Tag Archives: Arin Gobelyn


In which Geral Jethri believes in the Envidaria.

If someone had asked me what I expected future Liaden Universe stories to be about, I don’t think I’d have picked “what Jethri’s descendants are doing in the present day” as a possibility, but now that it’s happened it seems like an obvious question to explore.
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Dragon Ship – Chapter 18


In which Laughing Cat confers with Carresens.

There are a lot of names in this chapter familiar from the Jethri books, although a large part of that is retroactive, since the Carresens family (and the Denobli family, who were a separate group back then) only appear in Trade Secret, which was written after this.

One name that isn’t retroactively familiar – though I didn’t recognise it myself the first time I read this novel, because I’m terrible with names when I’m not taking careful notes – is that of the thinker Arin, mentioned by Pilot Denobli, who was Jethri’s father Arin Gobelyn. And as such it’s probably not entirely a coincidence that the ship Theo flew for the Uncle bears his name, since the Uncle was Arin’s … let’s say “brother”, with the understanding that the Uncle’s family tree is kind of complicated.

(And the bit about Bechimo being well-suited to enact Arin’s ideas brings us back around to the idea of Bechimo having been created in Jethri’s time, only to founder once again on the fact that the numbers simply don’t add up.)

Pilot Denobli’s hair reminds me of two things. The hair itself brings to mind the elaborate spacer hairstyles mentioned in Trade Secret, which makes sense considering that Pilot Denobli is descended from the same spacer culture. The way he’s always fiddling with it makes me wonder about Theo’s first meeting with the Uncle, when he kept fiddling with his hair.

While we’re elaborating tenuous links between the Carresens and the Uncle, I’ve noticed something about their ship named OchoBalrog. The “Balrog” half has an obvious connection to the ship of that name owned by the Denobli family in Trade Secret, but we’ve seen the name Ocho once before in an entirely different context: it was the name of one of Dulsey’s siblings, way back in Crystal Soldier.

Trade Secret – Epilogue


In which the young gentleman returns home.

And so Jethri’s story comes to an end, for now. And hasn’t he come a long way from the young fellow we met at the beginning of Balance of Trade?

I’m much happier with Balance of Trade and Trade Secret, taken as a two-part whole, than I was with Balance of Trade by itself. All the major questions raised have been given answers, and we got a suitably dramatic climax. There are still openings for further stories about Jethri, his kin, and his friends, and I’ll be happy to read them if they happen, but if this is all we get of Jethri’s story, I’ll be content.

And with the end of Trade Secret, we reach the end of Phase 1. Phase 2 begins tomorrow, with one of Captain ter’Astin’s colleagues and a reminder of why the Scouts don’t like Old Tech at large, in “Naratha’s Shadow”.

Trade Secret – Chapter 30

Gobelyn’s Market, Clawswitts

In which the Gobelyns receive news of kin.

So that’s why Jethri suddenly decided he needed to send a message to Freza.

Apart from the trade and economic factors, which I don’t feel qualified to judge, one useful effect of publishing the Envidaria that Jethri must have considered is that the Liadens will have to stop bugging his friends and family for a copy. (Whether they’ll believe, among themselves, that the published Envidaria is the real thing, is another matter – I suspect those Liadens inclined to believe in Terran trickery will consider this more of the same – but at least they’ll have to act in public as if they believe it.)

And it looks like I was wrong (again) about Ynsolt’i. I think, looking back, that I’ve been tending to get predictions wrong about this book by tending toward being too neat and tidy. Life don’t always go in for quick and tidy endings to things.

Speaking of things in life that aren’t neat and tidy, I’ve got some of my sympathy for Iza back. She’s a complicated woman, is Iza Gobelyn.

Trade Secret – Chapter 29

Arrival on Hatalan

In which Jethri Gobelyn regains his birthright.

Hah. I did wonder if they were just going to let the ex-Scout walk off with the Envidaria, but of course Captain ter’Astin had a plan.

Interesting that Jethri’s lucky fractin ended up in the deal. I wonder whose idea that was: just yos’Belin’s, to sweeten the pot? or did ter’Astin suggest it, knowing that Jethri would get to keep all, as a roundabout way of making a start at apologizing for bringing him all this trouble?

I like the bits where the Scout is describing the world they’re visiting: more of those bits of background detail that aren’t absolutely necessary but add to the richness of the story. (And then you get further on in the chapter and realise that there was, after all, a plot-relevant detail hidden in there.)

I’m not sure I grasp all the details of the extract from the Envidaria, but one thing I get is that it’s talking about shifts that cause Jump points to change, with some routes to become safer and others more dangerous, which sounds like the foundation of the explanation for why, a few centuries from now, it will be necessary to revise the official Jump tables. (And that the example of “more dangerous” is a Jump point moving hazardously close in to a star reminds me of the tale, near the end of Mouse and Dragon, of a certain pilot coming to grief through using the unrevised tables.)

