Tag Archives: Quin yos’Phelium

Accepting the Lance – Chapter 35

Blair Road
Boss Conrad’s House

In which Mrs kaz’Ineo has an idea.

The mention of the Gilmour Agency’s human resources manual as a recent acquisition places this chapter not long after the opening scene of “Block Party”, in which Luzeal had just made the discovery, although perhaps not after the entire story, which covers a period of several weeks.
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Alliance of Equals – Chapter 29

Langlastport

In which Broker Plishet is not as clever as he thinks he is.

Here, one of the threads tying the two plot lines together is the consideration of melant’i.

On Padi’s side, there’s her awareness of the fact that her current melant’i is that of a peaceful trader, not of a pilot in a dangerous situation with several youngsters depending on her. (Which itself shows her development beginning from the beginning of the novel, when she was inclined to fall back into that familiar melant’i whenever uncertain.)

I’m not sure how much furtherer Admiral Bunter is going to get in his studies by turning to melant’i plays; I get the impression, from earlier mentions, that they tend toward extreme situations of the kind where a person is so hedged about by necessity that the only way forward is the death of their dearest friend or whatever. (Recall that Anne in Local Custom was guided somewhat in her understanding of Er Thom by the Liaden literature she’d read, and didn’t always find it a useful guide.) I’m also a bit dubious about his choice of illustrious expert, who by his name is Terran rather than Liaden; on top which is the characterisation of melant’i plays as “exotic”. Then again, the Admiral is himself an outsider to Liaden culture, so perhaps an outsider’s description is what he would find useful.

Alliance of Equals – Chapter 26

Langlastport
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 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 4

Tarigan
In Jump

In which there are consultations on matters of healing.

Yay! We’re getting more of Tolly and Tocohl and Haz already! I’d assumed that it would be another whole book before we found out what happened to them next. (I see that Hazenthull, like Nelirikk, has traded in her Explorer designation for a “nor’Phelium”.)

When Tocohl speaks of her mentor, I think she’s referring to Val Con. Strictly speaking it was Jeeves who oversaw her awakening (and isn’t that a thought to horrify the framers of the Complex Logic Laws, an AI being taught how to be human by another AI), but he said that to save time he basically gave her a direct download of what he’d learned from his own mentor. And while he must have had another mentor back in the long-ago time that he was first activated, much of what he knows about smooth social interaction he learned from Val Con. The specific trick of pausing as if to consider is one we see Val Con teaching him in “Intelligent Design”.

This is the first mention of ‘mite since the Jethri books. I wonder if that’s a sign other elements from the Jethri books will be reappearing.

There is definitely something up with Padi, but not yet enough clues to start guessing about what.

Alliance of Equals – Chapter 3

Dutiful Passage

In which Padi has a lesson to learn.

I raise an eyebrow at Padi’s dismissal of things that serve no purpose other than looking pretty. Apart from the error she’s making of assuming that “I see no purpose to this” is the same as “There is no purpose to this”, it seems shortsighted for one who aspires to be a trader: even if a thing’s only value lies in looking pretty, it still has value that may be usefully leveraged or may cause problems if ignored. People value the things they value, for whatever reason.

(That said, being unreasonable isn’t all that unlikely for someone Padi’s age.)

I’m wondering if the Carresens Syndicate is going be part of the “alliance of equals” referred to in the title. When the family (and Pilot Janifer Carresens-DeNobli) was last mentioned, in Dragon in Exile, the delm summed them up by saying they were very like Korval. (I somehow doubt the Uncle is going to be part of it; has he ever recognised an equal?)

Alliance of Equals – Chapter 2

Dutiful Passage

In which Padi tends to the growth of the garden and Shan tends to the growth of his heir.

That’s an interesting word choice by Padi in response to the suggestion that she might have Healer abilities coming on. Not that she hasn’t seen any evidence of it (and I notice she doesn’t say that she hasn’t), but that she’s determined not to be a Healer — as if determination has ever made any difference in the matter. I wonder why she’s so firm on the subject. It surely can’t be that she thinks being a Healer would prevent her becoming a Trader, since her own father is proof that a person can be both.

Possibly there’s a clue to be had by considering Shan’s timing in raising the matter: He does it as an apparent tangent off the discussion about Padi’s motivation in her self-defence training, which suggests that he sees some connection. Perhaps he’s thinking that a Healer might be reluctant to harm others and that this could lead to overcompensation.

The interlude with the Uncle places the timing of this story with some precision, within the timespan of Dragon in Exile, and raises the prospect of the Uncle and Dulsey playing a larger part in this novel. And perhaps their two guests as well?

Dragon in Exile – Chapter 35

Boss Nova’s House
Blair Road
Surebleak

In which Vel Ter jo’Bern appreciates art.

The drunken ne’er-do-well has a good name; an earlier Vel Ter jo’Bern was the head of House Hedrede during the Migration, and one of the negotiators on the Contract.

It’s nice to see the crisis pass with good feeling on all sides, though I do wonder if Vel Ter is able to view the situation with some distance on account of the distance that exists between himself and his clan; I suspect Delm Hedrede will be less appreciative of Luken’s artistry when the news reaches him. But less inclined to do anything about it, so there’s that.

Dragon in Exile – Chapter 34

Audrey’s House of Joy
Blair Road
Surebleak

In which Quin and Villy go for a stroll.

Well, that settles the question of where Quin really stands with Villy. I might have guessed it, if I’d thought; given the delicacy of Villy’s situation, that’s not a decision that would have gone by off the page.

The Tansy whom Villy offers to introduce Quin to is presumably not the same Tansy who was one of Syl Vor’s classmates in Necessity’s Child.

My guess about the loud guest at the end of the chapter is that somebody has recognised the new carpet on the staircase.

Dragon in Exile – Chapter 33

Jelaza Kazone
Surebleak

In which the Tree reaches out to a visitor, and Quin decides to go for a walk.

kin’Joyt professes to be offended that Korval is (supposedly) charging money for viewing the house, instead of having a free open day like properly civilised people, but it doesn’t seem to have occurred to her to protest by, say, refusing to buy a ticket. Then again, I get the impression kin’Joyt is willing to embrace an opportunity to be offended by Korval’s behaviour.

The mode of captain-to-passenger is an interesting choice; technically, that’s no longer an option that lies within Korval’s melant’i, since the Contract that made Korval the Liadens’ captain was concluded. It efficiently announces the delm’s identity, though; everybody still remembers, and if it’s no longer within Korval’s melant’i, there is yet nobody else who can lay claim to it.

“Lefty” pen’Erit’s new name follows the existing Surebleak pattern of This Is What Your Name Sounds Like To Me, though I had to go and look his personal name up to be sure because it’s been mentioned less often than the other examples we’ve seen.