Val Con yos'Phelium, future Delm of Clan Korval, Second Speaker to the House and former Agent of Change for the Department of the Interior and his lifemate, Miri Robertson, a former mercenary and bodyguard, were ordered not to be harmed by the Juntavas syndicate. However, personal interpretation of 'not be harmed' left Val Con and Miri on a broken-down spaceship in the middle of nowhere with the enemy Yxtrang ready to kill them for the hunk of junk they were sitting in. However, Val Con and Miri managed to rig something together and 'jumped' to one of the nearest planets - a backwater world named Vandar.
Vandar had no contact with the outside universe and didn't even know that other cultures existed. With no spaceships and no radio comm that they could use, Val Con and Miri tried to resign themselves to a long stay and set about learning the culture and the language. Meanwhile, Shan yos'Galan, Val Con's brother and his lifemate, Priscilla, began searching the galaxy for him, as did Edger and Sheather, Val Con's Clutch brothers. Back on Liad, Nova yos'Galan, Val Con's sister, had translated a cryptic message from Val Con that, while ensuring the Clan of the heir's survival, told them precious little else. But she did discover that the Department of the Interior, a department that seemed shrouded in mystery and determined to conquer the planet of Liad and from there, the universe, was also looking for Val Con. The more she investigated, the more interested the Department became in Clan Korval...until Nova was forced to call Plan B - retreat strategically, trust no one, prepare for all out war....
Carpe Diem is the 5th book in the Liaden series if you read them chronologically, which I recommend. As with the other books, I simply loved Lee & Miller's characters and world building. They spend time on the details and it shows that they have carefully thought out and executed another masterpiece. I really feel as if I know the Korval family and am taking a remedial course on Liaden etiquette, these books are that well written! If you enjoy any kind of science fiction or space opera then this book has something for you - great characters, lots of action, enemies on all sides, high tech battle sequences, romance, family relations, honor, and much, much more! You can read this book as a stand-alone novel, but I would not recommend it as you will miss a lot of background and spend the first part of the book just trying to keep track of who everyone is. Also, you definitely should not miss out on any book in the wonderful Liaden universe - all of them are very highly recommended!
This report prepared by Debbie