PDF/EPUB Sharon Lee ☆ Local Custom PDF/EPUB ¼ ☆

Master trader Er Thom knows the local custom of Liaden is to be matched with a proper bride and provide his prominent clan Korval with an heir Yet his heart is immersed in another universe influenced by another culture and lost to a woman not of his world And to take a Terran wife such as scholar Anne Davis is to risk his honor and reputation But when he discovers that their brief encounter years before has resulted in the birth of a child even is at stake than anyone imagined Now an interstellar scandal has erupted a bitter war between two families galaxies apart has begun and the only hope for Er Thom and Anne is a sacrifice neither is prepared to make


10 thoughts on “Local Custom

  1. says:

    Local Custom has been described as a Regency romance in space I would have to agree with that assessment The romance between Er Thom and Anne is the major plot of the book highlighting the differences between the two They are not only of different social classes but from different planetary societies It is very much a novel of manners as Anne tries to deal with the very honour bound and visciously polite Liaden society that Er Thom inhabits Think “going to Japan” on a grand scale—meeting people reuires an appropriate bow the inclination of which depends on the status of the person you are meeting relative to yourself Add to that numerous levels of speech high low familial etc and the pitfalls are treacherous Plus like many if not all societies outsiders are not desirable as marriage partners for one’s children The barriers between Er Thom and Anne are substantial to say the leastAnne at least has the advantage of being familiar with Liaden language as she is a comparative linguistics scholar and has specialized in Liaden literature She has also produced a son Shan for a family line that is desperate for children You would think that both of these attributes would make her a desirable daughter in law but that would remove the major conflicts of the story line In true romance novel style she is too tall too different too foreign—too difficult for the elder generation to acceptAlso true to romance norms there is miscommunication Er Thom assumes that his society is clear to Anne and although she realizes that she’s not fully comprehending the implications of their actions she doesn’t feel safe asking for the reuired clarificationI was reminded strongly of Lois McMaster Bujold’s books about Cordelia Naismith and Aral Vorkosigan Shards of Honor and Barrayar There is a similar flavour to the romantic problems as both Cordelia and Anne struggle to comprehend a foreign culture deal with prejudice and somehow salvage a relationship of great importance Although I’ve never been an ardent fan of the romance genre I thoroughly enjoyed this my first dip into the Liaden universe It is book number 231 of my science fiction and fantasy reading project


  2. says:

    Good solid sci fi story with a refreshing focus on well drawn characters and human scaled conflicts about duty to self vs duty to tribe love vs family and the challenges of raising a child torn between two cultures Probably longer than it needs to be and though it does avoid info dumps it ends up if anything a bit too sparing of details especially for someone totally unfamiliar with Liaden as I was But the authors have imagined a remarkably complex culture in Liaden inventing an incredible amount of detail on linguistic forms clothing address and the tiniest nuances of manner Recommended for fans of sci fi with a focus on human relationships and culture rather than space battles and faux science


  3. says:

    355; 4 stars; BBernadette Dunne was the narrator of this book I have kind of gotten used to Andy Caploe's voice but this narrator did a good job too The good thing about listening to this story was I was aware of the background conflict derived from the historical linguistics research that Anne Davis was part of The bad thing was that after re visiting the story I downgraded my rating I didn't enjoy this one near as much as the Agent of Change story arc


  4. says:

    Oops I meant to continue to Trade Secret after rereading Balance of Trade but I ended up thinking about this novel another one about a Terran getting entangled in Liaden family life this time through romance rather than apprenticeship and rereading it insteadThis novel has felt unusually slight since I first read it and this latest reread did nothing to change that impression I like it mainly for the glimpses we get of characters before the rest of the series happens toddler Shan and his professor single mom Delm Daav and his close relationship with his brother than I do the romance which feels oddly structured and paced to me and fixed by a couple of deus ex machina than naturally grown or the action plot which feels imperfectly tacked on surely a certain event on University would prompt a great deal reaction from Anne than we see? There are a handful of excerpts from Cantra's journals detailing the events later expanded into the Crystal duology that must have been tantalizing before those were availableSo the romance perhaps you've said to yourself at some point self what I really want is a regency romance but in a space opera setting with culture clash between two spacefaring civilizations with the secret baby trope and a single mother who's taller than her male interest and most other people around too but she has to also be a musician and he has to be highly ualified and very rich and their son has to have a bright future as a space wizard oh and they have to have a magical psychic link that trumps inconvenient social conventionsIf you have said that to yourself this is unuestionably then this is in fact the story for you If maybe not wait to read this one until you're invested in the series The companion novel Scout's Progress about Daav is much better I think


