Tag Archives: The Goddess

Alliance of Equals – Chapter 32

The Garden of Gems

In which there are attacks from multiple sides.

It’s still not clear whether this is one set of co-ordinated attacks, or separate attacks in space and on land that happen to coincide. Once Tarona Rusk declared herself an agent of the Department, and the people seeking Padi likewise, I was prepared to conclude that the attack on the Passage was also the work of the Department; after all, as we’ve been reminded, attacks under cover of rightful customs activity are a thing they’ve done before. But then there’s Priscilla’s Seeing that one or more of the attacks is motivated by “some local chief’s bid for celebrity” – presumably Plishet. Perhaps Plishet is working with the Department because they’ve persuaded him they can give him something he wants?

I’m pretty sure this is the first time we’ve heard of a dramliz working for the Department voluntarily. It’s a fairly horrifying prospect.

The implication that Shan could have been a full dramliz if he had wanted to be is interesting, both in connection with the unfolding pattern of Lute’s lives and in light of his statement to Padi that it’s not possible to choose not to be dramliz.

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 5

Dutiful Passage

In which there are uncomfortable awakenings.

So now we know what Padi’s secret is. Poor kid. Of course it didn’t occur to her, while she was taking great care not to let the others see how much afraid she was, that the others might be doing likewise.

Given the bit about how Padi’s found herself thinking of the milaster scheme as if it might somehow make or break her trading career, I see two ways that might go, depending on how far into the book they get to Chessel’s World. It might be a disaster, and that be a launching point for more plot. Or it might be that they get to Chessel’s World only at the end of the novel, after many adventures, and it’s a success but by then Padi has other bigger things to think about.

Another change in Dutiful Passage‘s roster becomes apparent: It appears that, after so many years, Ken Rik yo’Lanna is no longer the cargo master.

I said, back when it was first made clear, that I didn’t understand why Tolly hasn’t been told it’s Korval he’s working for; I think I’m getting the idea now. One thing I hadn’t borne in mind was just how much trouble Tocohl’s mere existence could cause her creators, given the Complex Logic Laws, if the identity of her creators became known. And I think what Shan said about it being bad-mannered to burden Lina with Korval’s secrets unnecessarily also applies to Tolly.

I’m beginning to really wonder who it was who served as the connection between Tolly and Korval for employment purposes. It seems to me like Tolly started to say a name or designation beginning with “The” before he thought better of saying it out loud. I don’t think it’s the Uncle, given the way Tolly thinks about him later in the conversation. It’s definitely not Theo, both because she doesn’t know people like Tolly and because if Korval had contact with her they’d doubtless be requiring her to aid the situation in a more direct manner.

Dragon Ship – Chapter 8

Chaliceworks Aggregations

In which Chaliceworks is more careful than brave.

A couple of interesting things in the reactions to Theo. One is the bit about her “tools”, which presumably means her lacework.

The other is the furore about her working for inner calm, which suggests (especially the bit where they doubt any man could have taught it to her) that it’s not any of the usual calming exercises used by pilots of all genders. The fact that she learned it from her father makes me suspect that it might be the one he learned from the wise woman Rockflower when he was a young scout. In that case, the reaction would be proportionate (and not unlike the reaction it got from the Healers when Daav used it at the end of Scout’s Progress).

There was a meeting between Shan and Lomar Fasholt in Conflict of Honors, set eight years before this. Shan saw trouble coming even then, and so did she – she was making plans to leave Swunaket when she could wrangle her business into a portable form, and he offered her his assistance when the time came. If his most recent information is that she’s still trading out of Swunaket Port, it would appear she never took him up on that offer.

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 7

Day 50
Standard Year 1393

Erob’s House

In which Edger gives a demo.

A nice concise summary from Shan of what a Healer is, and isn’t.

An interesting touch in the med tech’s rant, the complaint that Edger and Sheather are “not of Erob’s house medical staff”. Separately, it’s reasonable to be concerned that they are not certified medical staff, and understandable to be concerned that they are not of Erob’s staff (and therefore are unknowns). But with that wording it isn’t just the sum of those two concerns, but has the flavour of an ingroup-outgroup bias (“Erob’s house medical staff are the best; I am of Erob’s house medical staff and these persons are not; I am obviously right and they are obviously wrong”).

