“A matter of trade and profit.”
This marks the 4th chapter of exposition. We were introduced to Ky’s military life in Ch1 . Introduced to family life in ch2. Introduced to shipbound life in ch3, and then in an interesting turn of events, Ky goes through customs at the planet Beltina. Ky spends some time with a customs officer there and learns of a grievance that the planet has with a rival shipping entity, and at this point, Ky sniffs a profit, seeing if she might be able to make more of this mission than simply scrapping her ship.
At this point, I inwardly cheered as a reader. I’ve been rooting for Ky’s hemming and hawing over whether to stick to the mission or go do something for a couple of chapters, and this was the result I wanted. What this does is actually make the slow points of Ch3 have a bit more meaning, as they’ve built tension even though I didn’t know it at the time of reading Ch3. Very nice.
Ky goes down to the planet, learns this is somewhat of a fledgling world, they really need to get their agriculture going, and have been screwed in the past when promised equipment wasn’t delivered. We meet some of the world’s players, we come across another trademark Elizabeth Moon signature – talking about equestrian events and horses. This motif appears in almost every book I’ve read of hers, very clear that Ms. Moon likes horses a lot. It adds a nice dimension and uniqueness to her worlds where the characters truly have something that no other author has offered as well.
I chose this chapter’s quote because Ky seems focused on these matters of trade and profit, repeating that she doesn’t want an adventure, foreshadowing that we’re certainly going to get an adventure. The character seems at home making trade and shipping deals, much more than any other point of the book so far. And I as a reader want her to flex those muscles.
It does remain in exposition, however, as I mentioned, and it is a bit long by modern standards to be in this space. However, I’m not bored with the story. It is riding the line where I am itching for some action soon. I’m interested to see where it leads. It’s a lot of development, and my hope is that it will pay off with an interesting complication section of the novel.