“There’s not much difference between arrogance and stupidity. Arrogance, though, is the brother of treachery.”
This is weird. Ten novels deep into the series, and this story is the best of the bunch. Good world building and plot development, despite Modesitt constraining himself (and the reader) to a single protagonist’s point of view. What set this story apart is redemption. Yes, in every previous story the good guys were good and the baddies bad and no one ever changes. Here, someone does. With a side of self-sacrifice.
“I don’t want you to think I was that stupid.” “At age ten, we were all stupid.” “You weren’t.” “I was stupid when I was far older than ten.”
Good foreshadowing, misdirection by supporting characters. Modesitt shows his hand because by not allowing the protagonist to make a mistake–other than the expected ones which threaten life as they know it.
“Worth is not measured by what one has or does not have, but by what one does with what one has.”
Thankfully, no hand puppet, and less preaching. A good lesson in the workings of the mercantile system blended both plot and world building.
“They need to learn that you don’t really understand something until you can prove it–or explain it clearly–to others.” Several times the reader is knocked out of the spell of the tale by inept editing, such as, “…were all thoroughly soaked all the way through by …”
“There are always people who think that killing people they don’t like will make their lives better. Over the long run, it never does.”