Tag Archives: Sinit Caylon

Dragon in Exile – Chapter 22

Boss Nova’s House
Blair Road

In which there is a nice dinner followed by serious conversation.

I find it interesting that Kezzi’s triumph at school is reported by Syl Vor, and vice versa.

The phrase “something so trivial as an apparent breach of contract” has an edge to it, coming after Val Con’s lecture on the importance to Liadens of the making and keeping of contracts. One might suppose that in the general way, the Liaden attitude about self-reliance being what it is, a breach of contract would be resolved between the parties to the contract without bringing in any outsiders, so a breach of contract wouldn’t normally be taken to the Council of Clans unless it developed into a major situation. This is not the general case, however – for one thing, the Council of Clans is one of the parties to the contract in question.

The mention of Quin in this context makes me belatedly wonder whether his current project – which is, you will recall, to gain piloting experience by flying off somewhere for several weeks – was already planned, or if it was invented as a way to keep him out of reach of any more Balance-seekers while his family determined whether any more are to be expected.

Val Con’s aunt Mizel would be his mother’s sister Sinit, who was appointed Nadelm Mizel in Mouse and Dragon and presumably has succeeded to the Delm by now. (She also formed an alliance with yo’Lanna in that book, so that mention is another pointer.) Seeing her mentioned now as still in contact with Korval, with Aelliana’s return in prospect, makes me wonder how she is going to react to having her sister come back from the dead.

I Dare – Chapter 57

Day 59
Standard Year 1393


In which the Council of Clans throws Korval into the briar patch.

The Delm Hedrede who delivers the Council’s judgment here is not the same Delm Hedrede who clashed with Korval thirty years ago in Scout’s Progress – different pronouns – but it does make me wonder if Hedrede has a personal investment in Korval getting booted off the planet.

There’s a neat bit of narrative sleight of hand with the problem of what to do with the dies: the problem is carefully laid out, then just as Val Con is about to suggest a solution, the conversation is interrupted. The reader is left to assume that a solution is found without the authors having to actually come up with one.

Tomorrow and tomorrow: Revisiting old friends and seeing how they’re affected by recent events, in “Misfits” and then the remainder of Saltation.

I Dare – Chapter 49

Day 54
Standard Year 1393


In which Anthora is boxed in.

Well, that’s one way to prevent Nova sorting things out by going in front of the Council and accusing the Department: send someone in front of the Council to accuse Korval of everything the Department has done.

Interesting that it’s Aragon who’s been maneuvred into making the accusation. Aragon has been mentioned several times as an old and respected High House, so an accusation from Aragon will be taken seriously; it’s a significant step up from the last time we saw somebody make an accusation in Council at the Department’s instigation, when it was an ambitious clan hovering around the border between the high and mid levels. Also interesting because the most recent of the Agents of Change that have been named to us, earlier in this book, was a chel’Mara, and chel’Mara looks to Aragon — so it might even be her specifically that Aragon is about to ask about when he’s interrupted.

Because of course there’s an interruption: having Korval called before the Council to answer an accusation might be an effective way to force Anthora out of Jelaza Kazone, but letting things run on long enough for her to actually answer would be risky. I presume the interruption was part of the plan, for that reason and because it provided the excuse to hustle Anthora into the room where the trap lay ready, but I wonder how the Department managed it. Did they know their targets so well as to be able to predict that attacking dea’Gauss at a particular time would result in a Master Accountant interrupting the Council hearing? Worrying thought, that.

Having done this re-read, paying more attention to names than I usually do, I recognize everyone in the list of Korval’s allies and friends. Justus is the clan of Ken Rik, Guayar is the clan of Clonak, Ixin is the clan of Jethri and of Aelliana’s prize student Rema, Reptor is the clan of Aelliana’s space pirates, and Mizel is the clan that produced Aelliana herself. (The fact that it’s counted now among Korval’s friends is a pretty clear sign that Aelliana’s mother is no longer delm.)

The date issue is compounding itself: if the chapter heading was wrong about it being Day 53 when Anthora was told to present herself to the Council the next day, this chapter must also be wrong about it being Day 54 when she presents herself to the Council. But I still think that’s more straightforward than the alternative.