Another thing I get is that he’s saying that in a particular area of space the result will be that the big Combine-backed cargo ships won’t be able to pass through, so trade there will be left to smaller ships, like the Market and Balrog. And this will continue for four or five hundred years, so it’ll still be the case in Val Con’s time and for some time after. (Say, I wonder where Bechimo rates on the scale of “small enough” to “too large”…)

And now, they’re for Ynsolt’i, which gives the idea of a nice tidy ending of the story at the place where it began. I was wrong when I predicted a geographical appropriateness for Jethri and Freza (although come to think of it, I was right that Jethri would have better luck on that visit, just not about who with); I wonder if I’ll be wrong again if I predict now that Jethri’s first return to Ynsolt’i since he left the Market will coincide with the Market‘s first return to Ynsolt’i since Jethri left.

Trade Secret – Chapter 27

Port Chavvy

In which Bar Jan chel’Gaibin gets what he traded for.

What little eloquence I normally have deserts me, and I have just one thing to say: Yes!

I like Jethri’s response when chel’Gaibin doubts that he is covered by the Code.

“All I ask is an honest advantage” has a polished sound to it, but if it’s a quote from somewhere else I’m not familiar with it.

Trade Secret – Chapter 26

Port Chavvy

In which there are many secrets.

This is another chapter that calls for the reminder that I do appreciate the emotional parts of the Liaden stories, but I’m not very good at talking about them.

Some of the things Freza tells Jethri about the intent of Arin’s Envidaria remind me again of the conversation Theo has with the Carresens of her time. (Though that doesn’t help as much as it might, because I don’t quite recall what the Carresens actually said.)

When the dateline said “Port Chavvy”, I said to myself, “That sounds familiar, has someone mentioned it earlier this book?” – and then there was Dulcimer, and Klay Patel Smith sitting by the equipment rack. So apparently I was wrong when I guessed “Out of True” was set earlier than the Jethri books, having underestimated how unfamiliar a sight Liadens are in parts of Terran space. In fact, there are several things about “Out of True” I understand better having read (this much of) Trade Secret, and I think I would recommend to a new reader that they read Trade Secret first and then “Out of True”.

Trade Secret – Chapter 25

Gobelyn’s Market, Franticle

In which Franticle True has many annoyances, both imported and home-grown.

“This Arin who is dead” is an interesting phrase. It might just be put that way through unfamiliarity with the language, but the way it’s put carries an implication that there might be other Arins of interest who are still alive.

I like the bit of interplay about not permitting a dependent to remain uninformed in a complex situation.

Trade Secret – Chapter 23


In which the Scout has located Jethri’s logbook.

Given that the Scout has made his discovery after being seen speaking to the chel’Gaibin’s pilot, I feel confident in predicting that Wynhael‘s abrupt departure has some connection with the business which now brings on the departure of Jethri and the Scout. That thought doesn’t seem to have occurred to Jethri yet, though it has doubtless occurred to the Scout.

I’ve been wondering since Master Trader pin’Aker asked to speak to Tan Sim whether that was going to result in him offering to buy out Tan Sim’s contract. I’m currently entertaining a vision of Jethri and Samay getting hooked up in a contract marriage, simultaneously as a genuine strenghthening of bonds between Ixin and Midys and as an excuse for Samay’s uncle to give Tan Sim to Jethri as a wedding present. That’s just for my own amusement, though; it’s a bit too tidy to be plausible as an actual resolution.

Trade Secret – Chapter 22

Tradedesk, Framinham Cafe

In which Jethri is properly introduced to his Uncle.

So, Jethri is not an exact duplicate of Arin; his genes have been tweaked somewhat, with the purpose of giving him his knack for salvage lots. Just as Arin is not an exact duplicate of Yuri, his genes having been tweaked to produce some other result Yuri was unable to reach on his own. And Uncle Yuri… brings us back to the question of whether he is the Uncle, or perhaps that Uncle’s younger brother, through however many generations of being tweaked somewhat. He doesn’t seem like the same person, quite, but then again who would after living through a thousand years and seeing the universe change dramatically around them?

Uncle Yuri seems more agreeable to Jethri continuing on his own path than he did back when he was talking to Grig. Perhaps it’s just that he’s had time to think it over, and an opportunity to see what Jethri has made of himself. I kind of get the feeling, too, that Dulsey is a positive influence.

And… Scout ter’Astin was not in evidence, having apparently found something to occupy him elsewhere. Pleasantly, one hopes.