Tag Archives: delm’s ring

Degrees of Separation – Chapter 4

Low Port

In which Don Eyr achieves a separation.

I wonder what Har Per’s lady friend sees in him? It’s clearly not his sparkling personality. Perhaps it’s that she appreciates what he sees in her.
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Degrees of Separation – Chapter 1

Liad

In which Don Eyr is taken away and educated.

I knew two things going in to “Degrees of Separation”: that it’s a prequel to “Block Party”, which is not unusual for a Liaden story, and that the cover image prominently features the Eiffel Tower and a globe of the Earth more-or-less centred on France, which is. Earth (or Terra) has been mentioned occasionally, but has never yet appeared on-screen.
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Neogenesis – Chapter 20 part I

Surebleak

In which Surebleak has more visitors.

A whole lotta people arriving on Surebleak in one clump, with at least one more bunch expected soon, and all of them having business with Korval. It remains to see how much more complicated things are going to get when they start (as I expect they will, sooner or later) interacting with each other as well.
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Due Diligence – Epilog

In which Fer Gun visits a friend.

I’ve enjoyed this story a lot. Without wishing to slight any of the others, it’s definitely my favourite Liaden story of recent years.
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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.

Alliance of Equals – Chapter 19

Vivulonj Prosperu

In which Aelliana returns.

Okay, so I wouldn’t have been left in the dark much longer about Tolly sharing a background with Inki. (This is far from the first time it’s happened that I’ve wondered about a thing in a blog entry and it’s been answered in the next chapter. That’s a good thing, I figure; it means the stories are well-paced and handing out information at an appropriate rate.)

Given the fact of their shared background, I think that that’s why Inki doesn’t want Haz telling Tolly about the confrontation with Stew. (I suspect the specific detail she doesn’t want Haz sharing is less the bit where she had to convince him with money, but the bit just before that where she frightened a man who wasn’t frightened by an Yxtrang. Or maybe it is the money thing, but because if she’s the legal owner of the ship the Admiral is installed in, that might give her leverage if she decides to run off with him.) She apparently hasn’t told Tolly she’s a Lyre graduate, which is an understandable precaution since he probably wouldn’t trust her if he knew — and so doesn’t help us tell whether she should be trusted, since she’d want to avoid that either way. She’s told Haz that they’re graduates of the same institute, but in a vague way that Haz will probably take to mean that they learned mentoring in the same place. And Tocohl knows Inki is a student of the Lyre Institute, but doesn’t know that Tolly is.

Meanwhile, over in the Daav-and-Aelliana plot line, we have a recap of the Tanjalyre Institute, for the benefit of readers who had forgotten or never knew about it. Among other things. (“could not help but overhear”, forsooth.) For the record, I’m very much enjoying the Daav-and-Aelliana side of the story, but I have less to say about it because its direction is less of a surprise.

Dragon in Exile – Chapter 30

Shaper’s Freehold
Surebleak

In which Yulie has visitors.

We get quite a bit of differentiation, in a short space of time, between the various members of the crew trying to break into the growing rooms. One of them is named Mort, which is a name we’ve seen before on Surebleak, attached to one of the muggers who left Rys dying on the doorstep of the Bedel back at the beginning of Necessity’s Child. I don’t think it’s the same Mort, though, because that one had a group of other ruffians he was usually seen in company with, and none of those names appears here. Also, he seems a bit smarter than that Mort.

With Rys getting training as a headman and Droi being reassured that she does have what it takes to be a luthia, if they do get together they’ll have between them the two roles needed to lead a kompani. I don’t know if that means Silain has foreseen them leading a kompani of the Bedel; it might just be that whatever group of companions they gather around them might benefit from including people with those skills.

Dragon in Exile – Chapter 23

Boss Conrad’s House
Blair Road

In which the Road Boss makes plans for the day.

Miri’s bruised cheek is one of those things that have extra resonance from details mentioned in other stories. Pat Rin is especially upset about it because the culture of Liad puts a big value on presenting a clean and unblemished face to the world: no dirt, no smudges, no injuries. (No concealing make-up, either.) That’s also part of why everyone made such a fuss about Val Con’s scar in Plan B, beyond its inherent unpleasantness. Val Con is less concerned about it, partly (as with his scar) because of his Scout training, and partly because, as he reminds Pat Rin, this is not Liad.

Val Con and Miri do a neat job of diverting Nelirikk’s disapproval.

I somehow suspect there’s something to the fact that Tocohl’s proportions are described entirely in terms of being similar to Theo’s. Her voice isn’t Theo’s though, if Val Con recognises it but Miri doesn’t. (I wonder if it’s modelled on Aelliana…) Perhaps Jeeves decided that if Tocohl was to be a child of Korval, she ought to bear some resemblance to her sisters and her cousins and her aunts.

