Friday, July 30, 2021

Trader's Leap (Liaden Universe Publication Order #23), by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller

Baen Books, December 2020

Shan yos'Galen, Clan Korval's Master Trader, is working to build profitable new trade routes to make up for its lost routes and its expensive move from Liad to Surebleak. Unfortunately, Korval's enemies and rivals are still at work, and it's not proving easy to find ports that are profitable, respectable, and willing to welcome the ships of the Tree & Dragon.

It's a task not made easier by Shan's near-fatal clash with an agent of the Department of the Interior, or by his daughter and heir, Padi's, newly emerged dramliz powers and her reluctance to embrace them. There is, nevertheless, a potentially promising contact with Terran Trader Janifer Carresens-Denobli, and an unexpected encounter on Pommierport, with down-at-heels Luck and his unlikely companion.

Dutiful Passage and her crew are in for some exciting, scary adventures they'd have preferred to skip, but Shan also finds a new trade prospect, that only requires overturning all the standard ideas of how trade routes should work. Established structures just aren't going to do it for Korval, in their dangerous new circumstances.

We spend time with some familiar old friends, including norbears, and some interesting new ones, too. Korval isn't alone in not being well served by tradition, right now. Overall, this is a fast-paced, exciting story with new and old characters who have depth and a feeling of reality. And since this is the Liaden universe, the universe itself undergoes some development and change.

It's a lot of fun, completely enjoyable, and I strongly recommend it.

I bought this book.

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