Title: Fledgling
Author: Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
Genre: SF
Series: Liaden
Ranking: ?Unranked
LibraryThing: Title:Fledgling
Read: 2008-07-30

The story of Theo Waitley and how she came to have a "kind of complicated" problem to lay before the delm of Korval.

Thoughts on First Draft

This "reading" was actually me listening to the audiobook of the "first draft" version of this book from korval.com. But I think it is worth talking about here; I'm certainly going to get the proper book when it comes out.

This is very much an Ugly Duckling "coming of age" story, and it's told with the level of characterisation and subtle wit that is typical of these authors. I was looking forward to it anyway, because Daav and Aelliana are my favourite Liaden characters, and though Daav (Jen Sar Kiladi) is only a supporting character here, it was still good to see him again. But Theo definitely walked off the pages; I wanted to know what happened to her, not just Jen Sar.

I think my favourite bits are all the things to do with bowly-ball; first my joy at just seeing Theo play, like Aelliana did -- I loved the echo of that with Aelliana, the point that the reader rejoices that this loved character is coming into their own, and the deliciousness that the character doesn't realize it.

Another part I particularly liked was in the early parts of the book, where we have the world-building of Delgado, shown from the inside, as we gradually realise that this world is not just a place of different tech, but of a subtly different culture. This is interesting, because we sort of get lulled into a false sense of security to start with, because it seems more comfortingly familiar to us than the culture of Liad. "Oh," we say, "this is a Future High Tech culture, I know what to expect." And then we get surprised at the local customs, not because they're exotic, but because to us they seem unreasonable. No surprise, these authors are good at that too.