Flight in Yiktor by Andre Norton
Flight In YiktorFarree is a misshapen hunchback almost human who has been kicked around the underside of the Limits. He goes by the name of Dung because he has been convinced he is no better than that. His only friend is a smux, a small poisonous warrior beast being forced to fight in the pits by its owner.
At the beginning of the book Farree and the smux are found and rescued by Lady Maelen and Lord One Krip. Farree keeps expecting them to continue the abuse he has known all of his remembered young life. Instead, they clean him up, feed him, and treat both him and the smux well. He begins to trust them and to repay that trust through his ability to mindspeak with them and animals.
This unlikely group are trying to get off planet. But the Thieve’s Guild, the most powerful and ruthless group in the galaxy, is after them. The Thieve’s Guild are sure Maelen and Krip have the secrets to a hidden treasure of ancient weapons.
I read this book many years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. I had my science fiction reading daughter read it, and she was enchanted as well. Recently I stumbled across it again and re-read it. I had forgotten so much about the story that is was all fresh to me again. And I enjoyed it again.