Tag Archives: tel’Vaster

Alliance of Equals – Chapter 13

Dutiful Passage

In which experts consider possible alliances.

The mention of the captain, the first mate, and the trader reminds me that I don’t think we know who is the first mate of the Passage at the moment. Ren Zel was appointed to the position when Priscilla moved up to captain in I Dare, but as we were reminded last chapter Ren Zel is currently situated on Surebleak with Anthora, serving the clan in another capacity.

Tolly’s mission continues to be apparently continuing smoothly, which just means I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop. One potential obstacle that occurs to me is that Tolly has determined that Admiral Bunter needs to be transferred onto a platform large enough to hold all of him at once, but hasn’t mentioned whether such a platform happens to be available. I suspect not; it isn’t the kind of thing likely to be just lying around, and even if Jeeves and Tocohl had foreseen the need they might well have decided it would be better to order one in after examining the Admiral on the spot than to try and guess in advance what specs would suit. Which means they’re going to have to keep the Admiral occupied until the thing arrives.

(Idle speculation: Perhaps circumstances will line up such that the easiest way for it to get to Jemiatha Station is for Dutiful Passage to bring it. That seems too tidy, but it would at least provide a connection between the two plot lines.)

Alliance of Equals – Chapter 6

Dutiful Passage
Andiree Approach

In which there may be trouble ahead.

We get quite a few new names in this chapter. There are the characters who have not been specifically referenced before, such as the crew of Pale Wing, and also characters who have been mentioned before but not named, such as Dutiful Passage‘s third mate and the woman whose actions resulted in Hazenthull being brought along by Tocohl and Tolly.

Tocohl has a bit of a new name, too: this is the first time her surname has been mentioned. I wonder if it signifies anything, the way her forename does. (I wonder if it’s actually her surname, or just part of her cover?)

The third mate has the surname Tiazan, which is, as Padi recently reminded us, the name of Miri’s Liaden relatives. I did briefly entertain the amusing notion that Miri had for some reason joined the crew for this voyage, incognito, and that Shan’s comment about the third mate being “a bit stiff in the honor” was a joke. But of course we know that Miri is still back on Surebleak.

Dragon in Exile – Chapter 29

Corner of Dudley Lane and Farley Avenue

In which Kareen and Kamele have made a discovery.

I do not think it’s just a coincidence that Kareen’s preferred seat faces the doorway, though I can see why Kamele would think so. They’re both scholars, but one of them grew up on a Safe World, and the other grew up in a family that habitually gets into situations where it’s valuable to have habits like always sitting where you can see the door.

I said earlier that getting involved in Kareen’s project gives Kamele a reason to stay on Surebleak that is her own and not just a case of having a relationship with someone who lives here. Droi, uncertain of her continued welcome among the Bedel, may find that it does the same for her.

Which, come to think of it, may be a good thing, because staying to be with Rys might not end up as an option if he’s going off to fight the Department. It would be one thing if the choice came upon her when Rys was right there and she could say, “I am staying here with Rys”, but it might happen that she has decide whether she wants to say, “I am staying here, where Rys isn’t and may never be again”.

Dragon in Exile – Chapter 27

Office of the Road Boss
Surebleak Port

In which it’s time to be gone.

I expect we’ll get Tolly’s story in a chapter or two, but what’s the fun of reading a book for the first time if one can’t speculate? I had wondered, when it was established that Tolly’s former employer was a Liaden, if this was another aspect of the Department of the Interior, and the mental-control business with the whistles also points in that direction. (If so, I notice that Liaden servants of the Department get names, but Terrans, even if they’re valuable specialists, are tools with serial numbers.) On the other hand, indications so far have been that the Department doesn’t think enough of Terrans to use them even as anonymous tools. Maybe this is some kind of splinter operation; maybe it’s a completely unrelated bunch of unscrupulous Liadens. It might not even be a Liaden group entirely; the woman with the other whistle isn’t said to be Liaden, and although she is said to be small in stature, it’s Hazenthull’s viewpoint saying so, and there are maybe three people on Surebleak who don’t look small to Hazenthull.

I was worried that, with Hazenthull having to take off with Tolly, there’d be nobody left to explain matters to Commander Liz, but Tocohl will be in contact with the port tower during lift, and maybe she’ll get a chance to pass a message then. Or she probably has some way of communicating directly with Jeeves, and can dump the whole thing in his metaphorical lap. (There’s another thing to look forward to: Hazenthull’s reaction to Tocohl.)

Dragon in Exile – Chapter 24


In which there are meetings and partings.

I’m still inclined to the idea that Tolly is the specialist Jeeves is sending with Tocohl. Conversely, this implies that Jeeves is the colleague who encouraged Tolly to settle on Surebleak, which raises the interesting question of what enterprise they might have been colleagues in.

I haven’t the faintest idea what High Judge Falish Meron (whose name is given here for the first time) might want with Val Con. Based on past performance, this probably means I haven’t been paying attention and it will be obvious as soon as it’s said.

Smealy’s meeting with Miri is sure to go badly for somebody, but I’m not confident in guessing who. Miri might send him out with his tail between his legs, the way Val Con did, but he’ll be more inclined to fight back this time, because he needs a success to show his colleagues. He might be tempted to do something foolish because Miri is small and female, in which case he’d be making a mistake in underestimating Miri – not just because she’s ex-merc and Korval, but because she grew up on Surebleak, and was pretty tough already before she was either of those other things. I suspect the Syndicate Bosses are similarly underestimating Surebleak’s population in thinking the campaign of examples will make them roll over.

Dragon in Exile – Chapter 20

Surebleak Port

In which Val Con has a meeting, and Tolly avoids one.

I speculate that the crew who made an attempt on Yulie’s growing rooms are connected to the group Rys encountered near the gate of the Bedel. Nothing really solid to go on, just a sense that they were both sniffing around places that they ought not to even know about.

I don’t believe we’ve heard the name of Tan Ort before. I note that the description Val Con gives, as far as it goes, matches Herb’s description of the Liaden Tolly is anxious to avoid meeting, but I don’t think that necessarily means anything; the description doesn’t go very far and probably fits a lot of Liadens. There’ll be a fair few who are of a portly bearing, red hair isn’t entirely uncommon (look at Miri’s entire family, for a start), and it’s a rare Liaden who isn’t shorter than Val Con.

Dragon in Exile – Chapter 3

Surebleak Port

In which Hazenthull and Tolly do their rounds.

It is perhaps a testament to how vividly Tolly is written that I was convinced until I checked my notes that he’d appeared at least once before. Apparently not, though.

One character who probably has appeared before is Port Security Chief Lizardi, who is most likely the same Liz Lizardi whom Miri’s Lizzie is named for. And if so, that’s interesting, because the last time we saw her she was solidly retired. No, I tell a lie: the last time we saw her she was with Hazenthull, and Diglon, helping Korval get themselves kicked off the homeworld. Perhaps, between that and helping organise the Lytaxin cavalry, she discovered she wasn’t as retired as she thought.

One of the advantages of reading a new book is I get to try and predict things. (And then, if my record on Trade Secret is any guide, you-all who have read it already get to laugh at how wrong I am.) So, for what it’s worth, I predict that the loudmouth’s “slip o’ the tongue” is connected in some way to the fellow Tolly wasn’t interested in meeting at the Emerald.