Skyblaze is a novelette that addresses the character of one of Liad's more honorable citizens -- a lady who keeps her melant'i close. The story was published separately and in A Liaden Universe Constellation, volume ii (see The Books (and other stories))


  • Takes place on Liad and on Surebleak, during and after the attack on the Department of the Interior, in Solcintra
    • Wintercome (late autumn) in Surebleak, but wintry weather
  • Clan Korval is settled on Surebleak with The Tree visible from port


  • Main character is Vertu dea'San, Delm of Clan Wylan, owner of the Serene Taxi Agency
  • Secondary Characters:
    • Vertu's daughter Fereda
    • Higdon's Howlers mercs, including Octavius Higdon, young Tommee, Smitty
    • Council of Clans
    • Granita, owner of BrickOff Flourpower Bakery, Surebleak
    • The Hooper, a musician (organeer). Also called Old Fellow. Highly respected.
      • "There were such on Liad -- galan'ranubiet they were called: Treasures of the House."
    • Scout Lieutenant ter'Volla, detached to the Surebleak Street Patrol
    • Jemie, taxi cab driver
    • Andy Mack, the Colonel
    • Cheever McFarland

Skyblaze quote


  • Responsibility: "Somebody ought to do something." (duty, honor)
  • Banishment, exile, immigration
  • Self-reliance and resolution
  • Hope and kindness


  • "This is not of the Dragon's melant'i, but my own."
  • "another Lance of light fell upon the city, and another, until at last the sky was full of sudden cloud and billowing smoke. The skyblaze was done now, but the world and the people still shook in aftermath."
  • "So they stole your cab, took your ring, and took your name. Then they tossed you randomly off-world?"
  • "She had almost carried out the Council's first judgment, that her Delm had appealed. The moment had passed, and she had resolutely gone forward, trying to feel out a new life -- a life without clan -- on this strange and bitter world. There were moments -- of course there were moments, of doubt and of loneliness. Those she endured."
  • "Granita looked up with a grin. "There you are, more on time than I'd guess!" Vertu bowed in her direction, letting the warmth comfort her as she read the words to be a welcome. It was good to be expected and greeted, and she found it happened more often on Surebleak than it had in Low Port, and more often in Low Port than many of the Higher places she'd frequented in Solcintra."
  • "Korval still lived under Tree, which was well enough, and from spot and spot around the city she was pleased to see the crown or more of that great Tree, and still...bowed to it from time to time as she had in Solcintra."
  • "The soup was hot and nourishing if not up to the standards of a fine Liaden restaurant...but with the butter and the biscuits Vertu felt on the cusp of content, despite the coming frosty trudge to her apartment in the Heartstrings."
  • "Tomorrow was going to be a snow-mess, and talk was of little else...Well, they did have a weatherman, and apparently Surebleak hadn't had one before...and now there was real time forecasting and interpretation" (see meteorologist Ichliad Brunner and Miri Robertson /"Corporal Redhead" in Misfits)
  • "Stop!" Authority rang in that voice, and for a moment Vertu thought that the Patrol had arrived. But no, she realized, standing tall with Tommee's gift in her hand -- it was only Vertu dea'San, playing the fool once more."
  • "Don't meet many who got the streets laid out in their head."