The ensuing chapter, “Jamaillia City,” opens with Malta musing on the splendor of her assigned chambers and the attentions paid her by servants. The surroundings and ministrations are detailed, as are the changes to Malta’s own appearance. Etta is attended similarly, though the loss of Kennit still hurts her, and she works to comport herself as the queen she is recognized as being. Malta also muses on Etta’s perceptions of Kennit and her own of Reyn, and the promotions of both Etta and Wintrow–the latter by unanimous consent of the captains who had followed Kennit–are noted as Malta and Etta join Wintrow and Reyn, all attired for formal reception.
The group calls upon the Satrap in a hall that is described, along with their locations and relative precedence. Malta’s continuing machinations are glossed, as are the changes to the prevailing state of affairs. The Pirates–with recognition of national sovereignty, the capitalization seems in order–and Traders make to take their leave of the Satrap, and Reyn and Malta confer about their upcoming nuptials and progress in Bingtown and on the Rain Wild River. Talk turns to others’ romances, then to liveships, about which Reyn has some ideas. They dance together, reveling in one another, and Etta and Wintrow confer a bit pettily about the way they do so.
In the harbor, the Ophelia confers with the Vivacia, the two liveships gossiping. Jek joins them, and the ships note the tensions between recalled lives and experienced ones, and the Vivacia recommits to her current life.
I find Reyn’s note about the liveships that do not recall dragon-lives of interest. He remarks that it is possible some of the cocooned dragons died before their cocoons were opened–and while ignominous disposal of the bodies of sentient life rankles even so, it does offer the prospect of ethical wizardwood harvesting. If memory serves, it’s something discussed in later books in the Elderlings corpus; I will be continuing my rereading for the foreseeable future, so I’ll have a chance to come upon it again. Whether I will remember to connect back to this entry at such times as I come across other references, I don’t know; I have the suspicion that I do poorly with such things. But that might also give me more to do, here, and I like getting to roll around in this, so…