In which Padi discusses her day with a friend.
If the authors do more stories in the Redlands, they have some places they can start.
We didn’t end up hearing any more about the beset xinRoods or the scheming kezlBlythe, who I did briefly think might turn out to have more to do with the plot — and, unless I missed it, we didn’t learn anything more about any of the stuff that happened in the prologue. We can assume, in the absence of contradictory information, that the disturbances there were connected to the Reavers (which would mean, incidentally, that the superior voice in the prologue probably was Tarona Rusk after all), but it would have been nice for that to have been tied together a bit more clearly. And I was genuinely surprised, after all the detail we got on Nersing carnYllum and his problems, that neither he nor they appeared again.
Looking back, I’ve had the same problem with those two chapters in particular — although, it should be said, to a much lesser extent — that I did with Balance of Trade the first time I read it: namely that the authors put in stuff that was probably just meant to help fill out the world the characters were living in, but which looked Plot Shaped to me, so I felt a bit unfulfilled when it didn’t end up being part of the actual plot.
Padi’s story has places to go, too. Apart from the progress of her career, she’s had significant developments in her personal life recently, going from having almost no friends outside her kin group to having two good friends with whom she has a close rapport — but who are each involved in a different aspect of her life, which might lead to conflict of one kind or another down the line.
I hadn’t caught the similarity between “Isfelm” and “yos’Phelium”. On the one hand, there’s an irony that a branch of yos’Phelium has found itself doing yos’Galan’s job — but on the other hand, given that trading within the Dust involves travelling in inherently risky circumstances, it would probably have taken a yos’Phelium to decide it was a good idea.