Balance of Trade Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Balance of Trade

Meisha Merlin, Feb 2004, 25.00, 464 pp.
ISBN 1592220193

He has lived on the spaceship Gobelyn's Market all his life going wherever the trading takes him but he knew at an early age that he was an unwanted child. His mother and ship's captain Iza Gobelyn wanted to abort him and the only reason she did not is because her husband talked her out of it. When the ship goes in to dry dock for repairs, Jethri is told that he has been transferred to another ship.
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Since he doesn't want to go on the ship his mother chose for him, he is happy that when he does a favor for Liaden Master trader Norn Ven ‘Deelin, she insists he be an apprentice aboard the Elthorial, He is the first Terran to be apprenticed by a Liaden and he incurs the enmity of those Liadens who feel threatened by him and wish to see him fail. His friends and family, both Terran and Liaden, go to extreme measures to make sure that Jethri is left in peace to trade on behalf of the people who adopted him.

BALANCE OF TRADE takes place in the early days of space trading when Liaden and Terran preferred to ignore the other's existence. The protagonist's innocence and naiveté endears him to his to the audience who hope he gets his heart's desire. Sharon Lee and Steve Miller are great world builders; so much so that readers find themselves actually believing the Liaden Universe actually exists.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Balance of Trade

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 20% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Cultural problems, alien culture    -   Yes Culture clash-    -   feelings of a human growing up among aliens Family relations    -   Yes Intense exploration of society's culture?    -   Yes

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   student Age:    -   a teen


Spaceship setting:    -   really, really giant spaceship/station A substantial portion of this book takes place on a non-Earth planetary body:    -   humans in a futuristic society Planet outside solar system?    -   Yes Takes place in spaceship?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment How much dialogue?    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Sharon Lee and Steve Miller Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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