Reviews of In Conquest Born (1986)
Review by clong (2007-08-06)
This is a book that that offers an interesting setting, a pair of interesting dueling protagonists, and a few compelling chapters. Unfortunately, a few compelling chapters does not a compelling 511 page novel make.
As the story progresses the protagonists become as believable as comic book superheroes, and the more we learn about the history, economics, sexual mores, prejudices, and politics of their respective cultures the less believable they become. It also felt like Friedman needed more that her fair share of deus ex machina to move the story towards a conclusion (and not a particularly satisfying one at that).
I have read (in the bio that is currenly displayed on the IBList.com C.S. Friedman author page) that the stories in this book started life as the author writing for herself, and that only later did she decide to pull them together and publish. I think it would have worked much better if Friedman had taken what turned out to be the best chapters in the book, fleshed them out as short stories involving a sequences of characters on the respective sides in the Azea-Braxi Universe, and published is as a much shorter collection of short stories.
Review by Pandora (2003-03-10)
The first time I read this book, I was so entranced by the male main charecter I re-read the book a week later. Upon which time I became very involved with the circumstances of the female main charecter. And I understood just why this book was so significant. Based on a long running war between 2 alien cultures who are both from humen stock, we are taken from one culture to the other throughout the book. Each culture is explained in clear and poigant detail. The 2 main charecters are vibrant, compelling and sexy. The well written social interaction between the races is fascinating, and at books end you will wish that C.S. Friedman had continued the story in a second book. She has no plans to do so, alas.