Beautiful Friendship (Star Kingdom), A

David Weber
            Stephanie Harrington always expected to be a forest ranger on her homeworld of Meyerdahl . . . until her parents relocated to the frontier planet of Sphinx in the far distant Star Kingdom of Manticore. It should have been the perfect new home --- a virgin wilderness full of new species of every sort, just waiting to be discovered. But Sphinx is a far more dangerous place than ultra-civilized Meyerdahl, and Stephanie’s explorations come to a sudden halt when her parents lay down the law: no trips into the bush without adult supervision!             Yet Stephanie is a young woman determined to make discoveries, and the biggest one of all awaits her: an intelligent alien species.             The forest-dwelling treecats are small, cute, smart, and have a pronounced taste for celery. And they are also very, very deadly when they or their friends are threatened . . . as Stephanie discovers when she comes face-to-face with Sphinx’s most lethal predator after a hang-gliding accident.             But her discoveries are only beginning, for the treecats are also telepathic and able to bond with certain humans, and Stephanie’s find --- and her first-of-its kind bond with the treecat Climbs Quickly --- land both of them in a fresh torrent of danger. Galactic-sized wealth is at stake, and Stephanie and the treecats are squarely in the path of highly-placed enemies determined to make sure the planet Sphinx remains entirely in human hands, even if that means the extermination of another thinking species.             Unfortunately for those enemies, the treecats have saved Stephanie Harrington’s life. She owes them . . . and Stephanie is a young woman who stands by her friends.             Which means things are about to get very interesting on Sphinx.About A Beautiful Friendship: “It’s rare to find teen science fiction that strays beyond popular dystopian fare. The environmental messages, human-animal friendship, humor, action, and inventive technology will make this series starter an easy hit. . . .”—BooklistAbout David Weber and the Honor Harrington series:“. . .everything you could want in a heroine….excellent…plenty of action.”—Science Fiction Age“Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant!”—Anne McCaffrey“Compelling combat combined with engaging characters for a great space opera adventure.”—Locus“Weber combines realistic, engaging characters with intelligent technological projection. . .Fans of this venerable space opera will rejoice. . .”—Publishers Weekly


Reviewed: 2019-03-23

Oops!  Too engrossed to remember I was reading this for a book club.  I should have been discussing frequently here on the dashboard.  I should be writing a good review.


Instead, I wolfed through this one, then book two and then immediately book three.


I did want more in the Honor-verse.  I hesitated to start this before was a bookclub because I wasn't confident author could write for YA.  


I was wrong; he did very well with YA.  Excellent book, but possibly a bit lacking in some ... not sure "tension" is the correct word.  Everything wasn't breezy and light; a few very possibly serious things just seemed a bit easily resolved with the M.C. often just that much smarter than others.  Most places that worked well; just enough off that it's not quite a five star read for me.


Boy did I ever want to read this early backstory of the treecat world!ps! Too engrossed to 

Reviewed: 2016-10-17

A Beautiful Friendship is the first of the Star Kingdom YA series by David Weber. Being a David Weber fan boy, especially an Honor Harrington fan, made this one a must read. It tells the story of the first meeting between Treecats and Humans, a meeting that just happens to include Honor Harrington's ancestor, Stephanie Harrington.  I found this book to be a great introduction into the larger Honorverse. It was great to share a true science fiction book with a younger audience, and with a female heroine to boot. 

Stephanie Harrington sets out to find the culprit behind the families missing celery plants, and stumbles upon Climbs Quickly, a young treecat scout caught red handed sneaking out of the greenhouse. Stephanie and Climbs Quickly develop a special bond, and spend the rest of the book growing to understand each other, all while trying to protect the treecats from further encroachment. 

Adult fans will want to read for all of the interesting information on the treecats, and it will help them better understand Honor Harrington's relationship with Nimitz. I read A Beautiful Friendship right before starting Ashes of Victory (#9 of the Honor Harrington main series), and found the information ties perfectly into the advancements they were making with the inter-species relationships in that book. 

I would rate this a solid 5 stars. High recommendations for any Harrington fans that are looking for a book to share with their teenage readers, and for anyone else that is looking for an upbeat sci-fi/fantasy YA read instead of all the dystopian future books out there. You can even find teacher's guides for the book here on the publisher's website ,

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