Tag Archives: Ran Eld Caylon

I Dare – Chapter 37

Day 51
Standard Year 1393

Departing Lytaxin

In which Daav and Aelliana go on a journey with several surprises in store.

I find myself wondering when Edger found time to acquire the new shuttle and have it fitted to the ship of the clan. The months he and Sheather spent waiting on Shaltren to see if the Juntavas could find Val Con and Miri seem most hopeful, except that they didn’t have the ship with them, it having gone on to Volmer and them having opted to go straight to Shaltren on a Terran vessel.

That also gets me wondering how they got from Shaltren back to Lufkit to visit Liz, and then from there to Lytaxin. They must have switched back to the ship of the clan at some point, since they arrived at Lytaxin in it.

Perhaps when Edger and Sheather left Lufkit for Shaltren, Edger sent Handler, Selector, and Watcher ahead to Volmer, to secure the ship of the clan, make arrangements for the addition of the shuttle, and await them there. Then after Sheather’s visit to Liz, Edger and Sheather went to Volmer, collected the upgraded ship, and proceeded to Lytaxin. That seems to cover everything, except that we’re still left with the question of where Handler, Selector, and Watcher are now.

Mouse and Dragon – Chapter 30

In which Aelliana proposes a solution.

Once again it’s Aelliana who gets to make the decisive move instead of Daav swooping in and rescuing her. (I may be labouring this point a bit. But seriously, how many novels are there where that happens?)

I am particularly interested by the part of Aelliana’s proposal which has her paying the blood-price for Ran Eld’s death when Sinit becomes Delm. There are several things going on here. For one, it gives Mizel an inducement to accept Sinit as nadelm, where her mother’s actions have cast doubt on the hope that she might accept as much simply because it’s the sensible course. It also serves a practical purpose in ensuring that when Sinit becomes delm there will be an amount of money she can rely on, no matter how the clan’s fortunes may have suffered in the mean time. There’s also some shifty work going on with the melant’i of the situation. I still don’t think that Aelliana truly owes Mizel anything for Ran Eld’s death, but by accepting the blood-price as her debt she’s making sure Mizel can’t try to stick it to anybody else (such as Daav); and by specifying that the payment will be made to Birin Caylon’s successor, the result will be that Birin Caylon gets the promise of an apology but never the apology itself.

Mouse and Dragon – Chapter 27

In which Mizel makes a counteroffer.

Chonselta Healer Hall seems to me a good choice for Aelliana to stay while the negotiations are settled. It’s definitely neutral territory, leaving Mizel no grounds to suggest that Aelliana would remain under Korval’s influence as would be the case with Trealla Fantrol or Glavda Empri. (Personally, I doubt that Lady yo’Lanna would allow anybody to exert undue influence on a guest, ally or no, but that wouldn’t stop Mizel making the suggestion.) In addition, it’s in Chonselta, so Mizel can’t argue that Aelliana is being kept away from her family. (Not that I expect Mizel to make any attempt to visit Aelliana even if she does move back to Chonselta, but again it’s a strategic thing to argue.) Conversely, it’s a place where Daav can be assured that Aelliana won’t come under undue pressure from Mizel, particularly since specifying Master Kestra’s involvement means that there will someone involved who knows what Aelliana has already been through.

(And on that note, I admire the wording of Daav’s response to Mizel’s demand, which acknowledges the desirability of ensuring that Aelliana not be coerced without expressing or acceding to any specific suggestion about who might be doing the coercing.)

Mouse and Dragon – Chapter 26

In which Aelliana attends her first gather, and sweeps all before her.

The guest list at yo’Lanna’s gather has a nice sense of history, being a mix of new people, people who were at Korval’s gather in chapter 26 of Scout’s Progress, and people who were at Etgora’s gather in “Choice of Weapons”. In the last category is Etgora Himself, the father of the young man whose enthusiasm Daav was obliged to dampen. (There’s also a reference to that event when Daav and the hostess are exchanging greetings.)

Less charmingly, there are also echoes of the other story set around that time: “The Beggar King”, in which pilots were mysteriously going missing, and Daav was not able to find those responsible, only oblige them to suspend their activities for a time. That time, it appears, has now passed, and pilots are going missing again.

The bond between Daav and Aelliana is developing, however slowly; Daav now possesses the ability to know without looking when Aelliana enters the room, the inverse of which Aelliana has had since the beginning of the novel.

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 20

In which there is a price to be paid by those who don’t know better than to interfere in an alleyway brawl.

This chapter is the one in which Daav says that it is the fate of the courier to catch glimpses of other lives and never know how they turned out, which I mentioned in an earlier entry is how I feel about some of the Liaden short stories.

Aelliana’s knack for intercepting projectiles is going to come up again.

Food watch: it is not said what was in the stew, but the fact of it being sold at a greens market suggests it was probably vegetables again.

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.

Mouse and Dragon – Chapter 14

In which Lady Kareen gives Aelliana an idea and the Tree gives Daav a fright.

I believe this is the first time since we’ve known her that Aelliana has admitted to being hungry without external prompting.

Speaking of food, it suddenly struck me that in the last few chapters we’ve been told what Aelliana had for breakfast and for lunch, and in neither meal was there any meat. There was fish in the sandwiches in Chapter 4, but apart from fish I can’t remember the last time we saw a Liaden eat meat of any kind, and now I’m wondering if that’s significant. (I doubt it’s as simple as a lack of meat animals on Liad, because I can remember plenty of examples of Liadens eating cheese, and there’s usually an overlap between milk-giving animals and animals that are considered good to eat.)

Daav’s view of his sister has grown a bit more nuanced than when we first saw them together in Local Custom, I notice. Her view of him, on the other hand, seems as rigid as ever. (And she still hasn’t given up on her grudge about Pat Rin, nor come to any better understanding of what happened there, it seems.)

Mouse and Dragon – Chapter 13

In which Aelliana and Daav communicate.

Now, this is more like it. I’m glad this isn’t one of those stories where the characters drag on in misery for chapters on end over something that could be cleared up easily if they just talked about it.

It occurs to me that Daav’s error is in some ways similar to Aelliana’s error of a few days earlier. Aelliana shut out her comrades for fear of them getting hurt, without giving them a chance to decide for themselves what level of risk they were prepared to accept for her sake, when as it happened they would have been prepared to accept the risk and to point out that the risk was less than fear made it seem; that also describes what Daav tried to do to Aelliana. Fortunately, this time it got sorted out before anyone got seriously hurt.

And in the midst of all that drama, a passing mention of a plan of the delm’s that will become important later. No, two passing mentions of projects of Daav’s that will become important later; this chapter is also the first in which the name of Kiladi is mentioned.