Re-Read: August 2013 - with every iteration I gain an even deeper appreciation for the Liaden Universe. I loved this book. Love the characters; Jela, Jela's tree, Cantra, Rool and his lady. AwesomeReview updated: Feb. 23/124.5/5; 5 stars; I enjoyed the adventuring and excitement of this tale. Having read Liaden Universe books set in the future, I found it helpful to read this book and learn some of the history of the great wars in the universe, the 'designed' humans, DNA manipulation, psychic powers, military plots, evil megalomaniacs. Great fun. At the end of this book, M. Jela and Cantra have become firm friends and shipmates. They have rescued the sentient tree from a dead planet and discovered that there are many others fighting to, if not defeat, at least, escape, the evil sheriekas.Original review: Nov 2009;The Crystal Soldier/Crystal Dragon duology is an excellent set. There was a surprising amount of humour in this story. I came to really appreciate the Tree and the history of the Liaden universe.