Tag Archives: Chonselta

Due Diligence – Chapter 8

In which Chi yos’Phelium’s son is born.

Good morning, Daav. Welcome to the world. It’s going to have its ups and its downs, but that’s life for you, I’m afraid.
Continue reading

Due Diligence – Chapter 5

In which Fer Gun begins to be introduced to people.

Fer Gun is still accepting things without thinking them through. But at least he remembered to scan it first, so that’s something.

I like the recurring thread of Fer Gun being bemused by houses that have names, “like ships”. It’s easy, after having spent so much time reading about people living in such houses, to forget what a strange idea it is to people who haven’t.

I find that I share Chi’s hope that she will have an opportunity to speak to the cousins.

Dragon in Exile – Chapter 33

Jelaza Kazone
Surebleak

In which the Tree reaches out to a visitor, and Quin decides to go for a walk.

kin’Joyt professes to be offended that Korval is (supposedly) charging money for viewing the house, instead of having a free open day like properly civilised people, but it doesn’t seem to have occurred to her to protest by, say, refusing to buy a ticket. Then again, I get the impression kin’Joyt is willing to embrace an opportunity to be offended by Korval’s behaviour.

The mode of captain-to-passenger is an interesting choice; technically, that’s no longer an option that lies within Korval’s melant’i, since the Contract that made Korval the Liadens’ captain was concluded. It efficiently announces the delm’s identity, though; everybody still remembers, and if it’s no longer within Korval’s melant’i, there is yet nobody else who can lay claim to it.

“Lefty” pen’Erit’s new name follows the existing Surebleak pattern of This Is What Your Name Sounds Like To Me, though I had to go and look his personal name up to be sure because it’s been mentioned less often than the other examples we’ve seen.

Dragon in Exile – Interlude 10

Vivulonj Prosperu
In Transit

In which Aelliana eats a sandwich.

Mint has been established as the characteristic scent/flavour of the Tree’s seed pods, so Aelliana waking up with it on her tongue suggests that the Uncle was able to get her to accept hers.

That’s an intriguing hint about Arin having taken his own path. Does that mean he’s still out there somewhere, following his own path? Or did his own path take him somewhere that meant he could no longer share the Uncle’s kind of immortality? (And why is it his name that occurs to Aelliana?)

Also intriguing is the Uncle’s choice of meal to offer as her first in this new existence: tea and shaped sandwiches is the first meal she had as she began her new life with Daav. It might just be a coincidence, or shaped sandwiches might be a common enough thing on Liad (or perhaps specifically in Healer’s Halls) that he thought would be soothingly familiar, but there’s also that slight chance that it’s a sign he knows details of her life he probably shouldn’t have had access to.

It occurred to me, reading this chapter, to ask: Are Daav and Aelliana still lifemates? In the general sense, obviously, yes, but what about the spooky inside-each-other’s-heads sense? Daav’s inability to sense her presence, and hers now to sense his, might just have been because each was woken while the other was in a coma, but it may be that the bond has been broken because Aelliana is in a fresh new body, and will have to be rebuilt. Under other circumstances there might be a question of whether it can be rebuilt, with Aelliana in a new body that might not have whatever predisposition her original one possessed, but I expect that’s one of the things the seed pods are for.

Dragon Ship – Chapter 26

Bechimo

In which Theo introduces Kara to her ship and crew.

I’ve been passing up several opportunities to comment on earlier, more subtle hints, but it’s pretty obvious now that there’s something going on between Theo and Kara. Good for them, though it’s not entirely consistent with the way their friendship was depicted in Saltation.

Perfection, the ship Asu is serving on, is now revealed to have the full name Asu Perfection. Or is “revealed” the wrong word? The obvious assumption is that its crew habitually shorten the name, in the manner of Shan and the crew of the Passage, but another possibility is that the ship was actually renamed to recognise a member of the Diamon family taking charge.

Code of Honor

In which Tommy Lee goes home.

It can be tricky placing a story in chronological order without reading it first, as we’ve seen already in this project, but I think I did all right with this one. It’s definitely set somewhere during Ghost Ship; a bit further on than where I’ve put it, I suspect, but we were already stopping here to read two other short stories, so doing “Code of Honor” as well means that after this we can finish off Ghost Ship without any further interruptions.

Putting it next to “Kin Ties” also produces a nice bit of synchronicity, since this story, too, turns out to be concerned with the question of bad delms and where duty lies for those burdened with them.

I have my doubts that it’s within any clan’s reach to take Korval’s proverbially unique place aside-but-not-among the Fifty High Houses; surely the fact that Korval is in a class by itself is the very point of the proverb. (For that matter, I would think that no clan would want that place, if they’d really thought about what it meant to be aside but not among the High Houses.) But I suppose that when ambition talks there’s always somebody willing to listen.

