Tag Archives: Jethri Gobelyn

Revolutionists

In which Geral Jethri believes in the Envidaria.

If someone had asked me what I expected future Liaden Universe stories to be about, I don’t think I’d have picked “what Jethri’s descendants are doing in the present day” as a possibility, but now that it’s happened it seems like an obvious question to explore.
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Neogenesis – Chapter 20 part VI

In which Val Con and Miri offer their solutions.

The distinction Val Con makes between those who count themselves to be Scouts and those who count themselves to be Liaden Scouts is one I was reaching for yesterday but didn’t manage to wrap words around. (And reminds me of Eylot, forcing its pilots to decide whether they were pilots who happened to be Eylotian or Eylotians who happened to be pilots.)

It also, come to think of it, suggests the possibility, if not the certainty, that at some point in the future the Scouts headquartered on Surebleak are going to accept non-Liadens into their ranks. Once you’ve reached the conclusion that being a Scout and being a Liaden are not necessarily linked, it’s an obvious consequence. (There have been hints in that direction already, too, with people mentioning that the Scouts have been providing educational opportunities on Surebleak, usually followed by commenting that Scout teachers always treat their students as prospective Scouts.)
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Trade Secret – Epilogue

Elthoria

In which the young gentleman returns home.

And so Jethri’s story comes to an end, for now. And hasn’t he come a long way from the young fellow we met at the beginning of Balance of Trade?

I’m much happier with Balance of Trade and Trade Secret, taken as a two-part whole, than I was with Balance of Trade by itself. All the major questions raised have been given answers, and we got a suitably dramatic climax. There are still openings for further stories about Jethri, his kin, and his friends, and I’ll be happy to read them if they happen, but if this is all we get of Jethri’s story, I’ll be content.

And with the end of Trade Secret, we reach the end of Phase 1. Phase 2 begins tomorrow, with one of Captain ter’Astin’s colleagues and a reminder of why the Scouts don’t like Old Tech at large, in “Naratha’s Shadow”.

Trade Secret – Chapter 30

Gobelyn’s Market, Clawswitts

In which the Gobelyns receive news of kin.

So that’s why Jethri suddenly decided he needed to send a message to Freza.

Apart from the trade and economic factors, which I don’t feel qualified to judge, one useful effect of publishing the Envidaria that Jethri must have considered is that the Liadens will have to stop bugging his friends and family for a copy. (Whether they’ll believe, among themselves, that the published Envidaria is the real thing, is another matter – I suspect those Liadens inclined to believe in Terran trickery will consider this more of the same – but at least they’ll have to act in public as if they believe it.)

And it looks like I was wrong (again) about Ynsolt’i. I think, looking back, that I’ve been tending to get predictions wrong about this book by tending toward being too neat and tidy. Life don’t always go in for quick and tidy endings to things.

Speaking of things in life that aren’t neat and tidy, I’ve got some of my sympathy for Iza back. She’s a complicated woman, is Iza Gobelyn.

Trade Secret – Chapter 29

Arrival on Hatalan

In which Jethri Gobelyn regains his birthright.

Hah. I did wonder if they were just going to let the ex-Scout walk off with the Envidaria, but of course Captain ter’Astin had a plan.

Interesting that Jethri’s lucky fractin ended up in the deal. I wonder whose idea that was: just yos’Belin’s, to sweeten the pot? or did ter’Astin suggest it, knowing that Jethri would get to keep all, as a roundabout way of making a start at apologizing for bringing him all this trouble?

I like the bits where the Scout is describing the world they’re visiting: more of those bits of background detail that aren’t absolutely necessary but add to the richness of the story. (And then you get further on in the chapter and realise that there was, after all, a plot-relevant detail hidden in there.)

I’m not sure I grasp all the details of the extract from the Envidaria, but one thing I get is that it’s talking about shifts that cause Jump points to change, with some routes to become safer and others more dangerous, which sounds like the foundation of the explanation for why, a few centuries from now, it will be necessary to revise the official Jump tables. (And that the example of “more dangerous” is a Jump point moving hazardously close in to a star reminds me of the tale, near the end of Mouse and Dragon, of a certain pilot coming to grief through using the unrevised tables.)

