The Agent Gambit
Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
Baen, Jan 4 2011 , $12.00
“Agent of Change.” The Department of Interior recruited First Scout Val Con yos’Phelium of Clan Korval as an Agent of Change. He became a covert assassin with no feelings. Completing his current mission with a bang, Val Con does the unthinkable for a brainwashed soulless agent. He rescues former Terran mercenary Miri Robertson from five Juntavas interstellar crime syndicate assassins; ignoring his implanted Loop that warns him to dump her. She mashes his head in remittance, but Val Con saves her life again. They are attracted to one another, but distrust each other even as the Juntavas mob wants both dead. As she keeps dumping him, he keeps finding her.
“Carpe Diem.” The Juntavas mob calls off the hits of lifemates Val Con and Miri. However, they are given a crippled ship in the middle of the Yxtrang who want them dead. The pair fixes the vessel enough for one jump to nearby Vandar; a planet that is so primitive the sentient race thought they were alone in the universe. Val Con and Miri know they are stranded so they make the best of it. Val Con’s family and close friends search for him. On Liad, his sister Nova interprets a message from Val Con that informs the Korval Clan their heir lives and that the Department of Interior searches for him too. Their involvement leaves Nova suspecting the worse..
This is a reprint of two of the early Liaden thrillers. Both tales are exciting romantic science fiction loaded with hi and low tech action, a strong lead couple, and a belief in the Lee-Miller outer space, as well as a sense of family. Fans will enjoy this pairing, but though unnecessary to enjoy this duet, newcomers will better understand Clan Korval and planet Liad by reading Local Custom first.