Merchanter's Luck Author:C. J. Cherryh As captain and sole crew member of the ramshackle spaceship Lucy, Sandor Kreja roams amoung the stars, taking on whatever cargoes he can to survive, skiring and sometimes breaking the law. But Sandy hardly thinks of himself as a dashing swashbuckler; his skirmishes with starvation and death have left him with little in the way of bravado, thoug... more »h he's had loneliness enough for several lifetimes. While a womanless life is sad when you're just 27, a life without a family is even worse, for family ties, on the merchant ships from the star-stations, are al-powerful, providing not just the ships' crews but also all chances for personal and career satisfaction. Sandy, a virtual pariah, can hope for none of this, for his family was murdered by the Mazianni pirates years before.
On Viking station, he meets Allison Peilly, beautiful, clever, from the gigantic and successful merchant ship Dublin Again, where she competes with her hundreds of cousins to advance her career. Knowing the folly and hopelessness of his passion, he falls in love with her and follows her to Pell station, where new trade routes are opening up in the direction of long-abandoned Earth.
When he arrives there, however, he realizes that his old enemies - people who'd paid a high price for his extralegal maneuers - haven't forgotten him. Clapped into jail, rescued by Allison, he's obliged to yield to her suggestion that he, with Allison as second-in-command, use the Lucy as trailblazer for the Dublin's exploration of the new trade routes. With the Lucy sleekly renovated, they begin their journey, despite the threat posed by a mysterious military cargo forced on them at the last minute, along with a warning that the Mazanni are lurking near the Lucy's route.
Along with the cargo, however, Allison and Sandy bear the weight of private burdens; Allison's fear that Sandy, well-known for wheeling and dealing, will betray her and the other crew members, and Sandy's fear that a link to his past will be discovered and ridiculed. For Ross, the only other survivor of the massacre of Sandy's family, and Sandy's only companion for many years afterward, had made recordings to help the boy overcome every imaginable crisis abord the Lucy. After Ross died, the recordings provided Sandy with sound advice, spiritual sustenance, and a sense of belonging - to someone. But how could the sleek and self-assured Dubliners, who had always had their powerful family around them, appreciate this?
Yet personal frustrations become insignificant when the deadly and powerful Mazianni attack ...
Gripping interstellar adventure by the author of Dowbelow Station and The Pride of Chanur.« less