Spoiler Discussion: Alliance of Equals

For those who have read Alliance of Equals and want to talk it over, vent, or celebrate, here’s your space.

Those who have not read Alliance and do not want the story spoilt, DO NOT READ THE COMMENTS TO THIS PAGE.

Thank you all.

36 thoughts on “Spoiler Discussion: Alliance of Equals”

  1. half read (on page 448) – hmmm how various deal with fear, and Korval’s damned meddling tree; bringing the threads together.

    I understand why the story has so many bits and needing to shift between them, but a few of the shifts from one thread to another seem sudden. That has never been one of my favorite storytelling styles though.

  2. Spoilers – hope this is in the right place.
    Hi, In spite of working a a group PowerPoint presentation and two papers I managed to sneak off to read Alliance of Equals last night. I read it so fast I think I have to go back to read it again fairly soon because I had a hard time taking it all in at one time.
    I loved the imagery of the glass bowl. Padi as stone and glass – very powerful. Really neat learning more about her, and her acquisition of gifts. I did wonder what color dragon? I always see Theo as the white dragon. Perhaps lavender or lilac colored for the soap Anthora gave her?

  3. I stayed up too late last night reading. I’m looking forward to listening to this book so I hope the Audible comes out soon after the hardcover. I felt like there was something special about the pretty coaster that I missed on first reading.

    Thank you for the book. I’ll admit I wanted more more more, but then again, I always want more more more so I wish you good health and stamina so that you will be able to write more more more.

  4. Dav, Aelliana, and a Dragon. Can anything get better than is? I was bouncing on my couch, and at my age that is something you don’t want to see.

  5. The very worst part about this eARC is that it will be *many months* before the next eARC. Sigh. I’m reminded, yet again, how very much I enjoy reading in the Liaden Universe(r). People grow, events happen, and it just keeps on giving.

    This book leaves me wanting so much more. And that’s NOT a complaint, just a desire for the next one. The story-lines are well thought out, and (mostly) are broken off at a reasonable place. The exception might be Daav and Aelliana, I felt not completely happy there. But even that one wasn’t at a horrible point, just one that was less complete.

    Note that other story-lines are certainly not complete, merely over one phase and about to move on to the next. And, of course, we really know nothing at all about what is happening with Theo. One expects more in the next book, and hopefully some more about what is happening on Surebleak, which also doesn’t enter into this volume at all.

    Overall, I left satisfied and very much enjoyed the book. Just wanting about 3 books a year, please.

  6. Please -3 books/year would kill our authors. I’d mych rather look forward to many many more years of Korval.

  7. I’m only a little way in due to dealing with illness this week already (mine and a kid) so I’d already taken a day off–and had a short presentation to do today.

    One of my long-standing questions was answered about 16% of the way in–Shan and Priscilla are trying for a baby!!

  8. Poor Uncle Yuri. Even after all these years, he still underestimates Korval’s (damned, meddling) Tree.

    Stayed up until 2 am to finish this new installment, I was riveted.

  9. Thanks so much for this book, as always I am left wanting more. I love the idea of a lavender dragon too. I interesting to see more of the old universe bad guys creeping in to the storyline. It keeps us all guessing.

  10. I’m with Sprite on this one. Enjoyed the first really fast read very much. Will enjoy the more considered second time even more. Love your work and looking forward to the next books.

  11. On my second read and really enjoying it. I do want to mention that leaving story lines from the last book hanging until the next book must be considered torture.

  12. Very enjoyable, as usual. My very first eARC and I inhaled it so fast I didn’t see any errors.

    Disappointed that Theo didn’t make an appearance, but delighted to get to know Padi yos’Galen. But I don’t recall seeing any physical description of Padi, you know, hair color, length, etc. If it’s there, can someone please point it out to me. My mental image of her is just a shadow – gentle sigh.

    I was confused initially by the first several scenes on Uncle’s ship with Daav & Aelliana as I was not expecting them to be the same exact scenes from the earlier novel. Glad the pods finally ripened!

    Can hardly wait for The Gathering Edge when all the wanderers meet back up on Surebleak!

  13. a typo, chapter 23, first paragraph, “Tochol”

    chapter 32, in paragraph starting, “But I don’t want you within,” Shan said, gathering his will and thrusting it [at] the core of her dense pattern like a knife.

    I very much enjoyed the book!

  14. WRT Padi. In Glossary it is given that she is “approximately sixteen Standard years” while in the book it says, twice, that she is seventeen. Assuming this story occurs about six months, or more, after Theo noted in Ghost Ship (Chp 29) that “Quinn already held a second class ticket though he was younger than she’d been when she’d been sponsored to Anlingdin Academy — and Padi was younger still.”: I would vote for 16.

    ya ya I know the only age we have for Theo was in “Fledgling” where she reaches 15th Delgado years at the end – I long ago translated that to 18 Standards for a number of reasons.

