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In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.

Review: Balance of Trade [★★★★☆]

Review: Balance of Trade

Balance of Trade
by Sharon Lee

My rating: ★★★★☆
Read From: 21 April 2014 - 22 April 2014
Goal: Series

Young Jethri Gobelyn is a crew member on Gobelyn’s Market, a Terran trade ship. It’s a family owned ship. His mother is the captain, his uncle is the Trader. He’s 17 years old and studying to be a Trader himself. He was born on Gobelyn’s Market and he’s lived there his entire life, with his family. But all of that’s about to change.

Jethri was relaxing in a dockside bar, after successfully completing a Trade deal and earning a good bit of profit for the ship. He was approached by another Trader and learned of a too-good-to-be-true deal, if only the other Trader could raise a little bit of ready cash. Normally Jethri would have rejected the deal out of hand, as a sucker’s bet. But this deal was backed by the word of a Liaden and Liadens are known to never break their word.

Jethri bit on the deal. When it fell through, he went directly to the Liaden involved, only to find that it was a scam after all and the other Trader had no right to use the Liaden’s name. Because of Jethri, the Liaden were able to break up a group of con artists who were trading on their reputations. Because the Liaden owed Jethri Balance, she offered to take him on as an Apprentice Trader.

It just so happened that Gobelyn’s Market was looking to send Jethri out on his own and his only other choice was to join the ship of a cousin that he hated. He’d always been fascinated by Liaden culture, so he jumped at the chance to join a Liaden ship.

So begin’s Jethri’s journey. He has to learn to Trade on his own and to navigate the many cultural minefields that exist between Terran culture and Liaden culture. He has to learn the language, the etiquette, and the expectations. It all ties into a very well executed coming-of-age story.

I always enjoy the Liaden Universe and this book is a welcome addition to the series.