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Balance of Trade (Liaden Universe, #3)
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Balance of Trade

(Liaden Universe #3)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  1,699 ratings  ·  94 reviews
Assistant Trader Jethri Gobelyn is an honest, hardworking young Terran who knows a lot about living onboard his family's space going trade ship 'Gobelyn's Market', something about trade, finance, and risk taking and a little bit about Liadens.

Oddly enough, it's the little bit he knows about Liadens that seems likely to make his family's fortune—and his own. In short order,
Kindle Edition, 464 pages
Published April 22nd 2015 by Baen Books (first published 2004)
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4.25  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,699 ratings  ·  94 reviews

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May 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this space opera in Kindle format (some typos) in a collection titled The Crystal Variation, containing the first three stories in the series, not by publication order, but chronologically: Crystal Soldier , Crystal Dragon, and Balance of Trade. Of the three, Balance of Trade is the least confusing (thus the most enjoyable) on the first read. It is also the least contingent on the two prequels. It stands alone nicely. Not much background knowledge is needed, since BoT is not set on Liad, ...more
Laura (Kyahgirl)
Re-Read, August 2013

4/5; 4 stars; A-

I enjoyed this book much more the second time through and am really glad that Lee and MIller have written a sequel. I am hoping that some of my favorite characters, such as Miandra, Norn ven' Deelin, scout ter'Astin and Tan Sim will be in the next book, along with Jethri. My only complaint about this book is the ending. There were some pretty significant facts revealed in the last few pages. I had the sense of a racing train screeching to a stop. (view spoiler
May 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This entry in the Liaden series takes place earlier than the other books I have read. I enjoyed young Jethri Gobelyn and look forward to discovering some of the mystery that surrounds his background in futher books!
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, sf, 2012, reread, 10, 9, 2005
ORIGINAL READ: 10/10 (5 May 2005 - 10 May 2005)

Jethri Goeblyn is a very junior, and somewhat unwanted, apprentice on the Terran trading ship, Gobelyn's Market. While stopped on a Liaden world, Liaden ways being very different from Terran ways, he finds himself embroiled in Liaden politics and a possible trade scam. He is even more surprised at the end of the matter, to find himself apprenticed to Liaden Master Trader Norn ven'Deelin.

Thus begins Jethri's apprenticeship not only in Trade, but als
Charlie Moses
May 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really, really liked it. Again, in fact, as I've read it several times. It's clever, goes a number of really interesting places, has a bunch of interesting people, and has an over-riding purpose to fulfill. Excellent fiction of the sf-space opera variety. And why am I reading so many books by Lee and Miller, you ask? It would be because someone else decided to read all of the Liaden Universe works - novels and short stories, in chronological order, one chapter per day, with commentary on each. ...more
I personally think it's weird to have all these scifi books about trading- Elizabeth Moon, Charles Stross- very ironic, there is another. Or they're strictly martial- Laura Reeve, Cherryh is a mix of the two, I guess. Or more of a sociological/global take. Anyway, I liked this very much, esp the language! The Liaden way of conversing is a character in itself. And It's pretty obviously Eastern ways vs Western ways. Also great tension with the sub-stories- can't wait to read the sequels.
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a reread after finishing the current latest novel, Neogenesis. I'd forgotten most of what happened in this book, and don't think that I'd had any of the context for the Old Tech elements in it (see Neogenesis and Crystal Soldier/Crystal Dragon) or the Uncle, who shows up in passing again with an unexpected connection to the protagonist. It was interesting to have the later-written Alliance of Equals, also a coming of age story for a young trader, to compare and contrast with it too, tho ...more
Oct 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another strong entry in the Liaden series. This is one of my favorites so far, because I enjoyed the protagonist's struggles to understand and fit in as he tries to navigate the Liaden culture. There's some great humor, mixed with the usual politics and strong characters that I have come to expect from the authors.

This book would actually serve as a good place to start for people wondering where to start in the series, which is over 20 books long now, since it explains many of the elements that
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting story with good characters! I had originally skipped over this book because Korval wasn't involved but I'm so glad I finally read it. I enjoyed reading about the old tech and how Jethri came into being!
Lis Carey
May 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, f-sf, fiction
It's some centuries after Cantra yos'Phelium and Tor An yos'Galen lead the great migration from humanity's previous home universe. Jethri Gobelyn is a young trader, living and working on his family's ship, Gobelyn's Market. He knows a little bit about all the different areas he needs to know as a trader, and is learning more--including about the Liadens. He's even learning the Liaden language

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. His knowledge of Liadens is just enough to get him in a major ta
Sep 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, sci-fi, kindle
A little slow to start, with the introduction of new people, in a new time. But once the exposition was out of the way, this novel picked up the pace and delivered another great installment. Set between the original books and their prequel, and written from the perspective of a Terran 'outsider' this story fills in more details of Liaden society. Interestingly it was written before the prequels; having read it afterwards it slots neatly in between them, describing how society has changed since t ...more
I am enjoying the Liaden series of books so much. I'm actually almost angry when I finished this one that there wasn't more to the story. And, I can see by the universe timeline that I won't be seeing these characters again. (edit: a sequel is coming out in 2013) Phooey! I really, really like Jethri and the twins. I'm going to be grumbly until I get well started with the next story. (I'm thrilled that there are many stories left to read!)

On the reread, I was just as smitten with the story. I do
Sep 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my third time reading this book, and I seem to like it more every time.

The ebook I got from Baen calls this a Liaden origin story, and it's set probably centuries before the main line stories. It's a standalone, though I'd still be happy to see a sequel and see more of Jethri and his foster-cousin twins.

