Tag Archives: Bal Dyn ter’Meulen

Delm Guayar, brother of [[Ilthiria yo’Lanna]], father of [[Clonak ter’Meulen]]

From Every Storm a Rainbow

In which Sinit safeguards the clan’s treasures.

I’m always pleased to have another opportunity to spend time with Sinit, who’s one of my favourite characters in the series.

It’s also (speaking now as the presumptuous author of a suggested chronological reading order) something of a relief after the last few stories to have one that says up-front exactly where it fits chronologically.
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Due Diligence – Chapter 4

In which Fer Gun pen’Uldra gets married.

And so here is the context for the things that had puzzled me about Chi’s behaviour.
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Due Diligence – Chapter 2

In which Petrella yos’Galan is diligent.

I had some things I was going to say about how I still didn’t understand why Chi is going to these lengths, but they’ve been rendered moot by the helpful person in the previous post’s comments who wished to spare me the trouble of waiting for the story to explain itself. So.

I like the discussion of the difference between offending nobody and offending everybody.

The thing Petrella thinks she remembers about Line pen’Uldra, which has not yet been revealed, is I suspect likely to be connected somehow with the fact of Fer Gun being the last of the Line.

I Dare – Chapter 49

Day 54
Standard Year 1393


In which Anthora is boxed in.

Well, that’s one way to prevent Nova sorting things out by going in front of the Council and accusing the Department: send someone in front of the Council to accuse Korval of everything the Department has done.

Interesting that it’s Aragon who’s been maneuvred into making the accusation. Aragon has been mentioned several times as an old and respected High House, so an accusation from Aragon will be taken seriously; it’s a significant step up from the last time we saw somebody make an accusation in Council at the Department’s instigation, when it was an ambitious clan hovering around the border between the high and mid levels. Also interesting because the most recent of the Agents of Change that have been named to us, earlier in this book, was a chel’Mara, and chel’Mara looks to Aragon — so it might even be her specifically that Aragon is about to ask about when he’s interrupted.

Because of course there’s an interruption: having Korval called before the Council to answer an accusation might be an effective way to force Anthora out of Jelaza Kazone, but letting things run on long enough for her to actually answer would be risky. I presume the interruption was part of the plan, for that reason and because it provided the excuse to hustle Anthora into the room where the trap lay ready, but I wonder how the Department managed it. Did they know their targets so well as to be able to predict that attacking dea’Gauss at a particular time would result in a Master Accountant interrupting the Council hearing? Worrying thought, that.

Having done this re-read, paying more attention to names than I usually do, I recognize everyone in the list of Korval’s allies and friends. Justus is the clan of Ken Rik, Guayar is the clan of Clonak, Ixin is the clan of Jethri and of Aelliana’s prize student Rema, Reptor is the clan of Aelliana’s space pirates, and Mizel is the clan that produced Aelliana herself. (The fact that it’s counted now among Korval’s friends is a pretty clear sign that Aelliana’s mother is no longer delm.)

The date issue is compounding itself: if the chapter heading was wrong about it being Day 53 when Anthora was told to present herself to the Council the next day, this chapter must also be wrong about it being Day 54 when she presents herself to the Council. But I still think that’s more straightforward than the alternative.


In which Pat Rin receives some advice, a history lesson, and a treasure.

With this story, we return to Liad, and Korval, about a decade after we last saw them. Nova yos’Galan is now twelve, and Pat Rin yos’Phelium, whom we last saw as a child on the day of her birth, is now a young man, and considering how he might make his way in society.

Reading these in chronological order does mean that the last time we saw Pat Rin was the day of Nova’s birth, which was also the day he demonstrated to his aunt an uncanny facility with dice — which makes it seem odd that in this story we’re told he’s been tested by the Healers and found to have no psychic talents of note. Perhaps in the intervening years the facility has faded away, or been redirected in another direction, or gone into hiding. While we’re on the subject, though, I did say I’d be watching whether he had much to do with dice when he took up his career as a gamester, which he does in this story, so I’ll note that his game of choice appears to be the card game piket, and no mention of dice at all.

Another trivial note, one of those connections the discovery of which are among my motivations for this project: Pat Rin’s new landlord is a textile merchant named bin’Flora, presumably a descendant of that bin’Flora to whom Jethri made his first sale way back in Balance of Trade.

I’m not sure what to make of Pat Rin’s dream at the beginning. It’s possible that it is, despite everything said against it, a prophetic dream foretelling Nova’s danger later in the story, but I don’t find that a compelling interpretation. I’m more inclined to think, given Pat Rin’s history, that if the endangered child in the dream had a face it would be Pat Rin’s own.

