Wow! I am blown away! Excellent book! Susan Krinard has created a vivid and compelling futuristic world with fascinating and belivably complex societies. Each planet -- even the ones that belong to the same unifiying government -- has its own unique personality, flavor, and society. They all feel organic and real, as well as being original and unique. The alien culture of the Shaauri is fascinating too, as well as feeling convincingly alien. Krinard does not fall prey to the same trap many science fiction writers find themselves in -- the Shaauri are original and new and truly alien; they aren't simply a human culture reworked with new names. Really amazing world-building here.
The characters too were complex individuals, with a psychological complexity and depth that made them all a joy to read about. These were real, three-dimensional people, in all their contradictory human (or alien, as the case may be) glory.
The plot was also fabulous, a complicated blend of action, intrigue, and politics that kept me turning the pages furiously! Kinsman's Oath was complex, thought-provoking, and deep, dealing with issues of self-identity and the way one's sense of self is influenced by one's culture, one's memory, and one's family -- and the way all of these things can be manipulated when you live in a world peopled with telepaths.
All in all, this was a marvelous book! A great read! I'm going to look for Krinard's other novels; she has just gained a new fan!