The similarity Shan sees between the Turtles and the Tree is intriguing. It doesn’t mean they’re related, particularly since the similarity seems to be one of kind rather than detail, but more like another facet of their other commonalities, being very old and having more to them than meets the eye.

Plan B – Chapter 30

Erob’s Boundary
War Zone

In which Val Con has a plan which is too audacious to fail.

Over the course of this book, I’ve been having trouble figuring out what it means for a Liaden to be one of “the line direct”. Earlier, Nova said that Miri’s heirloom showed her grandmother was one of the line direct and that would make her easier to identify, and I thought maybe that meant the line direct was whichever family line a clan’s delm was chosen from: Line Tiazan in Miri’s case, or Line yos’Phelium in Korval. But here is Shan counting himself and Priscilla as members of the line direct, so at least in Korval’s case it’s not just yos’Phelium.

But now that I’m thinking about it, I recall a scene back in Scout’s Progress where the term is used to distinguish between someone who might wear Korval’s crest because they’re actually a member of the clan and someone who might wear Korval’s crest because they’re an employee in one of Korval’s businesses. So, I guess that’s what it means, and that does fit the bit with Miri’s heirloom: knowing that her ancestor was an actual member of Clan Erob and not just someone who happened to work for them at some point would make it easier to narrow down who she is. (I’m not sure I see the usefulness of the concept in general: wouldn’t every person be in the line direct of their own clan? But then again, Liadens don’t really do “in general”; there’s always a context. Whenever a Liaden says “the line direct”, the meaning would always be outlined by who’s speaking, who they’re speaking to, and what hats they’re wearing.)

Plan B – Chapter 27

Erob’s Boundary
Quarry War Zone

In which the Yxtrang come off second-best in an argument.

I’m glad Dustin survived; I would have felt bad if he’d gotten killed because Shan maneuvred him into taking him back to the lifeboat.

I’m struck by the detail that the Yxtrang have one kind of rifle for ordinary troopers and a different kind for officers. I mean, I know we recently learned that the Commander of the Gyrfalks owns a particularly nice pistol, but that’s presumably because she made an individual decision that she wanted it, and probably saved up some of her own money to get it, not because of a standard rule. I wonder what the difference is between the Troopers Regular Field Long Arm and the Officers Personal Duty Long Arm: Is the officer version functionally the same, just with extra frills? Or do the officers get a weapon that works better than the regular trooper version? Or worse?

Priscilla’s flash of memory is interesting, because I don’t think it’s hers. The involvement of the red counter suggests that it’s an older memory, from Moonhawk or Lute, though none of the stories we’ve yet been told about them has anything to match it.

Plan B – Chapter 24

Lytaxin War Zone
Altitude: 12 kilometers

In which Shan finds himself in a war zone.

First published description of how the Tree talks, I think, and the most talkative it’s been since the prequels. Maybe it’s significant that this is one of the seedlings; perhaps being talkative is an attribute of the young.

In a moment that relates to something we’ve discussed in the comments, Shan reflects on the traditional differences between yos’Phelium and yos’Galan, and acknowledges that genetically there’s not actually much to choose between them. I wonder how much that extends to un-war-like Cousin Luken; we know Line bel’Tarda has had at least one infusion from relatively-respectable yos’Galan, but I don’t recall any mention of piratical yos’Phelium doing likewise.

I don’t remember now what I made of Shan’s encounter the first time, before I’d read the short stories about Lute. Re-reading it now, with those under my belt, two things occur to me. One is that Lute and Moonhawk have unfinished business in this when that is going to catch up with Shan and Priscilla sooner or later. The other is that I like the bit of business with the dagger; it’s very Lute.

Plan B – Chapter 21

Dutiful Passage
In Jump

In which the Passage is welcomed to Lytaxin.

Another chapter where much happens, but all I can find to talk about is minor details like this:

The message signed by Grandmother Cantra establishes that Plan B is very old. It’s even older than the Council of Clans, which wasn’t chartered until the sixth year after Planetfall.