Select one of the keywords
Freedom's Ransom    by Anne McCaffrey order for
Freedom's Ransom
by Anne McCaffrey
Order:  USA  Can
Ace, 2003 (2002)
Hardcover, Paperback, Audio

Read an Excerpt

* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This is the fourth in a series that began with Freedom's Landing, in which brutal Catteni mercenaries (on behalf of their Eosi employers) sold entire Earth urban populations as slaves. One group, including many species and a shanghaied Catteni named Zainal, was dumped on an unknown planet to sink or swim. Though many wanted to kill Zainal, Kris Bjjornsen spoke up for him, and Zainal's skills helped them to survive. They named the planet Botany, and learned to deal with the Mechs that harvested it. Zainal's plans enabled them to capture spaceships and to successfully rebel against the Eosi. Now they want to rebuild on both Earth and Botany, and to find and rescue more of the enslaved peoples.

This episode, Freedom's Ransom, is essentially a long drawn out trading mission - on Earth and on Barevi - in search of badly needed technical materials looted from Earth. An assorted band, including Kris and Zainal, travel to Earth, where they trade food and minerals for coffee and dental supplies. They then set up in the Barevi market to sell coffee beans (prized by the addicted Catteni) and dental work. Of course it's not quite that simple and obstacles include the corrupt market manager Kapash, who might have had something to do with Zainal's inclusion in the Botany dump in the first place.

What is the appeal of this series? Though by no means extraordinary as SF, readers are drawn in (as always in Anne McCaffrey's works) by an Irish style invitation to join the ever enlarging extended family of friends and loved ones who surround the principal characters. It's a positive, compassionate and tolerant community, and these tales of Freedom make great comfort reading.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more SF books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews