A Beautiful Friendship (Star Kingdom Series #1)

A Beautiful Friendship (Star Kingdom Series #1)

by David Weber


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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. . . .”— Booklist

About 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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781451637472
Publisher: Baen
Publication date: 10/04/2011
Series: Star Kingdom Series , #1
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 941,248
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.54(h) x 1.22(d)
Lexile: 1140L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

With over seven million copies of his books in print and seventeen titles on the New York Times bestseller list, David Weber is the science fiction publishing phenomenon of the new millennium. In the hugely-popular Honor Harrington series, the spirit of C.S. Forester’s Horatio Hornblower and Patrick O’Brian’s Master and Commander lives on—into the galactic future. Books in the Honor Harrington and Honoverse series have appeared on fourteen best seller lists, including those of The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and USA Today. While Weber is best known for his spirited, modern-minded space operas, he is also the creator of the Oath of Swords fantasy series and the Dahak saga, a science fiction and fantasy hybrid. Weber is has also engaged in a steady stream of bestselling collaborations including his Starfire Series with Steve White, which produced the New York Times bestseller The Shiva Option among others. Weber’s collaboration with alternate history master Eric Flint led to the bestselling 1634: The Baltic War, and his planetary adventure novels with military science fiction ace and multiple national best-seller John Ringo includes the blockbusters March to the Stars and We Few. Finally, Weber’s teaming with Linda Evans produced the bestselling Multiverse series. David Weber makes his home in South Carolina with his wife and children.

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A Beautiful Friendship 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
jrl17 More than 1 year ago
The front part is an expanded version the the short story. It continues with new continuation to the story of the first time the treecats contact with humans. I could not put it down.....
harstan More than 1 year ago
Xeno-veterinarian Richard Harrington, his botanist wife Marjorie and their twelve years old daughter Stephanie move from planet Meyerdahl to Sphinx. The adults are ecstatic with relocating but their tweener offspring is upset having to leave behind friends and the big city of Hollister to reside in boring rustic Two Forks where harsh winters never end. Stephanie finds herself as an outsider with kids her age as her interests in xeno forests is shared by none of them Native to Sphinx are the sentient treecats. They are cautious about revealing themselves to the two-legged outsiders. Thus Climbs Quickly is tasked with observing those residing on the Harrington farm. Stephanie is fascinated with someone stealing celery from her mom's greenhouse and those of others. The locals set traps, but she sees how inane their attempts are. Instead she sets her own gizmo to try to capture the thief. She sees a six-legged treecat climbing out a window and takes a picture. Using a glider, she searches and meets Climbs Quickly as a storm threatens both of them followed by a stalking beast. This fascinating look at ancestors of Honor Harrington is an enjoyable young adult science fiction thriller that focuses on the first bonding between a treecat and a human. The story line is character driven by the humans and the treecats as two cultures collide not always smoothly. Although background between how well the two species, especially their respective families, cope with the unique bonding is ignored for action, readers will appreciate A Star Kingdom's tale of the beginning of A Beautiful Friendship. Harriet Klausner
Bjk63 More than 1 year ago
Loved this book, so I read the sequels and then started the Honor Harrington series. If you like science fiction with lots of action and great characters, read David Weber. As far as this book itself is concerned, the world of the treecats is beautifully and lovingly told.
elektrah More than 1 year ago
David Weber is an exceptionally well-known writer among those who read science fiction, most particularly for his military science fiction series featuring Honor Harrington. The series spans Honor’s career in the Royal Manticoran Navy from midshipman to Grand Duchess and Admiral. And wherever Honor went, she was accompanied by her treecat, Nimitz, usually riding on her specially-padded shoulder. Honor was born on Sphinx, a planet in the Star Kingdom of Manticore–a world settled by colonists from Earth. Treecats were the native sentient species on Sphinx, six-legged, telepathic, and looking something like domestic cats with very long prehensile tails. Treecats and humans sometimes formed an empathic lifelong bond. A Beautiful Friendship is the story of Stephanie Harrington, one of Honor’s ancestors, and the colonist who made first contact with the treecats. This is a coming-of-age story, showing interactions between human and treecat even as Stephanie is growing up and trying to figure out what to do with herself and her future. It’s a colonization story, set on a pioneer planet that still holds many dangers, with people exploring and learning about their new home. And it’s also a classic “first-contact” story, handling the complicated twists and turns that occur when the colonists realize that they share the planet with another sentient species–and that species was there first! Most of the story is told from Stephanie’s point of view–this is her story, make no mistake. Occasional scenes and chapters fill in gaps using some of the adults as viewpoint characters where absolutely necessary to the plot. The other main viewpoint character is Lionheart, Stephanie’s treecat, or as he is referred to by his clan, Climbs Quickly. The chapters from his point of view, explaining treecat society and motivations is a real treat. The treecats find “two-legs” very confusing. For those familiar with Carole Nelson Douglas’s Midnight Louie mysteries, these chapters are a similar read to those from Louie’s viewpoint (a Las Vegas private eye with four black paws–see the TICA Trend vol.32, no.6 for a review of Midnight Louie’s latest). While Stephanie is an exceptionally bright girl, she is also quick-to-anger, and fiercely protective of those she loves. When she is in trouble, she looks for a logical solution to the problem, and really tries to think outside the box. But sometimes there isn’t an easy or quick solution, and she ended up frustrated, but that made the book a more satisfying read as she worked her way through more complex and layered problems. I particularly enjoyed the insight into treecat society and their description of human activities–“Why should they need a nest place so large?” I also enjoyed the brief forays into the economics of colonization, and the concept of aided immigration: paying for your passage to the colony and earning the right to vote sooner versus having the government cover your passage and then paying taxes for several years before you voted in planetary elections. While clearly aimed at and marketed as a young adult book, A Beautiful Friendship is suitable for people of all ages, most especially those who have shared a special relationship with a feline at some point in their lives. A Beautiful Friendship is based on a short story of the same title, which appeared in the anthologies More Than Honor and Worlds of Weber.
ColDan52 More than 1 year ago
This is based on a series of short story's from about 2 years ago Fills in some of the blanks between stores, but I feel there is a new series coming
Anonymous 11 months ago
I couldn't put the book down.
jjmcgaffey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very good story, on several levels. It's in two parts, and I'd read the first one before in Changer of Worlds - how Stephanie and Climbs Quickly met. I think it's been modified slightly, but only by a word or two (I don't remember "uni-links", for instance, I think it was just called a communicator). Then the second half has more about Stephanie and Climbs Quickly, and draws in the two other stories set in that time - Scott and Fisher, and the Stray. We get to see what the treecats thought of those events. There's a new adventure with a new enemy, and a good bit about how and why the conspiracy to protect the treecats got set up. Good story in itself (it doesn't feel particularly YA to me, but neither do a lot of other books marketed as YA), an excellent intro to the Harrington universe for new readers, and a very rewarding look at the history of Manticore, Sphinx, and the treecats for long-time readers like me. Excellent!
SunnySD on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When Stephanie Harrington's parents moved to the Spinx the twelve year-old wasn't thrilled to have her dreams of becoming a forest ranger on Manticore dashed. Forbidden to explore the wilds of her new home, Stephanie reluctantly sets her sites on a new target - identifying the celery thief that's been plaguing planet greenhouses. Little does she know her search will bring her face to face with a new sentient species... and a new friend.So Weber's joined the cavalcade of adult authors adapting their worlds for teens. The Honorverse is certainly well-established, and having a gateway entry to the series for YAs wouldn't be a bad thing. Unfortunately, Stephanie's age (twelve) at the start of the series, (and the fact that she's a she) combined with the density and serious tone may work against him in reeling in a new audience. This may be a hard sell with teen boys, and will face some stiff competition for the teen girl market.
