walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

_Conflict of Honors_, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, Liaden universe, SPOILERS EEEK Vibroknife!

Moonhawk/Priscilla is kicked off her planet/ostracized/treated as if dead by family for unclear reasons. She spends some years kicking around space, working her way up on ships. She's so happy to get a gig as Cargo Master she doesn't think about it too hard, and winds up on a Liaden ship run by people shipping contraband. And they are very Not Nice people. The only decent person breaks contract to leave, and things go way downhill for Priscilla thereafter. She's tricked into a warehouse, bashed on the head and abandoned. But from there, she gets a job as Pet Librarian on the Dutiful Progress, currently captained and many more things by Master Trader Shan yos'Galan ("sparkles!" kid of Anne Davis and Er Thom, who are apparently dead by the time of this novel). She learns a lot, but is continually dogged by the Not Nice people from her previous ship, mostly Dagmar, who keeps attacking her, taking hostages, etc. until Priscilla invokes some magic to put an end to that nonsense.

So we have another abuse survivor story. Priscilla is a dramliza and apparently somewhat crazy powerful, altho a little uncertain about the status of her powers because of complications associated with the obscure Moonhawk thingie. As is apparently typical of a Lee and Miller novel, she gets better clothes, friends, eats a lot of good food, develops romantic relationship(s), etc. as part of the process of getting her Happily Ever After. Honestly, in the Liaden universe, you'd _better_ enjoy yourself as you go along, because your HEA probably won't last very long. I digress.

It isn't just Dagmar, tho. For somewhat obscure reasons, probably having to do with Shan doing some things that threaten Priscilla's previous employer's Trader license, they are attacked and Priscilla is crucial to saving the ship (should have been a boring exit from Jump but it wasn't boring at all). That part kind of felt ST:TNG Wesley Crusher-like, but that's okay.

In the end, Liaden family structure is invoked to put a stop to the Evil People Causing All the Trouble. A meeting is called to Balance, and it turns out the Horrible Bigoted Trader elf hasn't just been _dealing_ the dope. This results in an especially nice moment for Priscilla to demonstrate her Special Powers. I hope we get to see more of this. I liked this bit.

I think this is the book where I started to realize how short the lives of most of the main characters in these books turn out to be. I'm not real happy about that. That's just entirely too much realism for Elves in Space with Psi or Magical Powers
Tags: book review, sf
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