    In any event – enjoyed the book and am looking forward to the sequel.

  15. Hmmm. I’ll look at it, Sally, thanks. Much depends on if she’s telling local time, or Standard time, since I think the discussion there is whether or not she’s legal to drink wine on-planet. Made a note.

  16. This actually terrified me, because Dragon in Exile and Alliance had been twisted together at one point, and I was concerned that I had lost my mind and mistakenly imported the same exact scenes that had been in DiE into Alliance.

    I just this morning proofed Chapter Nine of Alliance, and am relieved to find that this is not the same exact scene,but an entirely different scene. Phew!

  17. Not to worry — after all, Weber does it with every book it seems. Whole huge chunks from other books. Just _slightly_ (or not at all) changed for perhaps a different viewpoint.

    Here the scenes are related, but not at all the exact same, though they cover the same events, certainly. I did NOT find the scene annoying or a rehash of earlier, but more a setup and reminder of how we got to where we were.

    Now my hard part is waiting for the Audible release. I like my second time through to be the audio book – it gives me insights I don’t get from a simple re-read.

  18. Who will the narrator be for the audio book? I’ve loved the audio versions for all but Dragon in Exile. I’ll usually read the arc but listen to it (regularly) thereafter.

  19. The scene where some thought it was a duplicate, was just further along after the scenes in the last book. It may have just been a few days, but obviously (at least to me) Daav was still in shock over losing Aelianna in his head. He may have awakened and slept multiple times before his final awakening. Now, he has to struggle with whether or not Uncle is playing him. I would think that once he realizes that the Tree is taking an interest, he can relax and enjoy his new life.
    In the past, once I have purchased the ARC, I don’t purchase the released copy of the book. Am I missing something by doing this? Are there many changes in the final published version?

  20. There are no structural changes between eArc and final, but at least some of the line-level errors will have been fixed. If you don’t care about that, then you’re not missing anything.

  21. I feel sorry for Uncle now. He’s been operating supposedly outside of the Tree’s influence, never knowing till now it’s awesome abilities to shape and align events around it, even to anticipating his own actions. He has the experience and scope to perceive, in retrospect, it’s working to shape those of Korval into the most powerful of dragons, those of the mind. I’m left wondering how he will modify his own plans to accommodate this new knowledge.

  22. Posted by reader request.

    This is what I would like to past re. Alliance under spoilers and comments…

    What a treat! I read Alliance as slow as I could. It got harder to read slowly in the last chapters and I finished all too soon. The pacing in the book is tantalizing. I think you have been learning about the rhythm of stalking, feinting and pouncing from your cats. And cats certainly teach us about curiosity and danger! Too bad Tocohl is so naiveté. I thought the break off point for Daav and Aelianna was just right – well, painful, “Oh no! Don’t stop there!” Quick flip to the end of my ‘Liaden Universe Chronology’. I started The Crystal Variation – again. Besides wanting to ‘keep the glow’, I wanted to refresh my mind about certain things. I don’t know about anyone else, but I have always worried – just a little – about the supposition that the sheriakas or the world eaters could not follow. Chapter 17 heightened my unease. Thank you, Steve and Sharon, for another wonderful book. Good health to you both and in the words of our favourite Vulcan from another universe – ‘Long may you prosper’.

    Kind regards,

  23. One thing that I didn’t understand as clearly before reading this E-Arc was that Sil Vor was expected to kill the baby twins and himself rather than let all fall into the hands of their enemies. No wonder he was such a serious little guy. So glad he didn’t have to. and Yeah! for Priscilla and Shan’s baby-to-be. There was a hope that Nova might fall for someone in the future. I am a hopeless romantic and want everyone in the family to be happily bonded. I loved that Aelliana and Daav were restored “as they were meant to be” in their new bodies. Since they are young and, presumably fertile, perhaps they can have more siblings for ValCon and the clan.

  24. An enjoyable read! New story arcs to look forward to. New allies and potential allies. I am reminded that Bechimo was advised that Theo as captain had ‘many’ connections. And so it seems the Dragons web grows.
    In the matter is Daav and Ailliana at the end of chapter 19 becoming ‘as they were meant to be’ I’m thinking back to Scouts Progress and Mouse and Dragon and believe the ‘difficulty’ they experienced with their lifemate connection is now corrected.
    I’m looking forward to their futures!
    Keep It Up guys – great work.

  25. The only scene that I really wanted to see, other than those potentially in future books, was Shan’s rehash of Padi’s first reception. I know, he probably thought the authors should not be party to it, either.