Tocohl takes after her father in choosing a name from fiction that suits her intended role: Susumo Tocohl is the protagonist of Janet Kagan’s novel Hellspark; she’s a linguist, a dab hand at smoothing over the problems caused by clashing cultural assumptions, and her universe’s leading authority on the process of teaching an AI how to be a person.

(Hellspark is a long-standing favourite comfort-read of mine, and I would perhaps be more excited about this development except that the surprise was spoiled for me long ago by an acquaintance who, in addition to our shared loved of the works of Lee & Miller and of Kagan, has a taste I don’t share for reading Advance Reader Copies.)

We still haven’t been given the name of the specialist Jeeves proposes as Tocohl’s colleague, which suggests that the authors consider it something worth building up to. My only guess at this point is that it’s Tolly, if only because he’s been established as a specialist earlier in the novel. And, come to think of it, if he’s still being looked for by someone he doesn’t want to be found by, he might welcome a trip away. (…and if he’s a specialist in AI, what does that say about the person who’s looking for him?)

Dragon in Exile – Chapter 10

Jelaza Kazone
Surebleak

In which Kareen and Kamele have an informative conversation.

I was a bit glib and a lot unfair when I suggested that Kareen might view Kamele as a performing dog. A better way to characterise the situation might be that Kamele has a genuine interest in and enthusiasm for learning the intricacies of the Liaden language, which makes it easier for one to forgive any stumbles since she’s clearly doing her best and it’s not her fault she’s not fully fluent yet. One might be less forgiving of a Terran who seemed to have made only the effort required to get by, for instance.

Also, they seem to actually like each other, a fact of which I took some convincing if only because Kareen has generally not made friends easily and it seemed unlikely that she would find it any easier with a non-Liaden.

(It’s interesting that, after Kamele was worried she might miss nuances if the conversation about the portrait was in Liaden, Kareen makes what must have been a deliberate choice to step out of Liaden into Terran to tell her about it, perhaps specifically to spare her that worry.)

Kareen’s description of the circumstances of Er Thom’s birth didn’t quite make sense to me at first: I wasn’t sure why it would be necessary for yos’Galan to produce a back-up delm of certain piloting ability when there was already Sae Zar. I think, though, that the problem with Sae Zar as a back-up delm is that he didn’t have the training for it; we know that training for a delm’s heir begins when he or she is very young, as happened for Daav (and Er Thom, as the designated back-up heir, got the same training). Also, Sae Zar was already designated as the heir to yos’Galan’s Master Trader, and to add Delm’s Heir to his pile would have been a disservice to yos’Galan, to be avoided unless no other solution was available.

Of the delms Kareen mentions in passing, we have heard of Jeni yos’Phelium, who helped establish the Scout Academy, and Theonna yos’Phelium, who was responsible for the Tactical Defense Pods. Edil yos’Phelium and Var Ond ter’Asten are new names. (ter’Asten is itself also a new name, unless it’s an alternate transliteration of “ter’Astin” – Jethri’s friend the scout was named Jan Rek ter’Astin.)

The implication of Kamele’s remark about Aelliana also being delm is, as I understand it, that her death wasn’t as simple as Daav failing his duty as delm to protect the vulnerable and husband the clan’s resources; Aelliana was also acting as delm, with a different assessment of who was most vulnerable and which resources the clan could least afford to lose, and no time for the two halves of the delm to reach a consensus.

Dragon in Exile – Chapter 5

Jelaza Kazone
Surebleak

In which Rys Lin pen’Chala dines with his brother’s family.

Rys has two hands. The fact is included subtly enough to not be distracting to someone unfamiliar with his story, and in fact subtly enough that it went straight past me the first time I read the chapter and I would have missed it if I hadn’t gone through again with an eye for details as part of writing this blog post. Two hands, one with gleaming fingers. Apparently his brothers have again been busy on his behalf.

Being reminded of how Rys came to be orphaned, on top of the events of the last few chapters, prompts the thought that I hope Val Con is suitably thoughtful about introducing him to Nelirikk, Hazenthull, and Diglon.

I wonder if it signifies anything that Kareen describes Rys as “the delm’s brother”, as opposed to, say, “my nephew’s brother”. (I also wonder, since she then turns to talking with Kamele, if Kamele knows who Rys is, and if not how Kareen chooses to explain him.)

I remain uncertain whether Luken’s encounter on the walkway was as harmless as it appears; part of me is still suspicious. And that, I think, says something about the atmosphere on Surebleak at this point.