Tag Archives: Pale Wing

Accepting the Lance – Prologue

Runcible System
Daglyte Seam

In which the Commander of Agents decides to stay on target.

That’s an interesting moment there, where the Commander starts to consider giving the whole thing up and disbanding the Department, and then is suddenly confident success is within grasp if they hold the course. Given what we already know about how the Department messes about with the insides of its assets’ heads, I suspect the Commander has something within hers devoted to heading off that train of thought. Something to keep an eye on, going forward.

Another thing to keep an eye on is the situation with the Old Tech having gone missing, including “the eldest and most destructive of the Department’s accumulated machines”. Not enough information yet to say who might be behind that, or with what purpose.

On the other hand, I suspect that I know who is behind the affliction of the Department’s dramliz: that would most likely be the lady from Alliance of Equals who set out to achieve her own Balance against the Department.

The Commander considers that it would be a crushing defeat for Korval if the clan were forced to disband and be absorbed by the Terran hordes; I suspect Korval would be less bothered by it, except if it meant they couldn’t protect the people they owed duty to. Even having the Luck diffused might not be something they mourned too much — and frankly, I’m not as confident as the Commander that it would be diffused in such a case. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that just meant it got spread around more, without losing any of its potency.

Neogenesis – Chapter 20 part I


In which Surebleak has more visitors.

A whole lotta people arriving on Surebleak in one clump, with at least one more bunch expected soon, and all of them having business with Korval. It remains to see how much more complicated things are going to get when they start (as I expect they will, sooner or later) interacting with each other as well.
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Alliance of Equals – Chapter 26

The Torridon Hotel

In which there is conversation after dinner.

I don’t know if it’s significant that Shan describes the Liaden tongue as “the language of home” when speaking to the jeweller, after all the reminders there have been that the children of Korval need to stop thinking of Liad as home. Probably it’s just that that’s a conventional phrase and the situation is not appropriate for a more precise description.

I also don’t know if it’s significant that we’re getting a reminder now of Master Moonel, who appeared in Local Custom. That was back when Shan was a small boy, and Moonel was already the most respected jeweller on Liad, so it is not a surprise to learn now that he has since died. (Shan mentions that his shop stands empty; I wonder if that’s a sign that it happened recently, or perhaps that he was so respected nobody wishes to try taking his place.)

Possibly it is the death that matters — it makes two scenes in a row where the subject of death has come up in proximity with Padi, which helps things remain ominous even as her conversation with her father seems to be going well.

Alliance of Equals – Chapter 6

Dutiful Passage
Andiree Approach

In which there may be trouble ahead.

We get quite a few new names in this chapters. There are the characters who have not been specifically referenced before, such as the crew of Pale Wing, and also characters who have been mentioned before but named, such as Dutiful Passage‘s third mate and the woman whose actions resulted in Hazenthull being brought along by Tocohl and Tolly.

Tocohl has a bit of a new name, too: this is the first time her surname has been mentioned. I wonder if it signifies anything, the way her forename does. (I wonder if it’s actually her surname, or just part of her cover?)

The third mate has the surname Tiazan, which is, as Padi recently reminded us, the name of Miri’s Liaden relatives. I did briefly entertain the amusing notion that Miri had for some reason joined the crew for this voyage, incognito, and that Shan’s comment about the third mate being “a bit stiff in the honor” was a joke. But of course we know that Miri is still back on Surebleak.

Alliance of Equals – Chapter 5

Dutiful Passage

In which there are uncomfortable awakenings.

So now we know what Padi’s secret is. Poor kid. Of course it didn’t occur to her, while she was taking great care not to let the others see how much afraid she was, that the others might be doing likewise.

Given the bit about how Padi’s found herself thinking of the milaster scheme as if it might somehow make or break her trading career, I see two ways that might go, depending on how far into the book they get to Chessel’s World. It might be a disaster, and that be a launching point for more plot. Or it might be that they get to Chessel’s World only at the end of the novel, after many adventures, and it’s a success but by then Padi has other bigger things to think about.

Another change in Dutiful Passage‘s roster becomes apparent: It appears that, after so many years, Ken Rik yo’Lanna is no longer the cargo master.

I said, back when it was first made clear, that I didn’t understand why Tolly hasn’t been told it’s Korval he’s working for; I think I’m getting the idea now. One thing I hadn’t borne in mind was just how much trouble Tocohl’s mere existence could cause her creators, given the Complex Logic Laws, if the identity of her creators became known. And I think what Shan said about it being bad-mannered to burden Lina with Korval’s secrets unnecessarily also applies to Tolly.

I’m beginning to really wonder who it was who served as the connection between Tolly and Korval for employment purposes. It seems to me like Tolly started to say a name or designation beginning with “The” before he thought better of saying it out loud. I don’t think it’s the Uncle, given the way Tolly thinks about him later in the conversation. It’s definitely not Theo, both because she doesn’t know people like Tolly and because if Korval had contact with her they’d doubtless be requiring her to aid the situation in a more direct manner.

Alliance of Equals – Chapter 1

Dutiful Passage

In which yos’Galan has reason to contemplate the future.

It looks like this is going to be Padi’s book for dealing with the aftermath of Runig’s Rock, the way Necessity’s Child was Syl Vor’s.

Over on Shan’s side of the chapter, we have reminders of Shan’s encounter with Lute, and of Lomar Fasholt and the disturbances in the political structures of those who follow the Goddess. I’m hoping that’s a sign that there’ll be more Lute and Moonhawk in this book.

Pale Wing is not a ship name we’ve encountered before; from context, it’s clearly a Korval ship, and probably one of yos’Galan’s trading fleet. The ship that Tor An yos’Galan brought away from the death of the Ringstars was named Light Wing; perhaps this ship was named after that one, the way yos’Galan’s flagship is named after Quick Passage.

(It’s not strictly part of the chapter, but I couldn’t help noticing that the Acknowledgments feature a thank-you to Dr Linebarger, otherwise known as the SF author Cordwainer Smith. I look forward to finding out why that’s there.)