Tag Archives: beam-code

Alliance of Equals – Chapter 24

The Happy Occasion

In which assistance is offered.

The Department of Answering My Questions As Soon As They’re Asked scores again.

If Tolly’s attempt to deflect Haz works as intended, I suppose she’ll go after Inki and Tocohl instead. But somehow I don’t expect it will.

It occurs to me that weird headaches were one of the items listed near the beginning of the novel as indicators of incipient Healer abilities.

Shan’s encounter with the montora juice is a nice light note amid all the foreboding.

Alliance of Equals – Chapter 3

Dutiful Passage

In which Padi has a lesson to learn.

I raise an eyebrow at Padi’s dismissal of things that serve no purpose other than looking pretty. Apart from the error she’s making of assuming that “I see no purpose to this” is the same as “There is no purpose to this”, it seems shortsighted for one who aspires to be a trader: even if a thing’s only value lies in looking pretty, it still has value that may be usefully leveraged or may cause problems if ignored. People value the things they value, for whatever reason.

(That said, being unreasonable isn’t all that unlikely for someone Padi’s age.)

I’m wondering if the Carresens Syndicate is going be part of the “alliance of equals” referred to in the title. When the family (and Pilot Janifer Carresens-DeNobli) was last mentioned, in Dragon in Exile, the delm summed them up by saying they were very like Korval. (I somehow doubt the Uncle is going to be part of it; has he ever recognised an equal?)

Dragon in Exile – Chapter 25

Boss Conrad’s House
Blair Road

In which the Juntavas make Korval an offer he can refuse.

I’m not sure I understand the motivation behind the Juntavas’ offer to bring Korval into the family. If even an ordinary alliance would be risky, why go so much further? The only thing I can think of is that someone hopes to be able to envelop and gain control of Korval, in which case it’s only polite of Val Con to have given warning. Korval doesn’t really do “enveloped and controlled”.

I’m impressed by the Juntavas’ information-gathering if they’ve learned that Aelliana is still around. Maybe it’s explained by the fact that they’ve obtained detailed information about Daav’s visit to Nev’lorn, since Daav did mention to a few people then that Aelliana was with him. Perhaps more impressive is that the High Judge seems pretty casual about it, Aelliana being still around so long after she was declared to be really most sincerely dead. Could be that this time it’s a case of not having learned everything; if he doesn’t know how definitely dead Aelliana was, he might fall back on assuming reports of her death had been exaggerated, which I expect is something a High Judge of the Juntavas would be familiar with.

Local Custom – Chapter 5

In which Er Thom yos’Galan meets Shan yos’Galan.

This chapter kicks off a major complication that lasts, one way and another, for most of the book, and illustrates a thing I’ve often observed in life as well as in fiction: that the most troublesome miscommunications often result not from something being said unclearly, but from someone assuming that the situation is so obvious to everyone that nothing need be said at all.

Balance of Trade – Chapter 35

Day 168
Standard Year 1118

Irikwae Port

In which there are several beginnings for Jethri and his family.

This is another chapter where I’d probably have a lot to say if I were reading it for the first time, but this time round it’s more the minor details catching my attention.

One really trivial detail is that when Jethri’s thinking about all the people at the Tarnia clanhouse he misses already, one of those listed is a “Mrs tel’Bonti” who is not mentioned anywhere else in the book. Presumably the person being referred to is the cook, Mrs tor’Beli, who does not otherwise appear in the list.

Seeli’s news settles it: there’s definitely something going on between her and Grig. I wonder for how long? “A couple of Standard Months” is since they began their stay on Kinaveral, but of course there’s nothing to say they haven’t been carrying on longer than that.

It’s an interesting touch that the Spacers would prefer their baby to be born in space. Seems to me that would mean they’re a long way from help if anything goes wrong, but then again a Spacer’s life consists almost entirely, one way or another, of being a long way from help if anything goes wrong.

Balance of Trade – Chapter 28

Day 145
Standard Year 1118


In which the Gobelyn family is not the market for Befores.

More types of Old Tech: “light-wands” and “duplicating units”, neither of which is ringing any particularly loud bells regarding the tech we saw in the prequel duology. Grig says the man looking for them is a fool, but it’s not clear whether he means “because he expects to find any” or “because he expects things to go well once he starts messing with one”. It could be the latter because Grig clearly knows more about Old Tech than he’s letting on. Another example of which is that he calls Jethri’s device a weather maker, which is not a thing Jethri knows about it.

(And if there’s one thing I’m really learning about from this re-read, it’s the authors’ technique of mentioning a thing in passing a chapter or two before it becomes important again.)

Is it just me, or is there something going on between Seeli and Grig?