gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Fri May 4 13:39:55 BST 2018
Our Ekaterin discussion has mostly passed, but in honour of
the new novella I'd just like to spend a few moments with the
Ekaterin of DI.
She's come a long, long way from Tien. Miles is protective - sure,
he gives her a space-survival course, so that she can look after
herself in an emergency. And wow does she rise to the occasion.
She copes well with quaddies, herm, meeting one of Miles's
ex-something-or-others, being pitchforked into the middle of a
nasty diplomatic incident, and even assassination attempts.
For me the moment when she truly unfurls her wings isn't the
desperate run to Cetaganda, although she's truly superb there.
But for me the big moment is when Miles is trying to say a possible
goodbye, and she cuts him off and tells him to stop whittering and
get the problem solved. I can definitely see every man on that
bridge jumping to attention as she snaps out her orders to Miles.
Up to then she's a nice Vor lady who's a bit of a nuisance, stashed
on the ship to keep her out of the way of the action, sweet and
pretty and a nice distraction from their work. Then she morphs
into Vor-dragon-lady, every man's most terrifying great-grandmother
who slit baby's throats without hesitation, the one who buried four
husbands - one of them wasn't hers, and one wasn't even dead yet.
THAT great-grandmother, the scary one.
Later, when she takes control of the rescue run and over-rules the
pilots, I'm sure that moment when she snaps at Miles is the reason
they let her do it. She's an Auditor's wife - she's not in their military
chain of command. But she's in a different chain of command
entirely. And she's pure steel the the core, she's a force of nature.
For a long, lonely couple of days her willpower is all that holds two
empires from full-on war. Her voice - not the Emperor's Voice, not
the Lord Auditor's Voice, but Ekaterin. All they have between them
and disaster is Ekaterin's voice, sending out the desperate message,
holding the pilots to their beyond-top speed.
Her uncle says you only have to do something amazing once to be a
genius. This is twice for Ekaterin - she's a genius at saving lives, on a
I just hope she got a damn medal for this one, because the first time
had to be kept secret. I know she doesn't care about medals, but
And our latest sighting of Ekaterin is in GJ&RQ, she's busier than most
people could stand, and she's serene in the midst of it all. She's truly
Tien put her in a little box and shut her away; Miles has helped her to
six children, a wildly successful career, political hostess, running a
District, saving the world, and a hyperactive husband. She's valued,
cherished, adored, loved, and busier than most people could manage.
Ekaterin just keeps getting bigger, taking it all in.
The more I study her, the more I like her. And maybe find her a teeny
bit intimidating by the end.
And just a thought - they say that men often marry a woman who's like
their mother. Ekaterin ... Cordelia.... I can see a lot of parallels there.
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