Tomorrow: “Intelligent Design”

Mouse and Dragon – Chapter 31

In which some people have a better time than others at Lady Kareen’s gather.

Kareen’s attempt to show Aelliana up in polite company falls completely flat, partly due to Lady yo’Lanna having taken her under her wing, but also in large part to Aelliana’s own actions preceding her; even people she’s never met know and respect her. And when Kareen abandons that course of action and hurries on to the sequel of introducing her to Daav’s former wife-to-be, that if anything falls even flatter. (And it strikes me that Kareen might have been able to foresee much of this outcome if she’d made an honest attempt to get to know Aelliana, or even just to learn about Aelliana, instead of writing her off as an obstacle. But then, of course, she wouldn’t have wanted to try to show Aelliana up in the first place.)

If I recall correctly, we will eventually see Scholar yo’Vestra again in “Daughter of Dragons”, the short story that gives Lady Kareen her day in the limelight. My memory is not entirely certain on this point, but I do recall that the story includes a scholar who is Lady Kareen’s colleague and close friend, and at the risk of doing her a disservice I have to observe that the number of Lady Kareen’s close friends doesn’t seem to be large.

I like Delm Guayar, both as a person and as an example of the authors’ craft; even on a short acquaintance, the family resemblance to Clonak is unmistakeable.

The narrator says of Samiv tel’Izak that she is “young enough to perhaps be Bindan’s daughter”, which reminds me that I don’t think we’ve ever been told what their actual relationship is. In contrast to Daav, who relates to his clan members as their kinsman first and their delm only when necessary, we’ve never seen Gath tel’Izak be anybody else to Samiv except her delm.

Mouse and Dragon – Chapter 26

In which Aelliana attends her first gather, and sweeps all before her.

The guest list at yo’Lanna’s gather has a nice sense of history, being a mix of new people, people who were at Korval’s gather in chapter 26 of Scout’s Progress, and people who were at Etgora’s gather in “Choice of Weapons”. In the last category is Etgora Himself, the father of the young man whose enthusiasm Daav was obliged to dampen. (There’s also a reference to that event when Daav and the hostess are exchanging greetings.)

Less charmingly, there are also echoes of the other story set around that time: “The Beggar King”, in which pilots were mysteriously going missing, and Daav was not able to find those responsible, only oblige them to suspend their activities for a time. That time, it appears, has now passed, and pilots are going missing again.

The bond between Daav and Aelliana is developing, however slowly; Daav now possesses the ability to know without looking when Aelliana enters the room, the inverse of which Aelliana has had since the beginning of the novel.

Mouse and Dragon – Chapter 7

In which Daav and Aelliana take a scenic route out of Solcintra.

Another incident underlining the idea of Mizel’s house as a foreign and dangerous port is Solcintra Port Control welcoming Aelliana home. It makes sense as a greeting, considering that it’s the port she flies out of, and I don’t expect they’re aware that she’s just come from the place that ought to have been home to her, but I reckon she’ll have noticed the irony of it.

Jon’s twitch at the news of Aelliana accepting Korval’s protection is interesting. I suspect it’s because it’s not the offer he’d been expecting Daav to make and Aelliana to accept, after the way they were the last time he saw them together.

Mouse and Dragon – Chapter 1

In which dead women do not need new clothes.

And the sequel starts, straight out of the gate, by picking holes in the happy ending of the previous book. Which is unexpected, perhaps, only in how quickly it gets down to it, since if there were no holes in the happy ending it would not be necessary to have a sequel.

(I do wonder whether the authors were aware all along of the issues Daav and Er Thom lay out here, and glossed over them for the sake of a tidy ending, or if they only realised them after further thought, during the time between publishing Scout’s Progress and beginning to write Mouse and Dragon. I do not mean this as a slight, to suggest that it may have taken them a while to realise what Daav realises almost immediately; after all, they are authors, not Delms, and have not spent thirty years learning to think like a Delm the way Daav has.)

Scout’s Progress – Chapter 38

In which Daav’s future is decided.

And now the Tree approves of Daav’s choice of Aelliana — because, as I see it, now Daav has made the choice, where before he was only thinking sadly of a choice he might have made.

(And why does the Tree care? Is it, as Daav accuses, only interested in breeding stock, or did it want Daav to choose the woman with whom he’d be happy? I don’t suppose we’ll ever know. Either way, Daav is certainly right about one thing: the Tree’s method of expressing its disapproval wasn’t fair on Pilot tel’Izak.)

Reminder: Although there is one chapter of Scout’s Progress remaining, it is repeated in its entirety near the beginning of Mouse and Dragon. With that in mind, tomorrow we go straight to Mouse and Dragon chapter 1.