Tag Archives: Lady Dignity

Mouse and Dragon – Chapter 33

In which Daav decides to go into a possibly-hostile port without accepting backup.

Had this book been other than it is, the previous chapter might easily have been the last, perhaps with an epilogue in which Daav finally gets to hold his son in his arms. It is, after all, what the main plot line was building up to for the last two volumes.

But this is a prequel, which knows if any form of literature does that Peter Beagle was right about endings, and getting married isn’t the end of the story; it just means that Daav and Aelliana now have attention to spare for what else is going on in their lives.

I see a parallel between Daav’s decision to go to the Low Port alone, declining backup, and Aelliana’s decision last novel to go to the house of Mizel alone, declining backup, though in this case I’m not sure the decision is wrong; Daav does have a point about the advantages of working alone and under the radar. Still, one can wish he could have gone better protected. (Perhaps another Scout might have worked, if there were another Scout he could trust with this business. It’s a pity that Clonak is not available to be suggested as a possibility.)

Daav’s deliberately exaggerated worst-case hypothesis of “ghosts who lure the unsuspecting into the mists and steal their self-will” is not, after all, so far from the truth as one might prefer.

Mouse and Dragon – Chapter 25

In which Aelliana takes decisive action in response to Mizel’s message.

I said in an earlier entry that one of the things worth noting about Scout’s Progress was the way it wasn’t a story about Aelliana being rescued, but a story about Aelliana rescuing herself. Even though she is now, for the most part, rescued, Mouse and Dragon has continued to be a story in which Aelliana makes the decisive moves in her own life. She was the originator and driving force of the idea of going for courier, and each time her personal relationship with Daav has tightened a notch, it’s been her making the move. (Which is an important thing, for a person whose life was for so long out of her control.) That continues here: the proposal that they cry lifemates comes from her, unbidden, when she’s ready and not before.

Mouse and Dragon – Chapter 24

In which Aelliana receives a summons from her Delm.

The chapter quote is being pointed again, as seems to be its habit whenever Mizel’s qualities of kinship are displayed. Incidentally, this same proverb previously appeared at the head of Local Custom‘s eighth chapter, the one in which Er Thom, Anne and Shan showed themselves to be a family in truth if not yet in formal declaration.

Also reminiscent of Local Custom is the return of the dramatic device where the authors deliberately give a misleadingly incomplete account of a character’s intentions, in order to add extra suspense.

Mouse and Dragon – Chapter 14

In which Lady Kareen gives Aelliana an idea and the Tree gives Daav a fright.

I believe this is the first time since we’ve known her that Aelliana has admitted to being hungry without external prompting.

Speaking of food, it suddenly struck me that in the last few chapters we’ve been told what Aelliana had for breakfast and for lunch, and in neither meal was there any meat. There was fish in the sandwiches in Chapter 4, but apart from fish I can’t remember the last time we saw a Liaden eat meat of any kind, and now I’m wondering if that’s significant. (I doubt it’s as simple as a lack of meat animals on Liad, because I can remember plenty of examples of Liadens eating cheese, and there’s usually an overlap between milk-giving animals and animals that are considered good to eat.)

Daav’s view of his sister has grown a bit more nuanced than when we first saw them together in Local Custom, I notice. Her view of him, on the other hand, seems as rigid as ever. (And she still hasn’t given up on her grudge about Pat Rin, nor come to any better understanding of what happened there, it seems.)

Mouse and Dragon – Chapter 11

In which Aelliana and Anne go shopping.

And here already is an illustration of my point: Aelliana can feel Daav’s emotions, but not the process of thought that produced them, so without an opportunity to ask Daav she is left with the knowledge that he was horrified but with only speculation about what, and whom, he was in horror of. If Daav absented himself deliberately to avoid disturbing her peace of mind, he’s having the opposite of his intended effect.

Mouse and Dragon – Chapter 9

In which Mr dea’Gauss has news.

Servant to lord? Mr dea’Gauss is being very serious about Daav’s wish that Aelliana be honored as fully as possible. (And not just in the sense that Mr dea’Gauss is serious about everything he does.)

I do hope, if Daav is going to tell people that he hopes Aelliana will be his lifemate, that sooner rather than later one of the people he tells is Aelliana. He’s already had one dramatic lesson about the risks of withholding important information from her because he doesn’t think she can handle it, and it would be a terrible habit to get into if they’re going to be lifemates. (At least he’s only telling people who really need to know; he’s not handling it nearly as badly as, say, Miles Vorkosigan… though “not handling it as badly as Miles Vorkosigan” is so far from a ringing endorsement as to be practically a warning sign in itself. Still, Aelliana definitely falls in the category of people who really need to know.)

…it’s just occurred to me that Daav’s instructions to Mr dea’Gauss were ambiguous enough in their wording that Mr dea’Gauss might have come away with the impression that Aelliana is already aware of the situation. I hope that’s not going to cause trouble.

Local Custom – Chapter 18

In which Er Thom has no appetite at nuncheon.

The unique hand-woven rug is the more impressive for the detail about it breaking around the fireplace, which suggests that it was made – hand-made, over many years – specifically for this room.