In the Hall of the Mountain King
In which Korval prepares to receive guests.
We have not previously encountered Finifter’s Shave, the ship that brought Toragin and Chelada to Surebleak, but the planet Finifter has been mentioned a couple of times. It’s one of the stops on Tan Sim’s trade route in Trade Secret, and one of the planets discussed in Culture Club in Saltation.
I laughed at the bit where Val Con pretends to apologise for his annoyance while actually pointing out that he’s got a reasonable basis for being annoyed. And Jeeves’s response, pretending to take the apology at face value.
On the other hand, I think Pat Rin’s annoyance is misplaced: it may have the clan’s necessity that led him to suborn a planet, but the choice of planet was entirely his own, as was the idea of settling on it long term.
The reflection on the feelings accompanying the conclusion of a large project is interesting. I wonder if it’s drawn from life; after all, the settling of Korval’s long-running conflicts was also the conclusion of a large project for the authors, if not one so long-running for them as for the Tree.