Tag Archives: Penn Kalhoon’s father

Dragon in Exile – Chapter 21

Riley’s Back Room
Fortunato’s Turf

In which Miri talks about the past, and Droi thinks about the future.

And one way in which things immediately become more interesting is that Rys’s role as leader of the freed Agents, with all its responsibilities and risks, has ceased to be merely hypothetical now that there is at least one freed Agent to lead.

It’s an interesting point about Droi perhaps not having a place on the ship of the Bedel when it returns. This chapter seems to be gesturing toward the possibility that she might by then discover that she has a place on Surebleak with Rys, which would not be quite the same as being left alone among gadje. The problem I see with this as a solution is that it revives the issue of the kompani needing to have a particular number of members at the end of chafurma, which was the necessity that drove Droi to start interacting with Rys in the first place: if both Rys and Droi leave, the kompani will be short, even if the kompani keeps their daughter, which I could see being a Balance demanded of them.

(Unless, it occurred to me as I composed the previous sentence, the newly freed Agents follow Rys’s path, and enough of them join the kompani to balance the loss. I’m suspicious of this idea, though: it seems a bit too neat, the kind of prediction that I’ve usually been wrong about before with Liaden novels.)

I was right about the nosy crews being connected; good to know my intuitions aren’t entirely off. Having some kind of underground-space-detecting technology explains how they knew where to look without necessarily knowing what was in the spaces they were looking for. The mention of an Insurance Committee suggests they might also be connected to the shakedowns Pat Rin has been dealing with. It says something about their ideas of neighbourliness (or at least of the behaviour of Bosses) that they assume they can nobble the Road Boss’s nearest neighbour without anybody noticing or caring.

It occurs to me that the kompani, who have been on Surebleak many generations “to learn what there was to know”, might well have learned things that would be relevant and useful to Kareen’s project, even if they weren’t interested in the social constructs of gadje particularly. Whether anybody in the story is likely to have this occur to them, and whether the Bedel would agree to share such knowledge, who knows?

Ghost Ship – Chapter 8

The Grand Progress

In which Delm Korval is given more welcomes, in a variety of styles.

I’m not sure what to make of this: we’ve had at least two people remark on how much Val Con resembles Pat Rin, and at least one say she doesn’t think the resemblance is all that marked. Different people looking for different things? Or perhaps it’s a question of expectation; with so few data points it’s difficult to be sure, but the degree of perceived resemblance might vary depending on whether a person has been told beforehand to expect it.

I like the idea that the Tree’s response to being moved is to be pleasurably reminded of its younger days when it travelled regularly. I wonder if it ever got bored just standing around for years on end. Perhaps it helped that it had people around it who went and travelled, to some degree, on its behalf.

There’s a fair amount of leeway in the question of just how young the young Mr pel’Kana actually is, since the last we heard of the old Mr pel’Kana was nearly twenty years ago.

Ghost Ship – Chapter 7

Emerald Casino
Surebleak Port

In which a misunderstanding is put right.

It doesn’t surprise me that Penn takes longer to recognise Miri than it takes her to recognise him; she’d have reason to expect that returning to Surebleak would mean meeting old friends, but he’d have no particular reason to expect that he’d encounter, while going about his daily business, someone who left the planet years ago with no intention of ever coming back. And it has been a lot of years: in fact, Miri recently passed the point where she’s spent more time not living on Surebleak than she had living on Surebleak.

It does surprise me that the ‘hand says Val Con’s not carrying any weapons. I know the amount of weaponry he had on him in the last few books was a carryover from his agent days and a concession to present necessity, and it was said clearly that left to himself he’s not the weapon-toting type, but I’d have expected him to at least have his brother’s knife on him.

Re-reading this chapter, which turns on the distinction between Pat Rin’s ring and Val Con’s, it occurs to me that Pat Rin might have named his casino after his ring, and the emeralds which show it for what it is; when he opened the casino, after all, he was engaged in an enormous gamble which was begun when he received the ring.

Fighting Chance

In which Miri Robertson begins the adventure of her life.

This is a story I think I’d have more to say about if I were reading it for the first time, and if the characters were new to me instead of already familiar from other stories written earlier but set later.

As it is, the main thing that occurs to me to say is that I wonder about Katy Tayzin’s determination not to go offworld. We learn more about her family history later, but as I recall it we don’t ever learn anything specific to explain that.

Tomorrow: “To Cut an Edge”