In which Padi and Shan commune with inanimate objects.
This is a surprisingly long chapter and I’m up against a deadline, so I’m going to do it in two parts.
Lina’s little talk to Padi about remembering that she has options and that it’s important not to fall into the trap of using the same tool for everything reminds me of Padi back at the start of Alliance of Equals, when she was having a related problem in the area of self-defence, having learned one tool that was useful for a particular situation and not seeing the need of adapting her approach in other situations. I don’t know if that was deliberate by the authors or if we’re meant to take anything from it; I might be reading too much in.
Standard Year 1374, the year inscribed on the journal containing Er Thom’s entry regretting that he can’t ask Daav’s advice about the troubles facing the clan, is also the year of “Heirloom”, the story in which Shan’s sister Nova comes into her power; if that’s one of the difficulties he’s writing about, that’s one reason why that entry might have suggested itself to Shan’s attention.
(That is to say, according to the old Partial Liaden Universe Timeline “Heirloom” is set in SY 1374. But the Timeline also says that Aelliana died in SY 1365, nine years before SY 1374, and the journal entry is said to have been written only six years after Aelliana’s death — so either the year on the journal doesn’t apply to all its contents or another of the dates in the old Timeline has been superseded.)
Shan’s researches into the changing local conditions turn up the names of Rostov’s Dust Cloud and cha’Goolin’s Star. This is the second time we’ve encountered Rostov’s Dust Cloud under that name, and of course it’s been mentioned several other times simply as “the Dust”. If cha’Goolin’s Star has come up before, I haven’t made a note of it.