  5. says:

    This is a great story with a lot of subtle layersIt is at it's base a love story A rather intense love storyBut then you add in some intercultural challenges Er Thom is an heir of the prime clan on the planet Liaden Anne is a simple scholar from Earth They meet and have an intense relationship for a bit before he must leave Earth to continue on with his life and the duty of his station on his planet Both Er Thom is drawn back to Anne unable to forget her As they reconnect he and Anne struggle with doing what is right for both of them and their child But Er Thom has the added fillip of needing to fulfill the necessary obligation to his line his clan and his honorInclude a dash of soapy goodness It is a secret baby plot They have a child together As per her 'local custom' she gives the child his father's surname When Er Thom discovers he is a father he has an obligation to make sure his child is acknowledged by his clan on his planet as per his 'local custom' But they are unsuited as the Liadens generally look down on Terrans And his mother is NOT pleased with his jumped up girlfriend There are some a few great confrontational scenes that could be worthy of any glitzy soapFinish it up with some solid world building We learn a lot about the Liaden culture and peoples through their language Anne is a linguist and she understands how the Liadens communicate and many of the nuances in their language are integral in how the society interacts But even so she manages to miss some cues and this causes some misunderstandings between her and Er Thom I loved that the author used language as the way to convey the cultural differences between Er Thom and Anne It was an elegant way to introduce a systemThis was a really good solid science fiction romance that does what SFR is supposed to do it balances very well both the science fiction and the romance and seamlessly integrates both into a wholly satifying story


  6. says:

    I like my ending HEA and so Lee and Miller give me problems with their romantic resolutions in some of their books Not so with this one Probably the most romance of their space opera anthropology Liaden Universe series that's also probably why I like it best I started the universe with this book and it's the only one I ended up keeping Though I did dither over a few of the others during one of my many book shelf purges but this is the one I always come back toIf you are a fan of romantic sci fi this book should be on your too read list More sci fi and anthropology than it is romance there is just something about the details of this universe that seem to have wide scale appealBe warned though some of the later books in this series are OP and ridiculously hard to get hold ofA word on co authorships I love love love male female author pairingd I don't know why but this dynamic always seems to add richness to the books with excellent characterization and brilliant world building Doyle McDonald and Feist Wurts also have this dynamic in the bag


  7. says:

    Originally published at Reading RealityI have been meaning to re read the Liaden Universe books for a while now I loved them when I initially read them meaning I swallowed them whole in 2005 2006 but haven't kept up with the newer ones That so many books so little time problem rears its ugly little head yet againWhen I heard that Audible was releasing the entire series in audio I decided that was my opportunity I could listen to everything Foolish Terranas the Liadens might saySometimes when we revisit a beloved book we remember fondly the re read makes us wonder what we saw in it the first time Memory does not hold up on close re inspection This was absolutely not the case with LiadenI started with Local Custom because that's where I started the first time There are multiple possible entry points for the Liaden Universe but two of the traditional ones are Local Custom or Agent of Change Agent of Change was written first but Local Custom occurs first in the internal chronology with most of the same cast of charactersThe story is every bit as marvelous the second time around as it was the first time Possibly so as I understand the background without remembering every single detail of each individual bookLocal Custom is both space opera and romance Er Thom yos'Galan knows his duty to his clan is to take a contract wife and provide his clan with an heir Duty to the clan is everything to a Liaden But his heart is still fixed on the Terran scholar Anne Davis a woman he met while overseeing his clan's far ranging business as a Master Trader He should have let the thought of her go long since but he cannot So he takes leave of all his obligations and they are than Anne Davis ever knew they were to see her one last time and say a final Goodbye Only to discover that she has already given him his heir not knowing that the Master Trader she loved is actually heir to the richest clan on Liaden And that she and her son are now pawns in a deadly gameEscape Rating A I wish I had pluses to give I started to listen to the Audible recording and became so caught up in the story that I found myself hunting for excuses to do things that would let me listen longer I wasn't getting anything else doneI gave up and bought the entire ebook bundle from Baen and finished the book that way I enjoyed the audio but it was just taking too long My only regret about the audio is that Audible wasn't able to get the rights for the original audio recording by Michael Shanks I would love to hear him read the story as Er ThomIf you enjoy space opera and have never read the Liaden Universe books start now If you like romance in your science fiction start with Local Custom If you prefer adventure and intrigue in the mix choose Agent of Change as your starting point But start now


