Tag Archives: Liaden weekdays

Carpe Diem – Chapter 14

Trealla Fantrol

In which Pat Rin acquires a new pilot.

Speaking of first mentions, I seem to have missed noting the point at which Val Con was revealed to be the next Delm Korval, and not merely a young man whose sister made him Second Speaker in order that she might have an excuse to complain that he was never home.

Korval obviously doesn’t intend to just send Cheever McFarland away now that he’s made his delivery, but it’s not clear yet whether they’re simply thanking him for his service by ensuring him a steady employment until his ship’s renovations are complete, or keeping him under Korval’s wing in case there are any unfortunate consequences to him as a result of becoming involved in Val Con’s recent adventures. The fact that he’s being entrusted to the member of the Clan whom we know from the prequels to be particularly skilled with firearms is certainly suggestive. On the other hand, maybe they’re just hoping Cheever will be an improving influence.

Carpe Diem – Chapter 6


In which Val Con’s eldest brother sends news.

I wonder if Shan’s joke about someone wanting to sell him a cloak is an indication that he’s still getting fallout from the skimmer cloak incident after seven years. Or maybe it’s a joke between friends that has survived even after the incident that started it is long over. Or maybe I’m reading too much into it and it’s nothing to do with the skimmer cloak at all.

The uncertainty with which Priscilla introduces the idea of crying lifemates implies that it’s the first time she’s put forward the idea as a serious suggestion. Shan doesn’t seem surprised, though; it’s a possibility that must have been on both their minds since Priscilla came to live on Liad, and I think by now they know each other well enough to know what they both think of the prospect, even without discussing it explicitly. If they haven’t seriously discussed it before now it’s perhaps because they’ve been comfortable continuing as they are, and perhaps because, as Shan says, the timing is not good.

Conflict of Honors – Chapter 34

Trealla Fantrol, Liad
Year Named Trolsh
Third Relumma
Cheletha Sixthday

In which Delm Plemia resolves to seek clarification from his kin.

So, Mr dea’Gauss has sent word to House Mendoza, despite Priscilla assuring him in no uncertain terms that it was not necessary. I suppose a man in his position must from time to time make his own determinations as to what necessity requires based on the information available to him, and the information available to Mr dea’Gauss at present does not include anything that might dissuade him from the assumption that Priscilla merely wished politely to save him some effort.

Mr dea’Gauss has apparently decided that this is a cause worthy enough to put up with being flung across the galaxy again. That he would accept the necessity without complaint doesn’t mean much, since I don’t suppose it would be appropriate to complain with an outsider present, but not only does he not complain, he almost smiles.

Conflict of Honors – Chapter 32

Trealla Fantrol, Liad
Year Named Trolsh
Third Relumma
Banim Seconday

In which the First Speaker of Korval has business with the First Speaker of Plemia.

Delm Plemia is a contrast to his kinsman. He does show signs of narrow-mindedness (such as judging Shan and Anthora because they don’t fit Liaden ideals of good looks), but he doesn’t dismiss them out of hand because they’re part-Terran, nor take it personally that part-Terran Korval thrives while old established Plemia struggles.

The moment where Nova invites Delm Plemia to precede her through the door (compare the moment a few chapters back where Shan waved Kayzin through the door before him, and their respective reactions to being thus singled out) is one of those bits of Liaden cultural worldbuilding that I wouldn’t have noticed if I were reading this at my usual speed.

I don’t think I’ve remarked before, though I remember it having been mentioned in earlier stories, that the Liaden fashion is for doorknobs in the centre of doors. That seems impractical; a position near the edge improves leverage and simplifies the locking mechanism. Perhaps it is only a fashion in houses high enough that practicality need not be the only concern of the architect.

A Day at the Races

In which Val Con scores a victory over a field of skimmers and an aunt.

