Faded Sun Trilogy; CJ Cherryh
A bit of science fiction now. I absolutely love this book. It has dated a little but I think there is a real power in the way Cherryh portrays the immersion of a human into another alien culture, and the upheaval of that culture as it comes to terms with itself in the midst of a vast conflict and defeat.
Cherryh is aclever and intelligent writer, with her real strength being the bringing to life of another culture/mindset.
This book has always left me with a vague feeling of melancholy and wonder, which is a strange combination to have.