Degrees of Separation – Chapter 3


In which Don Eyr fails to persuade Serana to leave him.

I was actually kind of surprised by how useful Don Eyr and Serana found the melant’i plays as a guide to Liaden behaviour; people who have tried that in other stories have had mixed success due to their source texts being unrealistic, melodramtic, or outright fraudulent.

That said, I wonder about that phrase Don Eyr borrowed from the plays to describe Serana, which piqued Mr dea’Bon’s interest. I have a feeling it might be somewhere in the emotional range of the time Priscilla declared herself all joy to see Shan. (Or, perhaps, the time Anne asked Er Thom to ensure she avoided any social blunders, not knowing the connotation of placing her melant’i in his hands.)

Again, the prequel nature of the story means that we end the chapter knowing already the unpleasant surprise Don Eyr is about to face.

3 thoughts on “Degrees of Separation – Chapter 3

  1. Othin

    Studying melant’i plays seems to be part of a Liaden’s education. In Friend of a Friend Quin quotes form a play and tells Villy that he had to study classic melant’i plays and write papers on them.

    Therefore I’m not surprised that Don Eyr and Serana find watching melant’i plays a useful guide for behavior. – Don Eyr of course would have had to remember enough of his childhood schooling before he left Liad – to be able to choose useful plays. And of course he had to remember enough of his mother tongue. But than his Tutor build study modules so Don Eyr could comport himself as a Liaden gentleman upholding the melant’i of Clan Serat.

  2. Paul A. Post author

    Yes, on reflection Don Eyr is Liaden enough, despite having spent years away, that he would be able to tell what was useful and what was base fiction, especially with his study of the Code. The people I was comparing him to were complete outsiders, like Anne and Admiral Bunter, who had nothing but the fiction to go on. Still, that was my first reaction, because the mentions of melant’i plays I have found memorable have been the times they have misled.

  3. Ed8r

    Even this time through, I had the same reaction as Paul—worry, or at least concern—that the study of Liaden behavior in the plays would lead them astray. Perhaps, the authors deliberately chose to provide at least one example of melant’i plays being a helpful source.

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