    I can’t help wondering what the typical age is to begin an apprenticeship, since we see that, at 17, Padi has served on Pale Wing and is “behind” on her work.

  26. Oh, the cruelty! How many years has it been that Daav cannot return to Kamele? And that are not decided if they are going to live even.

    It seems that the overall timeline of the story has advanced by maybe one day from Exile. (Daav woke up, ate his seedpod, spent six hours in the autodoc.) That’s really not a lot, with all the love and admiration for the side story we have here.

    I have a question, however: the lines of Haz and Tocohl seem to be abandoned mid-word. With the line of Tolly we get at least a cliffhanger final scene, but the other two are abandoned at 0.7 of the book. Are we maybe missing a few pages from the book end?

  27. I love the ending with Padi asking her father “Why didn’t you tell me….”. That scene is staying with me. Lovely. I too thought the first scenes with Uncle, Dav and Aeilliana were similar to what happened in the previous book, but I’ve only read the e-arc once so I’ll look again. I tried to read slowly but I just wanted to find out what would happen next.

    I really enjoyed the book. Thank you! Keep on writing!

  28. I too enjoyed the first read thru, will wait a few weeks to re-read.
    My only real issue is the way Tocohl seemed to head of on her own mission without concern for Tolly, Haz and the Admiral returning to the clan. If Jeeves was aware of her hunt, I think he would have set tighter ground rules. So was Tocohl tricked into leaving?
    Thank you Sharon and Steve for sharing your wonderful universe with us.

  29. I think tocohl was stunned and did not go off willingly. It was a wonderful read I have already started reading it again. Looking forward to the hardcover.

  30. I liked it overall, but for one (major to me, minor to the necessities of this and future plots including the enemy) item I can only describe as an atrocious retcon. Conflating “galaxy” and “universe” was common in the period before modern astronomy…there was a short window, really, where they knew about galaxies in a meaningful way yet failed to realize the true scope of the universe (bazillions of galaxies). The science, and the plot that hangs off it, has been amazingly accurate, even prescient. The idea of the enemy restoring the universe to an earlier uniform state was great, and the jump to an alt universe (and all the legwork to substantiate it, such as Alliana’s thesis work). In AoE galaxy and universe are used sloppily, and it’s even fairly clearly asserted that they didn’t jump to an alt universe merely a new galaxy…complete w/ a “galactic wall” (shades of ST:TOS season 1). This really, really trivializes the enemy, undercuts a ton of good, clever work, and just plain drives me nuts, tbh. Up til AoE the science has been amazingly sound (at times ahead of where the general consensus of cosmology and field theory). And there was very solid, and comprehensive detailing to support it. That all, and the plot that revolved around it, just went out the window in a nod to a short lived era of misconceptions that ended >100 yrs ago. Ugh! Sry, but this really, really doesn’t sit well. Otherwise, nice novel! Sorry about the rant. I assume (the hints are pretty obvious) you want to have the enemy reappear/catch up. You don’t need to downgrade the migration to do that.

  31. Ummm…You are aware that eARCs are uncorrected page proofs?

    Now, I only found one reference to the “galactic wall,” which I have fixed, and, in a Just Universe, will be correct in the final book. (There is also a reference to Galaxy Nowhere, which is where all good pilots go when they die, and nothing to do with the old universe at all.)

    If you have more than this one reference to a galaxy in AoE, please send cites to me at rolanniATkorvalDOTcom, and I will be more than delighted to fix them.


  32. Cherub: I agree that Tocohl was probably stunned. Remember that nasty black rod, that Inki had. Reminds me of that playwright truism: if there is a rifle on the wall in act 1, it has to be used by the end of act 3.

    I loved the themes explored in AoE: coming of age/awakening for Padi, Admiral Bunter, Tocohl, Daav & Aelliana.

    I also stayed up waaaay past my bedtime last night finishing the book. Tried to put it down at the appropriate time for a work night, only I couldn’t sleep leaving Shan tied up and being tortured. Too yucky a headspace to be in for good dreaming. I lasted about 5 minutes with the lights out before I had to pick the story back up and finish it.

  33. It was a lot of fun to read, but had a bit of the middle child syndrome. I missed hearing about everyone else, since the book was almost exclusively about Padi, whom I didn’t care about very much. It’s great that she got her own story arc, but it was a little jarring because it seemed more like a standalone book rather than a cohesive part of the series. (Also, please don’t ask whoever narrated Dragon in Exile to narrate again – he was awful). Looking forward to the next book and hopefully moving ahead with the story!

  34. It just occurred to me to wonder…what’s going to become of Daav’s permanent earring after the events that culminate in Alliance of Equals? It’s not the sort of thing that’s meant to be easily removed, after all. Given its importance to him, it seems unlikely to be something he’d just abandon…

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