Bellydancer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Stephanie Harrison, 12 years old, is waning to become a ranger in the vast forests of the new planet Spinx. This poses a challenge as the newly settled planet hides a variety of new creatures, some pleasant and some would rip you apart as soon as look at you.While spying to find out what animal keeps stealing the family¿s celery she discovers it¿s a forest-dwelling tree cat that is cute, but as she is to discover, can also be deadly.A good read for those teens that are just breaking into the science fiction genre. Well written, with a good plot line, the protagonist is a strong and independent teenager. Although I did find some of the description in places a little over my `non sci-fi¿ head, I am looking forward to reading the next instalment in the `Star Kingdom¿ series.
RefPenny on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Twelve year old Stephanie has moved to the planet Sphinx with her parents and is eager to explore but her parents think it is too dangerous. Instead her mother hopes to distract her by suggesting she finds out what has been stealing the celery. This is how Stephanie discovers the treecats - a hitherto unknown species who turn out to be intelligent.This book is divided into two parts with the first part being an account of Stephanie's discovery of the tree cats. The second half take place a little later and isn't as instantly gripping as the first half.
kmartin802 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was a great science fiction story that should appeal to both boys and girls. Stephanie Harrington comes to the planet Sphinx with her parents. She is twelve. She is disappointed to leave her home planet of Meyerdahl but is eager to explore her new home. However, her parents aren't so eager for her to explore because Sphinx is largely a wilderness with at least two major predators - hexapumas and peak bears - who would find Stephanie very tasty. Climbs Quickly is a member of an intelligent native species. They have been watching the newcomers to assess their level of threat but haven't exposed their existence. His people are divided between wanting to make contact and wanting to flee deeper into the unexplored interior to get away from the strange two-legs. They are a telepathic and empathic, tool-using species. They also have a weakness for celery.When Stephanie's mother puts her on the case of the celery thefts she is hoping to distract her from her desire to explore the dangerous wilderness. But Stephanie unexpectedly discovers Climbs Quickly and somehow bonds with him. Later he rescues Stephanie from attack by a hexapuma after her glider crashes into the forest and she is badly hurt in the crash. In fact, they save each other from the hexapuma as they must fight it off until his clan arrives. In the fight, Climbs Quickly is badly hurt. Stephanie manages to contact her father - a veterinarian - who manages to save Climbs Quickly. The story is filled with wonder as these two intelligent species try to learn to communicate with each other. They also have to deal with a lot of politics. There are many who don't want to admit the existence of an intelligent species on the planet because it would ruin their plans to sell the land. There are others eager to capture these new creatures either to sell to zoos and private collectors or to dissect to see if they can learn the secrets of their telepathy. Stephanie and her parents need to gather allies to keep their new friends safe from the dangers.This was an exciting story. Stephanie is a smart and strong character. It is also fascinating to see the human invaders through the treecat's perceptions. I think students who like adventure will like this story. They will also be led to Weber's Honor Harrington series which deals with one of Stephanie's descendants and also has treecats.
readinggeek451 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An expanded version of the first meeting between treecats and humans, continuing on from the original short story.Good but not great.
The_Froo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first 129 pages of this book, almost verbatim, were originally published in 1998 under the same title as a novella. That novella was part of an anthology fleshing out the universe of David Weber's main military sci-fi series. Between that anthology and this book, Weber's written or co-written 9 novels in the universe and edited 4 more anthologies of stories/novellas by himself and other authors. What that means for this book, in my opinion, is that the first third tells a complete story in the author's style at one point in time, and the rest is different story in the author's style thirteen years and however many thousand pages later, and I don't think that works. Maybe it's because of the divergent purposes: the first story is a first contact story and almost more an exercise in world-building than anything else while the second story is intended as a "young adult adventure". Maybe it's because the additional material in between affected the 2011 story in ways it didn't affect the 1998 story.And maybe it's because David Weber seems to be addicted to writing exposition and has a writing stile that doesn't really fit a "young adult adventure". The maxim "show, don't tell" doesn't appear to have registered with him. Too often I felt that the narrator thought he was an Atlas Shrugged protagonist, what with the multi-page expositions on topics only tangentially related to that point in the interrupted story. Get that under control and I think the book would be much more successful with a young audience. At least a young audience anything like I was.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great descriptive “fight” and explanations of what trouble is ahead if things don’t go right. Good character build up too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Didn't want it to end, but enjoyed the ending. Stephanie Harrington is a delightful character as are the tree cats. The story is very different from the normal sci-fi I read. This is a book I wish had a sequel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an entertaining read. However, it isvery predictable and seems that it is aimed at younger females. Something along the lines of a moder sci-fi Nancy Drew. ( I probably just showed my age) But still quite enjoyable. BTW- as exampled by some previous people, this is supposed to be a review feature, not aflipping book report.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good as always
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite books is there a fourth
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Now where is the next in the series?
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the sci fi part of it, but i kinda felt like it was too long and winding. I am going to try the next book, fire season
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful book. Young readers, teens, adults.... great read.