Acquired Book By: I was invited to participate in Julie E. Czerneda’s #futurespasttour wherein I am continuing my readings of The Clan Chronicles where I left off last November. I participated in the #timeandstarstour on behalf of the seventh volume of The Clan Chronicles ‘This Gulf of Time and Stars’. I reached out to the author to sort out a way to read her entire series spilt between two trilogies: Stratification (the prequel) and The Trade Pact (inaugural trilogy) which launched the series as a whole. She offered to have DAW Books send me the series in paperback editions which I was blessed to receive and would have finished reading if I had hadn’t taken ill shortly after I read “A Thousand Words for Stranger”. Due to personal reasons between the end of 2015 and the start of 2016, I was not able to continue my readings until now. I have spent a lot of hours contemplating what ‘comes next’.
This year, I reached out to her publicist at DAW (at the author’s suggestion) to receive “The Gate to Futures Past” to conclude the scope of the series ahead of the final novel. I spoke to Ms Czerneda about completing my readings of her beautifully conceived hard sci-fi series by releasing my reviews of the books in graduated succession during the #futurespasttour; she agreed it would be a great way to celebrate. Therefore, ‘Ties of Power’ kicks off my showcases on Monday, 22nd of August, followed by ‘To Trade the Stars’ on Thursday, 25th August finishing ‘the Trade Pact Universe’ trilogy. I am anchouring the Reunification reviews together on 1st & 2nd of September.
I received a complimentary copy of ‘Ties of Power’ the first novel of original trilogy better known as The Trade Pact Universe. I was not obliged to post a review or share my impressions or opinions on behalf of these stories. I am posting my thoughts for my own edification and to help encourage new readers to meet the characters Czerneda created especially if like me, they are discovering The Clan Chronicles for the first time!
On re-entry into The Clan Chronicles:
As I disclosed on my review of Reap the Wild Wind this is my first reading of the works by Julie E. Czerneda. This is my continuing journey deep into the heart of The Clan Chronicles whilst conversing on Twitter via the tag #whoaretheclan. Occasionally alternating with #TheClanChronicles and #futurespasttour.
As hinted about a moment ago whilst explaining how I came to read The Clan Chronicles – there is a nine month gap between when I last read the series and today. I explained a lot of what was going on at the close of  and the beginning of  many moons ago when I released my post called: Two Years, Two Cats. It seriously took me months to restore the level of joy I had reading and sharing my reading life after those moments where life had started to overwhelm me to the brink where between February and April I was contemplating if I even wanted to continue blogging. Two (epic) migraines in the Spring nearly convinced me to pull the plug, but as this journey of mine has been a walk of faith since it’s conception, I knew in my heart, all would right itself eventually. I simply had had a difficult patch of hours I needed to walk through before the light and joy would return.
Hence why I never truly felt the moment had returnt to where I could dissolve myself back inside the world of the Clan in such a way as to fully attune myself into the narrative arc left behind to discover by Czerneda! Her series has never quite left me either – there is something about this series, as you may have already threaded through my previous reviews and know what I’m going to say – this series becomes a part of you. It transforms how you look at what a hard sci-fi series can give but it’s more than that – these characters are so wholly inherent of their own sentient selves, you find a gateway into their world so instinctively true to who they are and how they live their lives.
It’s been a long journey for me to find favour again with stories and to find myself caught up inside the giddiness of reading a story whose foundation of setting, time and place has been able to fuse into my imagination without any of the woes of the year to inflict a pause of reflection. I’m in a much better mindset now to resume where I’ve left off with the Clan and I am quite excited about re-entering this world on the fringes of the eighth release! Although, part of me is recognising this truly is a sad moment in some regards – there are ONLY nine novels total in The Clan Chronicles! I ought to take stock in handkerchiefs and tissue boxes!
As I start to re-read the ending bits of A Thousand Words for Stranger, ahead of moving into Ties of Power, I am taking a moment to share with you what truly was my turning point in understanding the Trade Pact Universe as I quite literally did leave my heart on Cersi! I felt so entwined with Cersi, when I first read A Thousand Words for Stranger I felt ripped away from Cersi in such a strong way that I grieved it’s loss for nearly the entire length of the novel!
