In which the bakery goes forward.
I had forgotten that we already knew of a character called “Our Lady of Benevolence” until I was re-reading the earlier bakery stories in preparation for this new one. (Well, actually, the authors’ foreword gave it away, but if not for that it would have been re-reading “Fortune’s Favors” that did it.)
I was also reminded, while re-reading “Fortune’s Favors”, that the Lady had given Mar Tyn a token of her protection, which he had been sure was meant by his Luck for the protection of the bakery. It never did get used in “Fortune’s Favors”, that token, and I thought perhaps that this would be the story of what happened to it; apparently not. Although perhaps Mar Tyn was onto something about his Luck’s intentions, if not as directly or literally as he thought. (And on the other hand perhaps he had it exactly backward; it could be said, with at least equal truth, that in the event it’s the bakery that protects the Lady.)
Aazali is now fifteen Standard Years old, which might give us some idea of how long ago “Degrees of Separation” and “Fortune’s Favors” take place, if only we had a clear idea of how old she was when Mar Tyn first met her.
Dyoli mentions an aunt in Trader’s Leap, about whom we learn several interesting things; but among those there is no mention of whether she has any interest in gardening, so it’s not clear if that’s the same aunt as the one who provided the flowers.
On the second time through, taking notes, it struck me that the care Lady voz’Lathi takes to establish the whereabouts of all the spare keys is in a sense wasted. She asks who are all the people who have keys, and is told about all the people who have keys to the kitchen door so they can help with the baking, and is content; it has not yet occurred to her that there might be other people with keys to other doors for other reasons.
There have been a number of characters in past Liaden stories where the authors have refrained from specifying a character’s pronouns. Danel the gardener is something different: they have pronouns, and those pronouns are “they” and “them”.
Aazali describes the House of Fortune as the best of the three Houses of Luck. In “Fortune’s Favor”, it was only the second best, but the best that Mar Tyn had any chance of getting into. It’s possible that Aazali didn’t grasp that distinction, young as she was when she knew Mar Tyn. It’s also possible that the situation has shifted in the years since, although I don’t know if it’s likely that Aazali would have heard about any such shift when she was up-port in a Hall that shunned anything to do with the Lucks.
That was an unexpected and interesting detail about Lady voz’Lathi’s past as a Juntavas team leader. (If I’m counting correctly, if she’d stuck it out one Boss longer she’d have ended up working with Clarence O’Berin, and who knows how things might have been different then.)