Tag Archives: Garden of Gems

Alliance of Equals – Chapter 35

Admiral Bunter

In which Padi accepts her nature.

And so Aunt Anthora’s gift does come back into relevance – and now, considering also how interested she was to learn Padi had opened it, and what the occasion of that was, I’m wondering if Anthora somehow intended it to assist in Padi’s transition.

Alliance of Equals – Chapter 32

The Garden of Gems

In which there are attacks from multiple sides.

It’s still not clear whether this is one set of co-ordinated attacks, or separate attacks in space and on land that happen to coincide. Once Tarona Rusk declared herself an agent of the Department, and the people seeking Padi likewise, I was prepared to conclude that the attack on the Passage was also the work of the Department; after all, as we’ve been reminded, attacks under cover of rightful customs activity are a thing they’ve done before. But then there’s Priscilla’s Seeing that one or more of the attacks is motivated by “some local chief’s bid for celebrity” – presumably Plishet. Perhaps Plishet is working with the Department because they’ve persuaded him they can give him something he wants?

I’m pretty sure this is the first time we’ve heard of a dramliz working for the Department voluntarily. It’s a fairly horrifying prospect.

The implication that Shan could have been a full dramliz if he had wanted to be is interesting, both in connection with the unfolding pattern of Lute’s lives and in light of his statement to Padi that it’s not possible to choose not to be dramliz.

Alliance of Equals – Chapter 31

Admiral Bunter

In which the bombshell is dropped.

I’ve been going back and forth on the cover illustration: at first I assumed it depicted Dutiful Passage, more or less because that was the only ship I knew would be in the novel, then later I thought perhaps it was Admiral Bunter. Now it looks like I was right the first time.

When Shan and Higgs went out, leaving Padi behind at the hotel, my first thought was that they’d been lured away so that someone could attack Padi. Then the attack on the Passage happened, and now I think it’s that Padi’s going to get wind of that and have to deal with it without Shan around to offer guidance.

It could still be that Shan was deliberately lured away. (In-story, I mean. It’s pretty obvious that it was deliberate on the part of the authors.) Perhaps it’s a two pronged attack. Perhaps it’s coincidentally an attack from Plishet with no connection to the attack on Priscilla. On the other hand, perhaps it’s just that Shan found conversation with Master Rusk congenial and lost track of time.

(Perhaps it’s good news that keeps him – it suddenly struck me as I was writing this that maybe she has news to impart of Lomar Fasholt. Although I don’t really have anything to back that up with beyond the flimsy observations that she’s female and it would be nice to have news of Lomar by the end of the book.)

Alliance of Equals – Chapter 26

The Torridon Hotel

In which there is conversation after dinner.

I don’t know if it’s significant that Shan describes the Liaden tongue as “the language of home” when speaking to the jeweller, after all the reminders there have been that the children of Korval need to stop thinking of Liad as home. Probably it’s just that that’s a conventional phrase and the situation is not appropriate for a more precise description.

I also don’t know if it’s significant that we’re getting a reminder now of Master Moonel, who appeared in Local Custom. That was back when Shan was a small boy, and Moonel was already the most respected jeweller on Liad, so it is not a surprise to learn now that he has since died. (Shan mentions that his shop stands empty; I wonder if that’s a sign that it happened recently, or perhaps that he was so respected nobody wishes to try taking his place.)

Possibly it is the death that matters — it makes two scenes in a row where the subject of death has come up in proximity with Padi, which helps things remain ominous even as her conversation with her father seems to be going well.