SciFi Month Read Along: Winter’s Orbit, Week 2

In this week’s chapters, the political plot thickens while we get to know Kiem and Jainan a little better – and they get to know each other a little better, too.

Spoilers below for chapters 7 through 15.

 

 

Now we have a better grasp of the political and diplomatic context, where do your sympathies lie? Any thoughts on Gairad or the Thean ‘intervention’ at the embassy do?

I appreciate that the political situation seems complicated, but at the end of the day the Iskat Empire is what it says it is. It’s hard to have a lot of sympathy for the people who are at the top of the chain and are determined to stay there. The way Jainan is treated, in general, in his capacity as the Thean representative in the palace says an awful lot, in my opinion. So yeah, if I sympathise with anyone it’s with the Theans in general, and Jainan in particular.

As for the Thean ‘intervention’, I get where they’re coming from. From their perspective at this point, it would be easy to assume that Jainan has been snubbing his own people in favour of being a palace pet. This scene rang rather painfully true as an insight into the way victims of abuse are often perceived, as well. It’s easy to think that you’re being given the cold shoulder when you don’t have any idea of what’s going on behind closed doors. And given all that we’ve seen, it seems pretty clear to me that Jainan’s marriage to Taam was … not a happy one. To put it mildly.

But let’s not forget that the Theans, and Gairad in particular, don’t seem to be interacting with Jainan out of pure concern for his wellbeing. This is about them, and their needs, and (in Gairad’s case) their own hurt feelings. If we’re still talking about who I have sympathy for, I have to say I don’t really have much for these people, in these scenes. My main reaction was basically “Wow, pull your heads out of your asses”. But that’s my protectiveness of the pure cinnamon roll that is Jainan talking, heh.

 

Having got to know Jainan – and Taam – better, how successful do you think his first marriage was? What do you make of his chances at happiness with Kiem?

As I noted above … I would not call his first marriage successful, exactly, heh. He may be dead but I will speak ill of Taam all day long – it’s clear to me he was not a good husband. At all.

As for Kiem, though, this is pure goodness and light by comparison. Yes they’re having communication issues, but given what Jainan must have gone through that’s entirely understandable. And we’re seeing them start to get used to each other, and to know each other a little better now! And I love it. I love them. Don’t get me started or I will wax lyrical about the pair of them all day! But, yes. Jainan deserves to be treated better than he was with Taam, and I don’t doubt Kiem is the man to do so.

 

Any ideas why Jainan’s security access was flagged? What do you make of his response to it?

I don’t recall the specific reason for the flagged access at this point, but I suspect it had more to do with Taam being a controlling [CENSORED] of a husband than anything? I might be wrong but I think that’s it. And it would certainly fit with the way Jainan has been responding to this whole situation, and these revelations: by almost desperately insisting that it’s no trouble, and he doesn’t want to cause any. If we needed any more evidence that he’s been abused into compliance, I’m pretty sure that’s it right there.

Note: there’s also an interesting parallel in his behaviour here, between a victim of domestic abuse and someone in the political structure who is trying to survive in it by keeping his head down and being a good little assimilated member of the Empire. Funny how that works…

 

Lunver is awfully keen not to share the textbook perfect crash data, and insists the issue with the Auditor is the speed of Kiem’s appointment. She wants him to step down and let someone else marry Jainan. Thoughts?

Oh, man. I know things. Things I cannot yet comment on.

However, I would like to note that Lunver is a good example, on a more personal scale, of how the Empire seems to be treating Thea as a vassal. She (like others) comes across as someone more concerned with her own interests than with the best interests of someone like Jainan. She hardly seems to consider his thoughts or feelings at all; he’s simply a problem to be solved, to her.

So… yeah. Keep your eye on that one.

 

Who do you think is responsible for all these mysterious malfunctions? Who do you trust?

I can’t say yet, and ABSOLUTELY NO ONE WHO DIDN’T RECENTLY GET HASTILY MARRIED. That is all.

 

How about those mysterious remnants? Why do you think the Resolution wants them back? What do you make of the timing of the Empire returning the remnant that powered the notorious Tau field device?

*Chokes on comments she still can’t make yet*

I think that’s a good note to stop on, heehee!

Thanks to imyril for this week’s questions, and if you need a reminder here is our full schedule for the Read Along:

Week 1: Chapters 1 through 6, with posts on Sunday 7th November, hosted by Dear Geek Place
Week 2: Chapters 7 through 15, with posts on Sunday 14th November, hosted by There’s Always Room For One More
Week 3: Chapters 16 through 22, with posts on Sunday 21st November, hosted by Book Nook Reviews
Week 4: Chapters 23 through End, with posts on Sunday 28th November, hosted by Dear Geek Place

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