Chanur's Homecoming by C.J. Cherryh
A FIRST CONTACT UNLIKE ANY OTHER
When those strange entities called "humans" sent their first exploration ship into Compact space, the delicate power balances of the seven races of the Compact were catastrophically disrupted. And by giving shelter to Tully, the only human survivor of his mission, Pyanfar Chanur, captain of the merchant vessel The Pride of Chanur, jeopardized the safety of her ship and her crew , placing them at the center of a political maelstrom--inadvertent key players in a power game which could cause an interspecies war or, conversely, enfold humanity, a previously unknown sentient species, into the protective arms of the Compact.
Now, with a new fleet of human ships approaching Compact space, Meetpoint and other Compact stations nearly destroyed by rival factions, the hani unwillingly "allied" with the devious and untrustworthy kif, and forced to doubt their longtime comrades, the mahendo 'sat, Pyanfar and her crew face the ultimate threat to their species. For the hani home planet lies in the path of an impending space battle which may wipe the very memory of their world from the galactic maps. Will Pyanfar be able to avert disaster for her homeworld and win herself the ultimate reward--a treasure beyond measuring--an exclusive trade contract with Earth?
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