Tag Archives: Healspace

Alliance of Equals – Chapter 34


In which yos’Galan does what needs to be done.

Noting that this chapter is all about Langlast, with nothing about Tolly and Admiral Bunter, I wonder if next chapter is going to be the inverse, and leave us waiting to find out what became of Padi.

I don’t quite understand what Padi’s disappearance signifies, but I don’t for a moment believe that she’s dead.

(I wonder where Lute has got to…)

Alliance of Equals – Chapter 33

Admiral Bunter

In which things are concealed.

Padi has finally had an opportunity to do the thing she was too-ready to do at the beginning of the novel, and found that she doesn’t like it.

As I follow Tolly’s reasoning, the problem is that there’s no certainty about what Admiral Bunter will do once the core mandate is removed. The Admiral says, now, that he trusts Tolly, and he might even mean it, now – but once Tolly has restored his freedom, he’ll be faced with the immediate situation of another person in a position to do him over the way Inki did, or worse, which is a definite problem. And, as Tolly says, the Admiral’s toolset for dealing with definite problems has historically tended toward immediate lethality as the best and only solution.

I’m a bit bemused that Tarona Rusk fell for Shan’s false compliance so easily. Partly, I suppose, it’s that she sees what she wants and expects to see; and also that what she sees of Shan is only what he wants her to see. I get the feeling that, for all she mocked him for being only a Healer, it’s his Healer training that’s giving him the advantage here.

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 10

Dutiful Passage

In which Shan has an unanticipated meeting, and Stew still awaits an anticipated arrival.

Definitely ramping up to having Moonhawk and Lute take an active hand in the story. As yet, I don’t have any ideas about why. Presumably it’s not going to be just because a bunch of people have decided to take an unfriendly interest in Shan’s ship.

I like the grace note about the stream at Trealla Fantrol.

I don’t blame Stew for calling in his own expert when things got suddenly worse, but I wonder where his expert is from, and I’m inclined to suspect that having two experts on the case is not going to make things easier.

Plan B – Chapter 24

Lytaxin War Zone
Altitude: 12 kilometers

In which Shan finds himself in a war zone.

First published description of how the Tree talks, I think, and the most talkative it’s been since the prequels. Maybe it’s significant that this is one of the seedlings; perhaps being talkative is an attribute of the young.

In a moment that relates to something we’ve discussed in the comments, Shan reflects on the traditional differences between yos’Phelium and yos’Galan, and acknowledges that genetically there’s not actually much to choose between them. I wonder how much that extends to un-war-like Cousin Luken; we know Line bel’Tarda has had at least one infusion from relatively-respectable yos’Galan, but I don’t recall any mention of piratical yos’Phelium doing likewise.

I don’t remember now what I made of Shan’s encounter the first time, before I’d read the short stories about Lute. Re-reading it now, with those under my belt, two things occur to me. One is that Lute and Moonhawk have unfinished business in this when that is going to catch up with Shan and Priscilla sooner or later. The other is that I like the bit of business with the dagger; it’s very Lute.