Tag Archives: Paitor Gobelyn

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 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.


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.)

Trade Secret – Chapter 19

Tradedesk, Gallery 770

In which honor is done to the memory of Emdy Sternako

Plenty happened in this chapter, and it’s entertaining enough, but I’m getting sidetracked by one of the minor details: is this the first time “Trollians” have been mentioned?

Trade Secret – Chapter 13

Keravath, on Port, Balfour

In which Jethri and ter’Astin finish their business on Balfour and move on to their next destination.

Trouble indeed: somebody has been aboard the ship. Somebody who had a key, which they ought not to have had, and by the signs is a Scout. (Or an ex-Scout? I continue to cast suspicious looks in a very particular direction.)

Jethri’s meeting with the memorable Mr Dorster has turned up more of Iza’s neglect: basic documents and proofs of identity never completed or filed.

The Scout is also interested in the mysterious manifesto, “Arin’s Envidaria of the Seventeen Worlds”. As it is now too late to ask Freza more about it, Jethri merely tells him, truthfully but incompletely, that he never heard of it before today. The Seventeen Worlds are apparently a cluster of planets along the galatic arm where travel is unusually restricted by cosmic phenomena that are expected to last for the next few centuries; if Arin was taking the long view – and considering how old he probably was, it might not have seemed as long as all that – the Envidaria may involve a plan for how things will shift when the cosmic phenomena get out of the way. (And although “the next few centuries” is a pretty vague timespan, I can’t help noting that one plausible interpretation of a few centuries on from this novel puts us right about the time the next Liaden novel is due to be set…)

And now they are off to Vincza, where the Scout has hope for finding something and Jethri has been invited to a regional trade meeting (run by the Carresens Coordinating Committee, a name which rings a distinct bell: the Carresens are still trading in one of the later novels, and I seem to remember one of them mentioning Arin in a historical context, though I don’t recall what is said).

I wonder if Freza’s ship will also be attending the trade meeting. Not just because of the several reasons Jethri has for wanting to see her again, but also because the meeting’s being held in the system where they had their last, ill-fated meeting, and it would be kind of appropriate for it also to be the location of their next meeting, where hopefully they will fare better.

Trade Secret – Chapter 12

Keravath, on Port, Balfour

In which Jethri meets an old friend and a lawyer.

Jethri and ter’Astin have come to Balfour to meet some people. The Scout is to meet with some “specialists” (in which specialism, he does not specify), and Jethri is to meet with a lawyer, a trade law specialist who has had previous business with Elthoria, to explore the question of what can be done about his logbook being stolen.

Jay Rivenkid Dorster, Esquire, professional trade law specialist and free-lance stress-tester of furniture, is a real character. I may have said before that one of the things I like about this series is that many of the characters who only stick around on the page for a chapter or two have enough personality to stick around in the memory for much longer.

This is the first time Jethri’s been among Terrans since he shipped out with Elthoria, and he’s having some difficulty shifting smoothly back into dealing with Terran faces and Terran ways. I hope that doesn’t get him into any trouble.

The old friend he meets is Freza DeNobli, the young woman he might once have had a thing with if the scheduling had worked out. It seems like they’re both hoping the scheduling will work out a bit better this time. For now, though, the schedule only has room for a brief session of essential catching-up talk.

(It appears that there really is some kind of document bearing some resemblance to the thing yos’Belin was talking about last chapter – and to the information-share Paitor was telling Khat about a few chapters before. But I still think that the reason there’s no mention of it in the Commission’s records is that the Commission isn’t interested.)

I am not happy about the pair of workers Jethri sees moving around closer to the ship than they ought to be. That kind of thing too often means trouble one way or another.

Trade Secret – Chapter 9

Flight Deck, Gobelyn’s Market, Raising Serconia Three

In which the First Mate and the Senior Trader talk about the future and the past.

So Iza’s always known Jethri wasn’t hers – Arin showed up with the infant Jethri one day, at the end of a long trip away, and talked Iza into accepting him as a Gobelyn. (That’s a clarification I’m right glad to have, considering where my train of thought was ending up on the back of the information we’d previously had.) So then she had to work with the apparent implication of Arin acquiring a son somewhere without her involvement, and then the less apparent but more unsettling creeping realisation that Jethri was all Arin’s, all the more unsettling set aside the growing realisation that she knew much less about Arin than she’d thought she did.

Paitor mentions that they found out Arin had had other children before he met Iza. I wonder if we’re going to meet any of them this trip – and I wonder if any of them have the same “family resemblance” as Jethri.

Speaking of family resemblances, Paitor says that there was a family resemblance between Arin and the Uncle, though he stops short of “twin”, which is what he says about Arin and Jethri, so I don’t know if he’s implying that he thinks that the Uncle is to Arin what Arin is to Jethri.

(I’ve actually been thinking that might be the case myself for a few weeks now, since the “Arin’s youngest brother” chapter of Balance of Trade, because it reminded me of the scene in Crystal Dragon where Cantra earns a sharp look from the Uncle by suggesting that Arin looks enough like him to be his brother. And it’s prompted me to finally get around to comparing the physical descriptions of Arin and his Uncle, which I hadn’t done before because they’re in separate books of the duology; I suspect now that that was deliberate, to avoid making it too obvious that Arin and his Uncle are both tall, lean, dark-haired and grey-eyed.)

(But here’s an odd thing: Grig’s Uncle Yuri is tall and lean, but contrariwise is grey-haired and dark-eyed.)

(And while we’re at it: Jethri’s father Arin, in the photocube from Balance of Trade, has hair described similarly to the earlier Arin’s but his eyes, like Jethri’s, are brown.)

In Paitor’s stories about the doing of the Tomas family, I see the seeds of several things that crop up in the novels featuring Theo. (And given the bit about the Uncle’s secret shipyard, I’m wondering if Bechimo is one of them.)

Trade Secret – Chapter 8

Flight Deck, Gobelyn’s Market, Local Day Graceful 23 on Kinaveral

In which the Gobelyns shake the dust of Kinaveral from their feet.

And we leave Jethri for now, to go and see how the rest of the Gobelyns are doing.

Jethri’s name still comes up a few times. Partly it’s that getting the ship flying again means people are returning to old routines, and noticing the spaces that Jethri used to fill; partly it’s other things. Apparently the two trades that earned Jethri his ten-year key were interesting enough that people are seeking the Market out in hopes of doing business with him. That can’t be doing Iza’s temper much good.

Speaking of Jethri, we also find out that back in the day Arin got the ship to actually run some of Jethri’s make-believe trade routes. We don’t find out yet what resulted, but I have a feeling that’s coming.

The refit has, after all, taken long enough that Grig and Seeli’s son has been born on the ground instead of in space. The bit about Grig and Seeli not being decided about which surname, and which set of associated connotations, to give him is interesting. So is the bit where Captain Iza decides for them: she’s not accepting any relative of Arin’s and Grig’s as a Gobelyn, no matter who his mother is.

By the end of the chapter, Khat has been made first mate, on the recommendation of Cris, who was first mate before the refit; the work Cris was doing while he waited out the refit has left him rusty on skills a first mate needs, while the work Khat was doing sharpened her up some, and anyhow Cris’s other skills are going to be needed for the various issues associated with the shakedown cruise.

(I kind of wonder if she’s going to go further by the time this book’s over; there are hints that some of the crew are beginning to doubt whether having Iza as captain serves the ship as well as once it did.)

The conversation about safe-runs is, in a way, a reply to the conversation last chapter about memorizing the coords of one’s homeworld. It appears that even spacers whose birth home is a ship, now and always, have an equivalent – another thing nobody bothered to teach Jethri.