Here we start to see the pay-off of both the “my own lady holds my soul” conversation and the observation that Rys has connections to his brothers and sisters similar to a Healer’s connections to her patients.
Something tells me there’s soon going to be another landing in Korval’s back field to annoy the survey team.
In which Emissary Twelve has thoughts about change.
There’s a lot of thinking about the future in this chapter: about what they will do if Boss Surebleak wins, and, perhaps more importantly, what kind of future they will shape if Boss Surebleak doesn’t win.
That makes, I believe two appointments the portmaster has tomorrow, beginning two hours apart. I wonder if they will collide in some fashion.
In which Emissary Twelve is making rapid progress.
The authors are playing with the timeline a bit in order to spread characters’ scenes out, I think. It’s unlikely that Miri’s last scene (showing the beginning of a long afternoon at the office) took place after Val Con’s last scene, which ended with him getting the message to come to the Tree Court — unless he took a very relaxed stroll from the outer garden to the Tree. Or perhaps I’m underestimating how long the conversation at the Tree takes; after all, a Turtle is capable of some impressive pauses for thought.
In which there is a free and frank exchange of views.
In all the excitement, I don’t think anyone got around to reading the emergency pinbeam message. It should be okay, though; most likely it was just a heads-up about the thing that happens at the end of the chapter, which went okay anyhow. Continue reading →
It is a failure of imagination on my part that it hadn’t occurred to me to wonder what might happen to the Tree if Boss Surebleak succeeded in getting the mobile members of Clan Korval thrown off the planet. Or perhaps it’s just a sign of how confident I am that that’s an outcome so unlikely as to not be worth spending imagination on.
Miri might be onto something with the idea that the Department of the Interior is planning on taking Surebleak for itself. (Indeed, we’ve already seen hints in that direction, such as the plot in “Shout of Honor”.) Which would make Boss Surebleak accusing Korval of a hostile takeover another example of someone accusing another of the thing they’d do themselves given half a chance.
Of the bosses whose turfs saw action, we have not previously heard of Boss Threadle. Bosses Conrad and Kalhoon are, of course, the leaders of the Council of Bosses, and Boss Vine holds the territory immediately neighbouring the spaceport. Boss Wentworth was mentioned a few times in Necessity’s Child but I don’t recall if we learned anything particular about him. Continue reading →
I notice that when Val Con and Miri are rendering Korval’s judgement, the placement of the quotation marks indicates that they are speaking alternate sentences, but there’s a lack of dialogue tags indicating who is speaking which sentence. In a way, of course, that’s only appropriate because it doesn’t matter — either way, it’s Delm Korval speaking — but I’d be interested to know whether the judgement itself is spoken by the half of the delm whose idea it was or the half who had to be convinced that it would work. Continue reading →
In which Val Con and Miri gather information about their visitors.
This is the first mention I can recall of there now being two separate branches of the Scouts, but it doesn’t surprise me. I presume the schism is a consequence of the events surrounding Korval’s big play and subsequent exile, and the subsequent removal of a chunk of Liaden society to Surebleak. Liaden society as a whole was divided over how to view Korval’s actions, and although many Scouts had a sympathy for Korval it is not to be supposed that they were unanimous in their approval. Continue reading →
In which Daav and Aelliana explore the boundaries of their new situation.
It is a good question, how the Tree knew they’d need those particular seed pods; we’ve had cause to ask similar questions before, though usually not involving such a complicated and unpredictable chain of events. I don’t find the suggestion that the pods would never have ripened if they hadn’t been needed reassuring, because it suggests that the pods are themselves aware of their surroundings and capable of interpreting events, which is a disconcerting attribute to ascribe to (a) a small lump of vegetable matter with no apparent nervous system, and (b) something one has recently eaten. Continue reading →