Trade Secret – Chapter 1

Clan Ixin’s Tradeship Elthoria, in Jump

In which Jethri reflects on birthrights.

The prologue having hopefully hooked the reader with the promise of mayhem to come, this is a quieter chapter, largely given over to recapping the state of play for anybody who doesn’t happen to have just this week finished reading Balance of Trade.

Things have progressed somewhat since the end of the previous novel: Norn ven’Deelin has agreed to support Jethri in getting Tan Sim out of his difficulty, but there are still details to be worked out. If it were easy, anybody could do it.

We also get another new detail added to what we already knew: apparently Jethri’s space hair, before he became a Liaden fosterling and had to grow it out, wasn’t just trimmed short as a utilitarian thing, but sculpted in a distinctive pattern.

5 thoughts on “Trade Secret – Chapter 1

  1. Ed8r

    Makes sense I guess that even with a buzz cut, people would find ways to individualize the way they wear their hair!

  2. Ed8r

    Jethri thinks about the distant Clan Ixin clanhouse he’d yet to enter. Does this mean that all “clanhouses” were only on Liad? Because that’s where Quick Passage brought them all? Or are there other clans who established their clanhouses on other planets?

  3. Paul A. Post author

    We know that not all clans have their clanhouses on Liad – for instance, there’s Tarnia’s clanhouse on Irikwae, where Jethri spent time in the previous book, and I can also think of Erob’s clanhouse on Lytaxin and Obrelt’s clanhouse on Casia.

    But the impression I get is that all the most important clans have their clanhouses on Liad itself, or conversely that any clan who is established on another planet is considered less important.

  4. Othin

    Since Jethri’s visit to Verstal quite some time has passed. Jethri now wears his ring with 4 topaz insets. So he had done business on at least 3 more trade worlds.

    On the other hand Jethri is still trying to break himself of some terran habits and his hair is still growing – which might tell us something about the current hairstyle. Also the preference of using one side more than the other seems to be not as much pronounced within Liaden culture as it is among Terrans.

    Jethri is also thinking a lot about his Terran past, his ship and family. This not only tells us about what happened in Balance of Trade but also shows us his feelings and how much he still misses parts of his former life. I really love the author’s way of reminding us readers of the previous happenings. They have so much better ways of briefing the readers, than the boring “summaries” that so many other authors come up with.

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