Saturday, April 27, 2019

Heirs to Trouble (Adventures in the Liaden Universe #26), by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller

Pinbeam Books, December 2017

Two novelettes in the Liaden Universe, both set in the period shortly after Clan Korval's abrupt relocation to Surebleak.

The first gives us Quin yos'Phelium, son of Pat Rin yos'Phelium, a.k.a. Boss Conrad, frustrated and at loose ends. He wants to find work as a pilot. Instead, he's left out of what seems to be an all-hands call for Korval pilots, and told to wait at the Emerald Casino for his gather to meet him.

Being at loose ends in the Emerald Casino is potentially risky, and Luck starts haunting his steps in some not necessarily helpful ways. There's his impressive success at the target shooing games. There's the Terran  tourist who is sure that he's owed Quin's success, it's  Quin who is cheating him. There's the attractive young sticks dealer, Villy. There's Quin's own, sometimes insufficiently controlled, tongue. He has to navigate through this day, and be ready when his father, finally, arrives.

It's an absorbing short fiction, and a chance to get better acquainted with Quin, and see more of what helped make him the young man we meet later on.

In the second, we meet Technical Sergeant Tommy Lee, getting called home by his delm to aid in a Clever Plan. Tommy is very displeased to be called home from the Mercs--and binding agreements mean he has no choice. Any Liaden in the Mercs is subject to recall by their delm, must be discharged when recalled, and can't, ever, reenlist. But it gets worse when he gets home. He knew his grandfather and delm was not a man of honor. Now he discovers he's a pawn in a game of melant'i that his grandfather can't win. Instead, it will destroy the Clan.

Tommy Lee has to find a way to do the unthinkable--thwart his delm. It's going to be a tricky challenge. It's a very good look at how melant'i and its complexities can play out when some of the players have very twisted ideas of what it means. I love these stories, but in particular, I love this one.


I bought this book.

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