Another thing I get is that he’s saying that in a particular area of space the result will be that the big Combine-backed cargo ships won’t be able to pass through, so trade there will be left to smaller ships, like the Market and Balrog. And this will continue for four or five hundred years, so it’ll still be the case in Val Con’s time and for some time after. (Say, I wonder where Bechimo rates on the scale of “small enough” to “too large”…)

And now, they’re for Ynsolt’i, which gives the idea of a nice tidy ending of the story at the place where it began. I was wrong when I predicted a geographical appropriateness for Jethri and Freza (although come to think of it, I was right that Jethri would have better luck on that visit, just not about who with); I wonder if I’ll be wrong again if I predict now that Jethri’s first return to Ynsolt’i since he left the Market will coincide with the Market‘s first return to Ynsolt’i since Jethri left.

Trade Secret – Chapter 28

Port Chavvy

In which Bar Jan chel’Gaibin learns the consequences of his actions.

Well. I thought something interesting might result when they asked Jethri to translate for the medics, but I wasn’t expecting this.

I think I know Jethri well enough by now to expect that he’ll try and do something to help chel’Gaibin, though I doubt whether chel’Gaibin will accept or understand it.

(I wonder how this is going to affect Tan Sim. Does he become a suitable candidate for heir now that the delm has no other sons, or will she attempt some other solution that will permit her to leave him where he is?)

The interactions between chel’Gaibin and his valet say a lot about both of them. (Running the numbers, Khana vo’Daran has been at Bar Jan chel’Gaibin’s side more than half of Bar Jan’s lifetime, since Bar Jan was a child in truth.)

Trade Secret – Chapter 27

Port Chavvy

In which Bar Jan chel’Gaibin gets what he traded for.

What little eloquence I normally have deserts me, and I have just one thing to say: Yes!

I like Jethri’s response when chel’Gaibin doubts that he is covered by the Code.

“All I ask is an honest advantage” has a polished sound to it, but if it’s a quote from somewhere else I’m not familiar with it.

Trade Secret – Chapter 26

Port Chavvy

In which there are many secrets.

This is another chapter that calls for the reminder that I do appreciate the emotional parts of the Liaden stories, but I’m not very good at talking about them.

Some of the things Freza tells Jethri about the intent of Arin’s Envidaria remind me again of the conversation Theo has with the Carresens of her time. (Though that doesn’t help as much as it might, because I don’t quite recall what the Carresens actually said.)

When the dateline said “Port Chavvy”, I said to myself, “That sounds familiar, has someone mentioned it earlier this book?” – and then there was Dulcimer, and Klay Patel Smith sitting by the equipment rack. So apparently I was wrong when I guessed “Out of True” was set earlier than the Jethri books, having underestimated how unfamiliar a sight Liadens are in parts of Terran space. In fact, there are several things about “Out of True” I understand better having read (this much of) Trade Secret, and I think I would recommend to a new reader that they read Trade Secret first and then “Out of True”.

Trade Secret – Chapter 25

Gobelyn’s Market, Franticle

In which Franticle True has many annoyances, both imported and home-grown.

“This Arin who is dead” is an interesting phrase. It might just be put that way through unfamiliarity with the language, but the way it’s put carries an implication that there might be other Arins of interest who are still alive.

I like the bit of interplay about not permitting a dependent to remain uninformed in a complex situation.

Trade Secret – Chapter 24

Gobelyn’s Market

In which the Gobelyns keep an eye out for trouble.

One of the commenters remarked, back when we were reading Balance of Trade, that she wondered how Iza had continued to be captain. I was inclined at the time to give Iza the benefit of the doubt, since we hadn’t seen much of her and that not at her best, but the more we see of her the less room for doubt there’s getting to be. This chapter, one of the crew goes so far as to express (out loud, though not in Iza’s hearing) a hope that Iza will think to step down, but it seems they don’t think the case is bad enough to ask her outright.

Yet.

In other news, the stuff about the difficulties of navigation in a four-star system is interesting, for those who are interested in that kind of thing, and may be a warm-up for a discussion of the difficulties of navigating the Seventeen Worlds later.

I don’t like the way the Liadens are paying attention to them, and I don’t like the way the chapter ends with “and then the door opened”. That could lead to “so they stopped talking and went in”, but it could just as easily lead on to “revealing, to their shocked gaze, …” (So far, though, I am being good and not going straight on to the next chapter.)