Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Audiobook: Local Custom by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller

Local Custom
Author: Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
Narrator: Bernadette Dunne
Publication: Audible Studios, Sept. 4, 2012
Length: 11 hours and 27 minutes

Description: Each person shall provide his clan of origin with a child of his blood, who will be raised by the clan and belong to the clan. And this shall be Law for every person of every clan . . .

Master trader Er Thom knows the local custom of Liaden is to be matched with a proper bride, and provide his prominent clan Korval with an heir. Yet his heart is immersed in another universe, influenced by another culture, and lost to a woman not of his world. And to take a Terran wife such as scholar Anne Davis is to risk his honor and reputation. But when he discovers that their brief encounter years before has resulted in the birth of a child, even more is at stake than anyone imagined. Now, an interstellar scandal has erupted, a bitter war between two families—galaxies apart—has begun, and the only hope for Er Thorn and Anne is a sacrifice neither is prepared to make . . .

My Thoughts: This episode in the Liaden Universe is definitely a romance - a cross-cultural romance. Er Thom yos'Galan is a Liaden trader and a member of the very prominent Clan Korval. When it comes time to make a contract marriage to give his clan his heir, he decides that he needs to see Terran scholar Anne Davis one last time since he hasn't been able to get her out of his mind or heart despite not seeing her for the past three years.

Anne has a surprise for him though. She chose to have his child and name him Shan yos'Galan. This brings up all sorts of problems for Er Thom. He knows that any yos'Galan child needs to be seen by the Delm of Korval. But Anne, who has studied Liaden literature and has corresponded with a Liaden scholar, doesn't realize the implications of having a yos'Galan child. In her culture the child's last name is a way of honoring the father of her child.

Anne needs to go to Liad because the scholar she was corresponding with about a common root language between Terran, Liaden and Yxtrang has died with his files in particular disarray. His colleagues have asked Anne to organize and publish his work as a last gift to the scholar. Unfortunately, there are some Liadens who are determined that this work not be published.

I liked this story very much. I could easily see how two different cultures would clash in this way - each believing that they understood the other's point of view. It was a very emotionally intense story well told by Bernadette Dunne who used a variety of interesting voices for the characters. Her ability to portray the emotions in the various situations was masterful.

I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

1 comment:

  1. It sounds intense, but very interesting. Can this be read as a stand alone?


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