Saturday, November 30, 2013

Book Review: Trade Secret by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller

Trade Secret
Authors: Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
Publication: Baen (November 5, 2013)

Description: Star-spanning galactic trader Jethri Gobelyn’s story continues in the seventeenth entry in the Liaden Universe® series by master storytellers Sharon Lee and Steve Miller.

In a universe full of interstellar intrigue and burgeoning commerce novice Terran trader Jethri Gobelyn, adopted by a Liaden clan after an ill-directed bow of honor insulted the scion of a major Liaden house, is alive and whole to tell the tale. Convinced that the adoption has saved his life and made his future he settles into a comfortable and even elite routine, a Trader's Ring his goal.

Even as Jethri's initiation into the mysteries and joys of Liaden Festival bring him to manhood he's forced to face Necessity and the facts of life: his adoption has also invigorated a net of unfinished Balance far more complex and potentially deadly than a simple Terran blood feud. He must embrace his Terran birthright as well as his Liaden connections while leaving behind the safety of the great Liaden trade ship Elthoria to defend his honor and that of shipmates past and present. Forced to sit Second Board as a back-up pilot on a Liaden Scout ship, Jethri's convinced he's already at wit's end—when several familiar faces threaten all that he knows of himself, and all that he wishes to do.

My Thoughts: TRADE SECRET continues the story of Jethri Gobelyn begun in BALANCE OF TRADE. Jethri continues learning to be a trader on the Liaden ship Elthoria. He is particularly deep into the study of contracts and the differences between Liaden and Terran law.

However, in this story, he has to set aside his studies and learn to balance his various families - Ixin, Gobelyn, and his father's people headed by Uncle. In the first book, Jethri had recovered items left to him by his father Arin only to have them confiscated by the Scouts as forbidden Old Tech. They - in the person of Scout ter'Astin - also borrow a logbook that Jethri had kept as a child and which also contained doodles and comments by his father Arin Gobelyn. He promises to return it to Jethri after it has been copied.

When the action begins, Scout ter'Astin has come to Elthoria to report that the logbook has been stolen which sets he and Jethri on a quest to recover the logbook from the thieves. Along the way Jethri learns more about family secrets held by Arin that were never shared with him by his mother Iza.

The story also follows the activities of Gobelyn's Market and his Gobelyn family as they deal with issues caused by Bar Jan chel'Gaibin Clan Rinork who feels he was slighted by both Jethri and Khat Gobelyn. He is determined on revenge.

I enjoyed this story but strongly suggest reading BALANCE OF TRADE first. 

Favorite Quote:
"That's how Liadens live mostly, like they're all in a premium room all the time, always ready to come out and be the biggest jet or sitting back counting how far they gotta go to get there, or how careful they've got to be of who. Always on the pose for 'I'm more dangerous than you are' I guess. Where they come from, one mistake, one snub to the wrong clan, and you could be in for a decaying orbit."
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

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