Speaking of families of consequence, here is Korval again. Anne and Er Thom have died since we saw them last, and Shan is now First Speaker, holding the clan in trust for when Val Con becomes Delm — though Val Con seems no more eager to do that thing and to give up the Scouts than his father was. (One suspects he’s going to find it harder to put off once the “your father was Delm at your age” card enters play, but he has a few years up his sleeve yet before he reaches that age.) For that matter, Shan is not keen on being First Speaker, and looks forward to being able to hand it off to Nova and head out on the Dutiful Passage. (Presumably there’s an age restriction of some kind, else Nova would be First Speaker already; she’s clearly better suited for it temperamentally.) And in the mean time, Shan races skimmers, and Val Con spends time with bartenders…

This is a case where the right ordering of a story is unclear, not because it’s not certain when it takes place, but because it’s certainly taking place at the same time as another story. I chose to put “Shadow Partner” first, since most of that story takes place before this one begins (and this ends after that does, if only by a paragraph or two), but they would not do badly the other way round.

Tomorrow: “Certain Symmetry”

Shadow Partner

In which business at The Friendly Glass is done properly or not at all.

Some years have passed since “To Cut an Edge”. Val Con is now a full Scout, and a First-In Scout at that. (Our point-of-view character here doesn’t know what that means, but there’s an explanation in Chapter Ten of Scout’s Progress, where it’s mentioned that one of Aelliana’s students achieved that distinction.)

I see that Clarence O’Berin is still in business, which is pretty good going, considering the impression we were given in “The Beggar King” about the expected longevity of a person in his position. I know I read “The Beggar King” before I first read this story, because I did the chapbooks in publication order, but I don’t recall whether I noticed his name there before.

I get the impression that Ceola and Min are the only two members of their family; when one of their relatives is mentioned, it’s in the past tense. That would seem to suggest that Min, as the elder, would be the head of the family, but she doesn’t go any higher up the pole than elder sister, even when she’s trying to convince Ceola to sell the bar, and the right to make it an order for the best good of the family would be an obvious tool to use. Perhaps such things as delms are only for families of consequence, and not for families that are reduced to two people living over a bar in the lower Mid-Port.

Tomorrow: “A Day at the Races”

Mouse and Dragon – Chapter 39

In which Daav plans his Balance against the enemy which took Aelliana.

I’m interested by the implication that the thoughtfulness of Daav’s Balance here owes something to his previous experience of loss and Balance, which taught him the limitations of the method of direct reprisal.

Using that Diary entry as the chapter heading also provides another more subtle bookend: the last time it was used was on the chapter in which Daav and Aelliana first met.

It’s a bit difficult to know how much to talk about what else happens in this chapter when it hasn’t been explicitly called out yet, even though as a re-reader I know — and, since this is a prequel, even on the first read I knew — what’s going on. I think I’ll save that for next time.

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 23

In which the worst of coming home is dealing with one’s mail.

The quote at the head of this chapter seems, at first glance, not to have much to do with what follows. There isn’t obviously anybody doing something dangerous in the name of necessity.

Unless it’s the Tree.

I am deeply suspicious of the Tree’s purposes in giving out this set of sweet cedar-smelling seed-pods — the more so since, on this re-read, I’ve noticed the other place in the chapter where the smell of sweet cedar recurs.

Mouse and Dragon – Chapter 16

In which Aelliana deals with some outstanding business.

If I have the timeframe figured out correctly, Aelliana began teaching the advanced seminar for Scouts about the time Daav was obliged to leave the Scouts and take up the Delm’s Ring. One wonders whether, had Daav been able to remain a Scout, he and Aelliana might have crossed paths much sooner.

Mr dea’Gauss continues in the mode of servant to lord, addressing Aelliana as “my lady”, until she asks that he address her as Pilot or Scholar and not offer her more honor than she has earned; then he follows her into a more equal mode and switches to addressing her as “Pilot”. I notice, though, that by the end of the conversation he’s back to addressing her as “my lady”, apparently having formed his own conclusions about how much honor she has earned from him.