Authors: Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
Publication: Ace (April 30, 2002)
My Thoughts: This is one of my favorite books. I have read it countless times over the years. GoodReads summarizes the plot like this: "The second novel of the Liaden Universe-the story of a young girl who has won a starship, but now must learn to fly if she is to escape her dastardly brother." Which is basically correct but doesn't do the story justice.
Liad is a planet that is very much concerned with tradition and proper conduct. People are gathered into kin-groups called clans. Delms care for and protect the members of the clan. Everyone outside the clan is an enemy or a rival. However, Aelliana Caylon is not well-treated by her clan. She is abused by her brother who will be delm.
When she wins a spaceship in a card game, she is determined to leave the clan. However, she needs to learn how to survive in the greater world and is befriended by the pilots and scouts who are involved with the space yard where her ship is berthed. She learns that there can be honor outside the clan structure as she slowly learns to trust.
Daav yos'Phelium is delm of Clan Korval. Korval is the number one clan on Liad and is under contract to protect the people of Liad. Daav needs to marry to have a child but hasn't met anyone who wants him for himself. So he has reluctantly taken steps to enter into a contract marriage with a suitable woman. He is a retired scout captain and master pilot. He goes to his friends at the space yard to try to find balance in his life.
He meets Aelliana. He becomes her co-pilot but doesn't share his name and clan with her. As he gets to know Aelliana he comes to believe that they could be lifemates - two who are bound by a form of magic. But he is under contract to wed and she is determined to leave Liad for her own safety.
The story is a beautiful love story as two people find each other and fall in love.
Challenges: RYOB Challenge, Flashback Reading Challenge, 2010 E-Book Reading Challenge