Assistant Trader Jethri Gobelyn was an honest, hardworking young man who knew a lot about living onboard his family's space-going trade ship; something about trade, finance, and risk-taking; and a little bit about Liadens. It was, oddly enough, the little bit he knew about Liadens that seemed like it might be enough to make his family's fortune, and his own, too. In short order, however, Jethri Gobelyn was about to find out a lot more about Liadens...like how far they might go to protect their name and reputation. Like the myriad of things one might say-intentionally or not-with a single bow. Like what it would take to make a Liaden trade-ship crew trash a bar. Like how hard it is to say "I'm sorry!" in Liaden. Pretty soon it was clear that as little as he knew about Liadens, he knew far less about himself. With his very existence a threat to the balance of trade, Jethri Gobelyn needed to learn fast, or else help destroy all he held dear.
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Outstanding! Early Liaden Trader Tale
Good but disappointing in the end.
I really enjoyed Crystal Soldier and Crystal Dragon, but those two finished with loose ends I had hoped might be brought to completion in this third book (in the Books of Before "series.") So now here again in Balance of Trade. While I enjoy the storytelling and the performance, the ending left so many unanswered questions...just when you finally get really attached to the characters and the story lines, it ends abruptly and apparently none of it will ever be mentioned again in any of the future books. It's been 9 years since this one was completed and as far as I can tell, there are little if any references in future books to what was presented in this one, so it may be safe to assume there never will be. Because of this, I've pretty much decided to not continue with other books in the Liaden Universe "Series." Read Balance of Trade for a good story that you will enjoy as you go through it, but regard it as a stand-alone book and have no expectations of any kind for series continuation or you also may find the ending sudden and disappointing.