Tag Archives: Korval is a tall Clan

Accepting the Lance – Chapter 5

Surebleak Port
Portmaster’s Office

In which the Portmaster has people looking over her shoulder.

Oh, yeah. And the survey team. I’d forgotten about them, what with so much else going on.
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Neogenesis – Chapter 20 part V

In which Val Con and Miri gather information about their visitors.

This is the first mention I can recall of there now being two separate branches of the Scouts, but it doesn’t surprise me. I presume the schism is a consequence of the events surrounding Korval’s big play and subsequent exile, and the subsequent removal of a chunk of Liaden society to Surebleak. Liaden society as a whole was divided over how to view Korval’s actions, and although many Scouts had a sympathy for Korval it is not to be supposed that they were unanimous in their approval.
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Due Diligence – Chapter 1

In which Fer Gun pen’Uldra is given an offer he can’t refuse.

I was right: I did know the protagonist’s name from somewhere. I was also right when I decided it would more entertaining trying to figure out where as the story went along than it would have been to just look up the answer.

In fact, I enjoyed having no idea where the first chapter was going so much that I’ve decided to do this novella a chapter at a time, to make the enjoyment last a bit longer.
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Alliance of Equals – Chapter 29


In which Broker Plishet is not as clever as he thinks he is.

Here, one of the threads tying the two plot lines together is the consideration of melant’i.

On Padi’s side, there’s her awareness of the fact that her current melant’i is that of a peaceful trader, not of a pilot in a dangerous situation with several youngsters depending on her. (Which itself shows her development beginning from the beginning of the novel, when she was inclined to fall back into that familiar melant’i whenever uncertain.)

I’m not sure how much furtherer Admiral Bunter is going to get in his studies by turning to melant’i plays; I get the impression, from earlier mentions, that they tend toward extreme situations of the kind where a person is so hedged about by necessity that the only way forward is the death of their dearest friend or whatever. (Recall that Anne in Local Custom was guided somewhat in her understanding of Er Thom by the Liaden literature she’d read, and didn’t always find it a useful guide.) I’m also a bit dubious about his choice of illustrious expert, who by his name is Terran rather than Liaden; on top which is the characterisation of melant’i plays as “exotic”. Then again, the Admiral is himself an outsider to Liaden culture, so perhaps an outsider’s description is what he would find useful.

Alliance of Equals – Chapter 3

Dutiful Passage

In which Padi has a lesson to learn.

I raise an eyebrow at Padi’s dismissal of things that serve no purpose other than looking pretty. Apart from the error she’s making of assuming that “I see no purpose to this” is the same as “There is no purpose to this”, it seems shortsighted for one who aspires to be a trader: even if a thing’s only value lies in looking pretty, it still has value that may be usefully leveraged or may cause problems if ignored. People value the things they value, for whatever reason.

(That said, being unreasonable isn’t all that unlikely for someone Padi’s age.)

I’m wondering if the Carresens Syndicate is going be part of the “alliance of equals” referred to in the title. When the family (and Pilot Janifer Carresens-DeNobli) was last mentioned, in Dragon in Exile, the delm summed them up by saying they were very like Korval. (I somehow doubt the Uncle is going to be part of it; has he ever recognised an equal?)

Necessity’s Child – Chapter 21

In which Syl Vor’s mother Sees Kezzi.

Hey, it’s been a while since I speculated about something and was proven wrong in the very next chapter. Nova sounds very much as if she did do something particular to get the truth out of Kezzi.

In context, the lady’s assertion that she had “learned elsewhere” of Rys’s misfortune has a bit of a sinister ring to it. One wonders after the health of her informant or informants (and of the agents of Rys’s misfortune, if that’s not saying the same thing two ways).

Plan B – Chapter 4

Approaching Erob

In which Miri Tayzin Robertson meets her family.

I suspect Val Con of conscious irony when he says that Korval has never ruled the world, considering how many people over the centuries have glossed Delm Korval as King of Liad. There’s definitely irony, though unconscious on Miri’s part (but conscious on the part of the authors) in Miri’s reassurance to herself that she’s never going back to Surebleak.

Val Con’s address to the child of Jela’s hope is an example of a literary convention that makes linguists and historians wail and gnash their teeth: the use of “thee” and “thy” to indicate archaic formality. The problem is that “thee” and “thy” are actually archaic informality; to the extent that English has ever had something resembling Liad’s distinction between High Tongue and Low Tongue, “thee” and “thy” were Low Tongue, used when speaking with close friends and family — or, depending on context, to address social inferiors. Not the most appropriate of modes for the most junior servant to use in addressing the utmost authority!

I’m willing to buy that the guest apartment Val Con and Miri are staying in is bigger than Zhena Trelu’s house, but I think the bit about the bathroom the size of Lytaxin spaceport is probably an exaggeration.

Val Con’s recitation of his relatives has two or three notable omissions. Two are easily explained: Shan’s lifemating and Anthora’s children post-date Val Con being taken by the Department, so of course he doesn’t know about them. That explanation doesn’t cover the complete lack of any mention of Line bel’Tarda, but that may be covered by the disclaimer that he’s only touching on the minimum necessary to survive the evening’s social event; perhaps Val Con figured that the odds of anyone of Erob mentioning bel’Tarda at the dinner were low enough that they could safely be left, along with the attendant explanations, for another time.

I wonder what it portends that Emrith Tiazan is Delm Erob but Bendara Tiazan is Thodelm Tiazan. Perhaps just that Erob and Tiazan, unlike Korval and yos’Phelium in their present state, are large enough that one person cannot do both jobs well.

Conflict of Honors – Chapter 43

Precinct House
Crown City, Theopholis
Hour of Demons

In which the legal system of Theopholis does not show itself in the best of lights.

This is another chapter where I would probably have had more to say about it on first reading, but on re-reading my main reaction is “Yes, that’s about how I remember it”.

I’m curious about how the hours are named on Theopholis. I thought at first, with the Kings and the Knaves, the theme might be card-related, but then there was the Viscount, so I thought it might be rulers. And in this chapter, there’s a mention of the Regent’s Hour, which would fit, except that there’s also the Hour of Demons, which doesn’t. (And I wonder whether it’s significant that there are multiple Kings and Knaves and Demons, but only one each of the Viscount and the Regent.)

Conflict of Honors – Chapter 26

Shipyear 65
Tripday 155
First Shift
4.00 hours

In which preparations are made for departing Arsdred.

Shan apparently has an alarm clock set so that hitting the snooze button makes it try even harder to wake him. There are days when I could do with one of those.

Conflict of Honors – Chapter 8

Shipyear 65
Tripday 131
Second Shift
6.55 hours

In which Dutiful Passage gains a pet librarian.

Details continue to emerge about what kind of ship Shan yos’Galan runs. Last chapter there was the policy of giving the crew a stake in the ship’s trading; this chapter it’s Shan’s approach to crewmembers who wish to pursue a skill that will increase their value to the ship.

All is not rosy, however; not everyone is as welcoming to Priscilla as Rusty and Lina were. The first mate is downright frosty, though it turns out she has some basis: Dutiful Passage has encountered Daxflan before, in circumstances which, though they are not detailed here, did not leave her with a trusting disposition toward Trader Olanek and his crew.

This chapter contains one of those details that might go past without notice on a first reading but attracts more attention from a re-reader: an off-hand mention, this early in the story, that this is Kayzin Ne’Zame’s last trip with the Passage. (Fortunately for her, this is not the kind of story where “one last job before I retire” means she has a metafictional target painted on her back.)

The chapter heading is again consistent with a 24/4 shift system but not a 28/4 system.