Tag Archives: M. Jela Granthor’s Guard

Neogenesis – Chapter 20 part III

In which Val Con and Miri are not getting much sleep tonight.

Chapter 20 is shaping up to be a long chapter, to the point that I’m almost wondering if I need to subdivide the sections even further. Makes sense, though, since this is the chapter where a whole bunch of plot strands come together, not just from this book but from the four books preceding it.
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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 37

Jelaza Kazone

In which Val Con sees his brother off.

I had wondered what became of Quick Passage. Now I wonder if the hidden control centre it’s become is the same one Miri used to oversee the Captain’s Emergency.

I like how Miri says “Now all we do is wait” as if that’s going to be easy for them.

I Dare – Chapter 55


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 52

Clutch Homeworld

In which the Elders decide.

A very short chapter, this; normally, I would have grouped a chapter this short with one of the chapters on either side, but in this case neither seemed a good fit.

Speaking of very short things… This chapter has no date at the top, which implies that it’s the same day as the previous chapter: Day 54. The earlier chapter in which Daav and Aelliana went in to speak to the Elders did have a date at the top: Day 54. So Daav and Aelliana’s testimony, and the Elders’ deliberations, have altogether taken less than a day. The Clutch must really be taking this urgency thing seriously.

Or, of course, I’ve completely misread the implication of the absent date stamp. The chapter does say that Daav and Aelliana have lost track of how much time has passed; maybe the implication is instead: It’s later, but who knows how much?

I Dare – Chapter 51

Day 54
Standard Year 1393

Dutiful Passage

In which various people spend time in transit.

I haven’t been noting it every time a relevant detail has come up, but I think by now we have to acknowledge that in the Liaden universe cats are sapient and capable of dramliz-type abilities. Some cats, anyway. Merlin, at least. (Come to that, I wonder if Val Con knew how appropriate the name was when he chose it…)

I feel like I should say something about the scene with Hazenthull and Nelirikk, but nothing particular is coming to me.

It’s good to see Trilla again.

I Dare – Chapter 37

Day 51
Standard Year 1393

Departing Lytaxin

In which Daav and Aelliana go on a journey with several surprises in store.

I find myself wondering when Edger found time to acquire the new shuttle and have it fitted to the ship of the clan. The months he and Sheather spent waiting on Shaltren to see if the Juntavas could find Val Con and Miri seem most hopeful, except that they didn’t have the ship with them, it having gone on to Volmer and them having opted to go straight to Shaltren on a Terran vessel.

That also gets me wondering how they got from Shaltren back to Lufkit to visit Liz, and then from there to Lytaxin. They must have switched back to the ship of the clan at some point, since they arrived at Lytaxin in it.

Perhaps when Edger and Sheather left Lufkit for Shaltren, Edger sent Handler, Selector, and Watcher ahead to Volmer, to secure the ship of the clan, make arrangements for the addition of the shuttle, and await them there. Then after Sheather’s visit to Liz, Edger and Sheather went to Volmer, collected the upgraded ship, and proceeded to Lytaxin. That seems to cover everything, except that we’re still left with the question of where Handler, Selector, and Watcher are now.

I Dare – Chapter 19

Day 50
Standard Year 1393

Erob’s House

In which Erob’s house has many visitors.

This is one of those chapters where there’s potentially a lot to talk about, but I’ve read it so often nothing really stands out to me.

Well, there is one thing: I don’t know if it’s me being really unobservant or just having a bad memory, but I don’t remember having understood before that Hazenthull Explorer might have only been intending to stick around long enough to get her senior patched up. (I notice, by the way, that her senior finally gets a name in this chapter.) How she planned to get around having sworn an oath of loyalty to get that far, I don’t see; perhaps, as Daav says, she hadn’t planned that far ahead.

Another point of connection between the two separate plot strands of the novel is that they’re now both concerned with issues of appropriate behaviour between oath-holder and oath-sworn.

Plan B – Chapter 35

Erob’s Clan House

In which Val Con’s kin start arriving.

This chapter is still just as affecting, even though I knew what was coming.

The mention of Nelirikk wearing an arm scarf as a sign of troop affiliation reminds me that Miri wore an arm scarf when Val Con first met her, which got mentioned a few times and then never again. (I figure it maybe got left behind on Edger’s ship; if not that, perhaps when they had to leave Vandar in the Benish clothes they stood up, or in Miri’s case couldn’t stand up, in.) Makes me wonder if that was a marker of affilition too, and if so to whom.

Tomorrow: I Dare

Plan B – Chapter 27

Erob’s Boundary
Quarry War Zone

In which the Yxtrang come off second-best in an argument.

I’m glad Dustin survived; I would have felt bad if he’d gotten killed because Shan maneuvred him into taking him back to the lifeboat.

I’m struck by the detail that the Yxtrang have one kind of rifle for ordinary troopers and a different kind for officers. I mean, I know we recently learned that the Commander of the Gyrfalks owns a particularly nice pistol, but that’s presumably because she made an individual decision that she wanted it, and probably saved up some of her own money to get it, not because of a standard rule. I wonder what the difference is between the Troopers Regular Field Long Arm and the Officers Personal Duty Long Arm: Is the officer version functionally the same, just with extra frills? Or do the officers get a weapon that works better than the regular trooper version? Or worse?

Priscilla’s flash of memory is interesting, because I don’t think it’s hers. The involvement of the red counter suggests that it’s an older memory, from Moonhawk or Lute, though none of the stories we’ve yet been told about them has anything to match it.