Trader’s Leap – Chapter 5


In which Tekelia vesterGranz has a lot of questions.

A few chapters ago, when I noted the Warden’s description of the Haosa as Civilization’s line of defence, I forgot to add that I suspected the Haosa would describe the relationship somewhat differently.

I’d assumed when it was first mentioned that the attack of the Reavers was something that had happened a while ago, but now it appears it was very recent. With the extra description of what they were after and what happened to them, my new theory is that they were a raiding party from the Department seeking to pick up some new useful tools — and specifically a raiding party composed of people attached to Tarona Rusk, who fell apart when Shan severed those attachments. If this theory is correct, that gives Tarona Rusk a reason to be involved in the plot here instead of disappearing off to do her own thing.

Tekelia’s list of the small talents targeted by the Reavers is almost exactly the same as the list given in Accepting the Lance when Healer vin’Athen is telling Rys and Claidyne about Tarona Rusk, of the small talents she had attached to herself who were killed by the backlash, so that’s another point in this theory’s favour. Looking back at my entry for that chapter, I see that that’s one of the places where I was complaining about important developments in Accepting the Lance happening off-screen and without any of the main characters being involved. It looks now as if that was because that scene was calling back to the storyline that we’re only now getting to see.

(If these scenes had appeared as part of the main story, as originally intended, all this talk about the hero getting an honourable death would be foreshadowing for what happens to Ren Zel in Neogenesis. It remains to be seen if they’re foreshadowing something else in this story as well.)

Tekelia’s list of small talents also echoes the list given in Crystal Dragon when the gambler and her colleagues came to join the Great Migration: “healers, true-dreamers, seers, finders, hunch-makers, green-thumbs”. Considering the situation of Tekelia’s people, I’ve been remembering another thing the gambler says in that scene: “the Solcintrans will renounce us, for we embody that which they most fear.”

It hasn’t been said specifically what a Child of Chaos is, nor in what way Tekelia was found wanting by her family of birth, but what it looks like to me is that, having all been thrown out of Liaden society because they were on the wrong side of an arbitrary line defining them as too strange and dangerous, the people who call themselves Civilization have created an arbitrary line of their own to throw people out over.

9 thoughts on “Trader’s Leap – Chapter 5

  1. Skip

    Good recall on the small talents who boarded ship in Crystal Dragon. They promised loyalty to Korval for allowing them safe passage, I seem to recall.

    Yes to every point you make except I personally doubt that Tarona Rusk will go to the Redlands — at least not to get more human batteries. Maybe that’s not what you meant to imply?

    I’d bet poor Padi would be classified a child of chaos if she were born in the Redlands.

  2. Paul A. Post author

    “Grant us passage, and you may call upon us for any service, so long as Jela’s tree survives to bind us.”

    I agree that she’s done with collecting human batteries, but she might come to learn more about what happened to the collectors after they don’t report back to base.

    I think you’re right about Padi.

  3. Skip

    You wrote: Tekelia was found wanting by her family of birth. Feminine pronoun.

    Hmmm… I couldn’t quite tell from the book if Tekelia is male or female.

  4. Paul A. Post author

    Huh. Looking again, you’re right — the chapter doesn’t actually say, and carefully avoids using any gendered pronouns. (For any of the Haosa in the chapter, but apart from Tekelia they’re only in a sentence or two so it might just have not come up; Tekelia’s in far too many sentences for it to be other than deliberate.)

    I’d somehow got it into my head that Tekelia is female — possibly because Geritsi is, or because Asta is, or just because “Tekelia” sounds like a feminine name to me — and I didn’t give it a second thought.

  5. Skip

    I got it into my head that she was female, too. And she might be female. I just don’t know! I recently finished the book, but it wasn’t until then that I began to suspect, and to realize that any relevant pronouns are missing.

  6. Skip

    This bowing from the waist could imply masculine gender, but who can say of distant cultures?

    Quote from this chapter:

    Ah; a second chance to be courteous. Tekelia inclined from the waist. “Good-day, Bentamin. Why are you here?”

  7. Ed8r

    Sorry, everybody. I got distracted and overwhelmed by work priorities.

    Anyway, just thought I’d add my impression here. I was already seeing Tekelia as male and I continued to do so throughout. Looking back, I’m not sure why.

  8. Paul A. Post author

    No need to apologise, Ed8r. Your contributions are always welcome, but I wouldn’t want it to feel like an obligation. Happy new year.

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