Tag Archives: the best course toward finished lies through begun

Alliance of Equals – Chapter 31

Admiral Bunter

In which the bombshell is dropped.

I’ve been going back and forth on the cover illustration: at first I assumed it depicted Dutiful Passage, more or less because that was the only ship I knew would be in the novel, then later I thought perhaps it was Admiral Bunter. Now it looks like I was right the first time.

When Shan and Higgs went out, leaving Padi behind at the hotel, my first thought was that they’d been lured away so that someone could attack Padi. Then the attack on the Passage happened, and now I think it’s that Padi’s going to get wind of that and have to deal with it without Shan around to offer guidance.

It could still be that Shan was deliberately lured away. (In-story, I mean. It’s pretty obvious that it was deliberate on the part of the authors.) Perhaps it’s a two pronged attack. Perhaps it’s coincidentally an attack from Plishet with no connection to the attack on Priscilla. On the other hand, perhaps it’s just that Shan found conversation with Master Rusk congenial and lost track of time.

(Perhaps it’s good news that keeps him – it suddenly struck me as I was writing this that maybe she has news to impart of Lomar Fasholt. Although I don’t really have anything to back that up with beyond the flimsy observations that she’s female and it would be nice to have news of Lomar by the end of the book.)

Necessity’s Child – Chapter 27

In which several characters give thought to the future.

One of the things I remember thinking the first time I read this chapter was, “Well, if that’s how they’re going to make up the numbers, I guess this means Rys isn’t going to be staying with the kompani permanently.”

The child Droi sets out to get on behalf of the kompani is one possible candidate for the title character, although not the only one. The title might not even be referring to a character at all; after all there is an old saying which holds that Invention is Necessity’s child, and we’ve already seen several characters being inventive in response to various necessities.

The scene with Nova and Mike at the beginning of the chapter is another of the ones that makes me wonder what I’d see if I owned a pair of shipping goggles.

Ghost Ship – Chapter 40

Jelaza Kazone

In which various preparations are made.

And while Val Con is off dealing with his metaphorical bombshell, Miri is stuck with another one – which is going to become rather less metaphorical if it’s not dealt with promptly.

This is one of Korval’s weak points at the moment: there aren’t very many members of the clan, all things considered, and there is such a lot to do. And if it should happen that something comes up when everybody who could do it is already elsewhere, there’s going to be serious trouble. (Come to think of it, this situation was somewhat foreshadowed earlier, with the difficulty they had lining up a suitable group to go and retrieve the children from their hiding place.) Now I’m maybe a bit surprised that the Department hasn’t tried to do anything with that, but then again maybe they don’t have any good ideas about what trouble they could cause that would require a specific clanmember to deal with; they only stumbled on this one by accident.

I Dare – Chapter 28

Day 51
Standard Year 1393

Erob’s Grounds

In which Val Con and Ren Zel are lofted away to places they didn’t intend to go.

Halfway through the book, and we’ve only just got through the first day of this plot strand. An eventful day all round, really.

Here I was, just thinking that if Pat Rin and Natesa did end up together it was fair enough, since at least they’d been living and working together three times as long as Val Con and Miri had when they declared lifemates, and here are Anthora and Ren Zel apparently determined to make Val Con and Miri look the very picture of sober forethought.

(I think the Tree and Merlin are, somehow, conspiring against them, though Anthora seems to have some idea of it and not to mind much.)

I’m intrigued by the statement that “Damning the Commander to twelve dozen hells would be futile from this distance” — does that imply that there’s a distance from which it would be more effective?

If this were Earth, which of course it isn’t, the co-ordinates Val Con gives Priscilla would describe a point in the vicinity of Baltimore. Difficult to say if that means anything; perhaps a hint as to the sort of climate and geography the authors had in mind for the surrounding area.

I Dare – Chapter 22

Day 309
Standard Year 1392

Blair Road

In which the new boss gets to know the territory.

One of the many victims of the epidemic Pat Rin is told about in this chapter was Miri’s grandmother; she mentions it to Val Con back in Agent of Change.

Ms Audrey thinks she’s joking about Pat Rin deciding it’s too cold and installing central heating in the streets, but he’ll be making plans to very similar effect by the end of the book.

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!”.

Scout’s Progress – Chapter 4

In which Daav wishes there were someone who might love him for himself.

It is good to have friends who care when one is in trouble, even if there seems to be nothing they can do to remedy the trouble.

The chapter epigraph reminds us of what Aelliana is risking by leaving the clan — to be outcast, never again to be able to ask the clan for the support and comfort due to a clan member — but it also underlines the fact that she’s already not being given the support and comfort due to a clan member. “Within the clan shall be found truth, kinship, affection and care,” says the Code. “Outside of the clan shall be found danger and despite.” Aelliana’s experience of clan life has contained no small measure of danger and despite, and less than she ought to be able to expect of truth, kinship, affection and care.