  8. says:

    Am not and never have been a huge fan of romance novels Liaden adventures seem to be romance novels in a scifi setting Not for me


  9. says:

    Chronologically this follows Balance of Trade set about 200 300 years earlier I read this in The Dragon Variation e book collection In essence this is a romance novel complete with sex It's not steeped in science fiction with only one or two intergalactic flights and some empathic and telepathic exchanges For the most part it could have occurred on Earth today or in the past The authors suggest is is similar to a Regency Romance set in 1800 England I would agree; there are lords and ladies butlers and maids bowing and scraping and a fully prescribed set of social protocols Granted there is a slight intrigue including murder but these scenes felt secondary a device for Er Thom to prove his love and life mate bond with AnneAs a romance the writing is decent but not outstanding A little boring and slow at times but also moving and poignant The big misunderstanding trope gets old in the romance genre but at least it was contextualized as language and tradition barriers across cultures The hero Er Thom yos'Galan is truly a sympathetic and admirable character His pain almost brought a tear or two The heroine Anne Davis a linguistics scholar behaved exactly as I would have done given the same set of circumstances Glad this book has a happy ever after ending My favorite secondary characters are little Shan and Pat Rin Highly sympathetic I disliked Kareen causing her son Pat Rin nightmares I liked Pat Rin's foster father Luken bel Tarda a rug merchant Daav yos'Phelium billionaire head of the Korval Clan is an interesting textured character Could see of him and will in the seuel I felt sorry for old Petrella Er Thom's dying pain riddled mother but also appalled by her cruelty uibblesI read the series in chronological order making this book number four Some things ring true to the preuels but I also felt a disconnect In books one and two Crystal Soldier The Great Migration Duology #1 and Crystal Dragon The Great Migration Duology #2 the authors make such a BIG DEAL of Jela's sentient tree a ssussdriad The characters talk to Tree and Tree talks to them in images warns them of perils nourishes them and medicates them with specially created seedpods The relationship is familial As the front cover shows Tree is important to this series However in this book Tree now 1330 years old and towering over the valley is simply admired Er Thom Anne and young Shan are right there at the foot of Jelaza Kazone Tree's name means Jela's fulfillment and they barely even acknowledge it Neither Er Thom nor Anne greet Tree nor do they touch it Tree offers no seedpods But Daav climbs Tree So at least there's that So much for the wondrous race of ssussdriads and this once little treelet who somehow held out against the world eating shereikasMinor uibble I wanted time spent between shy wary Pat Rin age 6 and his exuberantly outgoing new cousin Shan age 3 And what was in the gift box? Lol


  10. says:

    A totally lovely reread of a series that has been a keeper ever since a friend introduced me to it I moved to hardcover with the series and eagerly await new booksI decided to go in chronological order for my reread and I found myself wondering if this would be the best way for a new reader to go There were parts where I found myself harking back to what I could remember of the later books which were in fact written first It'll be interested to see what I think when I get up to the ones that were written firstI have taken copious notes does anyone know how to get the annotations I've put on a Stanza ebook back off the phone to save for future reference? mostly on things I think might be important later Doing this does make me feel like I've taken the entirety of the book on board this time which I don't think I did on a first reading where I was eager to see where the story went These are definitely books that need to be rereadI could see some of the romance tropes the authors choose to use in their SF book mostly the big misunderstanding where the hero and heroine are at odds over something that could be solved with a conversation The difference here is that Lee and Miller had it work by introducing the differing local customs of Liad and Terra so even when Er Thom and Anne thought they were communicating they were sometimes at cross purposes without knowing it because of their different base points of understanding This is a major part of the book it is its title after all and I think it is done well As is the resolution when finally each works out that they had taken the other's words according to their own meaning and takes the time to work out what the other had meant according to that other's own understandingI am really enjoying rereading the series and I look forward to picking up Scout's Progress after a break reading something else The random number generator picked Melanie Rawn's Dragon Prince so I'll give that a try tomorrow morning