a path that leads to love and peace for all species?

Kinsmanís Oath is a wonderfully complex universe peopled by alien shaauri, humans and the telepathic Kinsmen. The Kinsmen had helped bridge the gap between shaauri and human until a war split them all apart. Ms. Krinardís ability to make the reader believe and accept the possibility of the shaauri existing is evident in this readerís wondering when theyíll be appearing on our planet. Even though shaauri are the only true alien species present in the story, the author does an admirable job making the humans themselves diverse and complicated. At times, the romance between Ronan and Cynara tends to feel secondary to the science fiction aspects of the story. Even though it is their love that drives them to do what they do.

If you are a lover of science fiction and you enjoy great characters with a complex plot, pick up Kinsmanís Oath by Susan Krinard and enjoy. The only complaint this reader had was that this story ended. I hope that Ms. Krinard will indulge us with another trip to this intriguing universe soon.

Reviewed in May 2004 by Jenni.

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