In which Aelliana is introduced to Jen Sar Kiladi.
Like many long-term Liaden fans, Mouse and Dragon was not my first introduction to Professor Kiladi; I already knew him from many chronologically-later events described in earlier-published stories. That inevitably affected my response to meeting him here, and I wonder how it reads to someone who didn’t have that background. (I’d ask if there was anyone in the audience whose first introduction to Professor Kiladi was Mouse and Dragon, if this blog had an audience.)
Somehow, I’m not surprised a yos’Phelium would make and win a bet like that. Though I do wonder who the other party in the bet was.
Speaking of yos’Pheliums, I detect the legacy of Cantra’s aelantaza heritage in Daav’s ability to immerse himself in character to the point of Kiladi seeming like a different person.
In the Binjali crew, Aelliana has found not only comrades but family. What Jon offers is, as Aelliana identifies, a paraphrase of what a clan is expected to offer its members according to the Code (as was quoted at the head of Chapter 4). Her description of what is asked of her in return is likewise, if memory serves, a paraphrase from the Code, and appears somewhere else in the series (though I don’t at the moment recall precisely where) explicitly identified as the duty one owes to one’s clan.
It almost goes without saying that Aelliana’s actual family is not a good model of either end of that set of duties.
In which equitable solutions are found for a number of problems.
It’s interesting that Syntebra el’Kemin is apparently not averse to Luken’s attentions. I mean, I totally understand that she might feel more comfortable with him than with his sharper-witted relatives — but if she thought Er Thom old, what does that make Luken?
A thing I like about this chapter is how much warmth and care there is between (at least some of) the members of Clan Korval; between Er Thom and Daav, and between Daav and Luken. (And between Luken and nearly everybody?) I particularly love that, although Luken doesn’t fit in the Korval mould, Daav genuinely appreciates and respects him for who he is.