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 32

In which the lives, the hearts, and the souls of Daav yos’Phelium and Aelliana Caylon are joined.

Did I say Kareen’s schemes had gone flat? I think “flat” is not sufficient; they have not only gone flat, they’ve sunk so deep into the ground as to be a convenient height to be used as stepping stones. The end result of all Kareen’s scheming has been to smooth Aelliana’s path.

Apart from that, I have (as apparently is becoming traditional for this point in each Liaden novel) not much else to say except “Yes!”.

Mouse and Dragon – Chapter 31

In which some people have a better time than others at Lady Kareen’s gather.

Kareen’s attempt to show Aelliana up in polite company falls completely flat, partly due to Lady yo’Lanna having taken her under her wing, but also in large part to Aelliana’s own actions preceding her; even people she’s never met know and respect her. And when Kareen abandons that course of action and hurries on to the sequel of introducing her to Daav’s former wife-to-be, that if anything falls even flatter. (And it strikes me that Kareen might have been able to foresee much of this outcome if she’d made an honest attempt to get to know Aelliana, or even just to learn about Aelliana, instead of writing her off as an obstacle. But then, of course, she wouldn’t have wanted to try to show Aelliana up in the first place.)

If I recall correctly, we will eventually see Scholar yo’Vestra again in “Daughter of Dragons”, the short story that gives Lady Kareen her day in the limelight. My memory is not entirely certain on this point, but I do recall that the story includes a scholar who is Lady Kareen’s colleague and close friend, and at the risk of doing her a disservice I have to observe that the number of Lady Kareen’s close friends doesn’t seem to be large.

I like Delm Guayar, both as a person and as an example of the authors’ craft; even on a short acquaintance, the family resemblance to Clonak is unmistakeable.

The narrator says of Samiv tel’Izak that she is “young enough to perhaps be Bindan’s daughter”, which reminds me that I don’t think we’ve ever been told what their actual relationship is. In contrast to Daav, who relates to his clan members as their kinsman first and their delm only when necessary, we’ve never seen Gath tel’Izak be anybody else to Samiv except her delm.

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 19

In which courier pilot Aelliana Caylon makes her first interstellar delivery.

The other thing I wonder, speaking of the incident with Delm Hedrede in Scout’s Progress, is whether Dath jo’Bern is the same person as Delm Hedrede. We never got Hedrede’s personal name, nor any other personal details beyond “female” and “not young”; Dath jo’Bern is female, and if she’s a grandmother’s cha’leket she’s probably not young. If she is delm, one might have expected the fact to be mentioned, but I think that’s thinking like a Terran, and a Liaden might say that it’s an irrelevant detail when she’s acting in a personal capacity. (We’ve seen that several times with Daav and Delm Korval, as recently as when Aelliana told Mr dea’Gauss Daav yos’Phelium was going to be her co-pilot.) On the other hand, would Delm Hedrede choose to give business to one so closely associated with Korval, after that incident in Council?

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.

Mouse and Dragon – Chapter 6

In which Aelliana is taken under Korval’s wing.

So then, a slight but significant revision: it appears that the lifemate bond is active when Aelliana and Daav are in close proximity, but information flows only in one direction; Aelliana can feel Daav, but Daav can not feel Aelliana.

I know there’s the whole thing about how melant’i means that the same individual might be effectively a different person in different situations, but there are moments when it feels like Delm Korval really is a different person from Daav. (The scene in Local Custom where Korval calls Er Thom and Petrella to heel, the night of the gather, is another one.) I think part of it is the way Daav doesn’t like to step into the role of Delm if there is any way he can handle the situation in one of his more personal capacities, which becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy; if the only situations where Delm Korval puts in an appearance are those which Daav can’t handle himself, it follows that Delm Korval must be somebody other than Daav. Or perhaps a less dramatic way to put it is that the role of Delm consequently brings out aspects of Daav’s character that don’t usually get expressed when he’s “being himself”. Particularly since, with Daav solving the easy problems and the personal problems himself, that leaves Delm Korval with the extremely formal occasions and the situations where duty must be placed before any personal considerations.