A lightbulb went off in my mind – sometimes when I’m reading a book series, I pick up on subtle differences, little nuances if you will, alerting me there is something not quite as it once were earlier in the sequences. In Chapter 8 I recognised what is missing from the Clan – their emotional reactions! Each time they would telepathically speak to each other, each word, phrase or sentence had a precept of feeling wherein you knew instantly their emotional and mind centre point. Traditionally throughout Stratification the two were adjoined, moving fluidly as if of one thought, one emotion. The Clan in the Trade Pact universe has stepped away from this tradition! That’s why I felt a bit disconnected from them (over and beyond the other reasons!) as they’ve re-identified not with their Clan language and ways, but with ComSpeak! The language of the interstellar travellers of whom they’ve become! They do technically at times share their emotional state but it’s far more reserved. I would not consider them transparent now, as Aryl and Enris would be quite gobsmacked by how vague and cloaked their Clan became in such a short lifespan of time. On the other hand, the Clan views lifespans a bit differently – perhaps it’s too far apart from them to register as a ‘short change’ but rather expelled over too long of a period to bother them?
Sira understands Morgan better than he understands himself which would be easy to do as he’s not a bloke of transparency. Morgan is a bit burnt out and jaded by the choices he’s made as a spacer who works the trades; his ship was his home, a place where he could rule his own destiny. When he had the happenstance meeting with Sira on Auord it set in motion a series of events that would tie the two together. Not surprisingly it also launched them into a duo whose trust for each other would slowly start to drop anchour. Neither one trusted easily, but there are certain things that happen between people who share close quarters; a ship in their world is not any different than a ship in ours. It gives you a measure of space to stay sane but an intimacy that is built on friendship and curiosity.
Oh, my! Morgan’s fate is entwined with Enris or rather, is it the other way round? Time is temporal and this universe asks questions of itself about the order in which things are known or changed. Enris might have come first but Morgan and Sira’s relationship are playing out truth to the nail in line with Aryl’s with Enris. What a beautiful scope of their lineage, Ms Czerneda! Great-grands, yes, indeed share a special connection!
-quoted from my review of A Thousand Words for Stranger
Ties of Power
Subtitle: The Trade Pact Universe #2
by Julie E. Czerneda
Illustrator/Cover Designer: Luis Royo
Source: Direct from Publisher
Synopsis on the Back Cover:
became Sira's only choice when she discovered how deeply she'd been betrayed by the leaders of her people. Rather than allow them to continue to use her for their own ruthless purposes, Sira, the most powerful being ever born to the alien race known as the Clan, fled with the human empath, Jason Morgan.
Now, living on a distant world in an environment over which she has control, Sira is striving to carve out a new life for herself. But there are those determined to take from her what she will not willingly give, and when she and Jason fall victim to an unforeseen attack, it sets in motion a series of events which will see Jason searching the starways on a mission of vengeance, and Sira leagued with the Drapsk, a little understood race which is extremely adept at trading. For the Drapsk see in Sira a power which could regain for them something which has long been lost. And they will do anything to protect this woman who is their greatest hope for the future....
Places to find the book:
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Also by this author: Reap the Wild Wind, Riders of the Storm, Rift in the Sky, A Thousand Words for Stranger, To Trade the Stars, This Gulf of Time and Stars, Julie E. Czerneda Interview (#futurespasttour), The Gate to Futures Past, Guest Post (Web Shifters series) by Julie E. Czerneda, Guest Post: Julie E. Czerneda (Clan Chronicles Finale Tour), To Guard Against the Dark
Series: Trade Pact Universe
Also in this series: A Thousand Words for Stranger, To Trade the Stars
Genres: Science Fiction
Published by DAW Books
on 8th October, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Published By: DAW Books (@DAWBooks)
an imprint of Penguin Group USA
Cover Artist: Luis Royo | Site | Twitter | Facebook
The Clan Chronicles:
Available Formats: Hardcover, Paperback and Ebook