I appreciate the detail that Tommy needs his aunt to point out a flaw in his plans for his future. He’s clever enough to think his way out of a very difficult situation, but he doesn’t think of everything.


Tomorrow: We resume Ghost Ship at Chapter 24.

I Dare – Chapter 55

Solcintra
Liad

In which the Captain acts for the safety of the passengers.

The mode of Ultimate Authority, which is referred to twice in this chapter, has, perhaps unsurprisingly, not come up much before: three times in the series up to this point. Priscilla adopts it briefly when putting Sav Rid Olanek in his place at the end of Conflict of Honors; Commander of Agents is said in Carpe Diem to use it when dealing with his underlings; and Val Con, greeting the Tree in Plan B, places the Tree in the position of ultimate authority.

The fact that it’s used twice in this chapter, and by whom, is the central conflict in a nutshell: the first is Commander of Agents again, and the second is Miri when she takes on the melant’i of Liad’s Captain. And I think it says something that, whereas Miri adopts the mode temporarily and in a situation where she is in fact the duly-appointed ultimate authority until the emergency is resolved, the Commander is not only self-appointed but apparently expects to be regarded as the ultimate authority all the time.

There’s a leap near the end of the chapter that I’ve never been able to follow. After the doomsday weapons are activated, ter’Fendil says he can deactivate them if Val Con gives him the control device, and Val Con does. Then it cuts to another scene, and when it cuts back everybody’s running for their lives and talking about the urgent need to do something before the weapons break out and start killing everybody. Is there something missing, or is it just me missing something?

I Dare – Chapter 31

Day 51
Standard Year 1393

Lytaxin
Erob’s Clanhouse

In which the Ring passes.

That makes two people in a short space of time who have spoken to Val Con of Korval’s responsibilities under the Contract, which is a subject that doesn’t often come up in conversation outside of Korval. It might be that, as close allies, they know something most don’t, but I think it’s less that the Contract is some kind of secret as that most people who don’t know Korval well don’t take the idea seriously. (And at that, I’m not entirely sure Emrith Tiazan wasn’t being sarcastic. We might infer that she believes in Korval’s belief in the Contract but doesn’t entirely believe in the Contract herself.)

The exchange when Korval-pernard’i removes the ring from her finger and Delm Korval places the ring on his own finger reminds me of something that I didn’t remark on when it happened: Pat Rin put the false ring the Department gave him on the second finger of his left hand, Korval-in-Trust’s finger, not the third finger, the delm’s finger. The Department was expecting that Pat Rin would happily be delm if there were nobody left to tell him he couldn’t, but what they weren’t considering is that as long as Pat Rin lives, there will always be one person of Korval judging his suitability: Pat Rin himself. Even in the eventuality that he must take up the delm’s ring because there is nobody else left, Pat Rin doesn’t count himself worthy to take up the delm’s melant’i with it, only to hold the ring in trust until Korval is able to produce someone qualified to be delm.

We also get, speaking of that incident, a detailed description of the true ring and thus the signs by which Pat Rin knew the false ring to be false. I wonder what it says about the Department that they didn’t know about the signs of wear. It might just be that they couldn’t find any way of examining the ring closely without arousing suspicion. I wouldn’t be surprised, though, if it never even occurred to them to look; they might have assumed that a wealthy Liaden family would always get any damage quickly repaired.

Carpe Diem – Chapter 50

Liad
Trealla Fantrol

In which Rel Vad Yoltak encounters abnormal conditions.

Despite Nova’s worry, Anthora and Jeeves seem to be doing all right for themselves, and justifying the decision to leave someone to hold off invaders. Without active resistance, I wouldn’t put it past the Department to just break in and ransack the place.

Anthora’s polite semi-apology for giving advice to a member of another Clan has undercurrents; as social errors involving members of other Clans go, giving one advice is surely less serious than fronting up to one’s home and ordering one about. It is thus a bad sign, though by this point not a terribly surprising one, that Agent Yoltak fails to take the hint.

Saltation – Chapter 9

History of Piloting
Anlingdin Piloting Academy

In which Theo meets Kara ven’Arith.

Theo is learning a lot of family history without knowing it, lately. Although I suppose that was to some extent inevitable once she started learning piloting, considering how much the history of piloting is bound up with the history of Korval.

I think Inspector Johansen is being unfair, here: it would have been one thing to be down on Theo for not doing all the assigned reading, if that was what she had done, and I would even allow that it would have been reasonable to be somewhat disappointed by the class’s lack of initiative — but to mock them for not doing something they hadn’t been called on to do seems to me to be pushing it, especially since I get the impression that Johansen was counting on them to have not done it so she could be grumpy about it. Or maybe I’m being unfair now, and she was just in a bad mood about something.

Kara, with her own version of having grown up between Liaden and Terran cultures and a willingness to share her understanding, could be a useful friend for Theo to have. (Not that I’m saying, of course, that usefulness ought to be an only or a primary criterion for a friendship.)