Thursday, January 13, 2022

Courier Run (Adventures in the Liaden Universe #18), by Sharon Lee, Steve Miller

Pinbeam Books, ISBN 9781935224907, December 2011

Two Liaden stories, telling some of the backstory of some major characters.

In "Guaranteed Delivery,"Aeilliana and Daav are just starting to build their reputation in their courier business in Ride the Luck. They take on a contract to carry ao valuable family jewel to another family location. They of course take out insurance to protect against any loss, even though they have no intention of allowing that. It's not entirely a surprise when they are ambushed when they enter the port, headed for their ship. Someone else does get a surprise, however.

In "Kin Ties," set right after the events in I DareRen Zel and Anthora are sent out to visit Korval allies and business partners, to assure them that Korval is still able to fulfill existing contracts, despite having been banished from Liad in disgrace. One of their stops is Casia, to call on Clan Obrelt. Ren Zel dea'Judan, now Anthora's lifemate and a member of Clan Korval, was once Ren Zel dea'Judan Clan Obrelt, who contract married, at his Delm's direction, a member of Clan Jabun. 

When his contract wife is killed in an accident that badly injures him, Clan Jabun demands his death as Balance. Since Jabun can destroy Obrelt and is completely ready to do so, Delm Obrelt reluctantly declared him dead. Clan Jabun has fallen on hard times, but there's still someone left ready to pursue the vendetta. More immediately worrying to Ren Zel, he has no idea how his own former clan will receive him.

"Kin Ties" is the more substantial story (as well as longer, a novelette compared to the short story "Guaranteed Delivery"), but "Guaranteed Delivery" is a lot of fun. Both give us a look at something of the background of major characters before the point in their lives when they become the major characters we know.


I bought this book.

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