Jethri Gobelyn is a teen boy who's lived his whole life on his family's Trader ship. His father is dead, his mother is the Captain and prefers to ignore Jethri as much as possible, but he
Such a great story, filled with great characters, who are full of honor, and cultured. 4/18/16 re-read: I stayed up till 6:30am re-reading it, these books are that good! 2018 re-read: Spending time in the Liaden universe is like visiting with old, dear, friends. 2019 re-read: Still just superb.
Mary Soon Lee
This is the tenth novel that I've read set in the authors' Liaden Universe, and the first of what I believe to be a duology of books centered on Jethri Gobelyn. I found both young Jethri and the book thoroughly agreeable. As with most of the Liaden Universe books that I've read, the story is easy reading, the characters well-drawn, the tone light. This book had an underlying warmth that made me feel welcome in the company of its characters. In this it reminded me particularly of another Liaden U ...more
Feb 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my second time through this book. I first read it quite a few years ago. In the meanwhile, I have read all the other Liaden Universe books that have been published (except Neogenesis, which is in the pile waiting to be read). The first time around, I am sure I didn't understand a lot of what was happening. I definitely understood and enjoyed more this time.
Karla Thomas
Mar 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the first Liaden book I read, and it made me want to go out and find all the other books and not stop reading till I'd finished them. I didn't do that, but I did eventually start to collect them and read them in the order that they were published, and now, coming back to this one in it's proper place, I've upped my rating by one star, because everything makes SO much more sense when you have the background. All the talk about the Old Tech (which I now realize are remnants of Sheriekas t ...more
Nancy Messina
I really enjoyed this book, but I felt like it just ended. There were so many plot pieces that felt unfinished. I am very glad that it looks like there is another book that follows Jethri or I would be pretty darn sad.
Jan 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, 2017
While this was still a fun read, it also began to be a little tiring that the Liadens are so Cultured and Civilized when compared to the Terrans. (Especially because I think I'd rather be a Terran. They may be less cultured and less subtle, but they can marry whoever they like.)
Teresa Dowd
Sep 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: culture clash and coming of age
Shelves: comfort-reads
One of my favorite Liad Universe books and a good entry point for the series because we learn about the Liaden as our hero does. I also like the trade centered stories more than intrigue which get off-putting once they reach a certain density.
Aug 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I loved just about everything with this book!
Patricia Litz
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One book at a time. The next one on request. Hard to put it down.
Jeanie T
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book is one of the best I've ever read. Cultural misunderstanding doesn't usually drive plot, but this is masterful. Stands alone.
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Great coming of age space opera set in the early space trading days of the Liaden Universe. This book takes place a long time after Crystal Dragon which help explain the beginnings of Liad.
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathy Martin
Nov 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
BALANCE OF TRADE is an excellent coming of age story set in a richly detailed alien world. Jethri Gobelyn is the son of a trading family and is being taught to become a trader himself. His mother is the ship's captain and his father, deceased for ten years, was the ship's master trader. Jethri's relationship with his mother is poor as she seems to blame him for the loss of her husband. She wants to sell him off her ship to another trading family.

Jethri has come into contact with a Liaden Master
Katharine Kimbriel
Jul 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of literate, character-driven adventure SF, coming of age SF, space adventure/opera fans
As I recall, Balance of Trade won the Hal Clement Award for Young Adults for Excellence in Children's Science Fiction Literature—but don’t let its YA/teen origins keep you from reading the book. It’s not only an excellent coming of age story, it’s also one of the back door entries into the Liaden Universe®.

Sharon Lee & Steve Miller’s rousing, sometimes intricate romantic space adventures span centuries and many characters. Balance of Trade is a nice, clean explanation of why you’ll want to r
Joe Martin
Young Jethri Gobelyn is a crew member on Gobelyn’s Market, a Terran trade ship. It’s a family owned ship. His mother is the captain, his uncle is the Trader. He’s 17 years old and studying to be a Trader himself. He was born on Gobelyn’s Market and he’s lived there his entire life, with his family. But all of that’s about to change.

Jethri was relaxing in a dockside bar, after successfully completing a Trade deal and earning a good bit of profit for the ship. He was approached by another Trader a
Re-read in July 2013 since a sequel is coming out later this year with an eARC possibly this month.
Changed rating from four to five stars.

After Local Custom this is the best book for introducing Liaden society through the eyes of a Terran. Jethri Gobelyn, member of a Terran family of traders, becomes apprenticed to Liaden Master Trader Norn ven'Deelin.
The main focus of the story is Jethri's evolution from the youngest member of a ship's crew to a young gentleman and recognized trader. This was o
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Space Opera Fans : Feb 2018 YA Balance of Trade by Lee & Miller 14 38 Feb 20, 2018 04:52AM  

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Other books in the series

Liaden Universe (1 - 10 of 22 books)
  • Crystal Soldier (The Great Migration Duology, #1; Liaden Universe, #1)
  • Crystal Dragon (The Great Migration Duology, #2; Liaden Universe, #2)
  • Trade Secret (Liaden Universe, #4)
  • Local Custom (Liaden Universe, #5)
  • Scout's Progress (Liaden Universe, #6)
  • Mouse and Dragon (Liaden Universe, #7)
  • Conflict of Honors (Liaden Universe, #8)
  • Agent of Change (Liaden Universe, #9)
  • Carpe Diem (Liaden Universe, #10)
  • Plan B (Liaden Universe, #11)
“Jethri had lately formed the theory that this reluctance to offer information was not what a Terran would call spitefulness, but courtesy. It would be—an insult, if his reading of the tapes was right, to assume that another person was ignorant of any particular something.” 1 likes
“Glancing aside, for Liadens counted a too-long stare at the face as rudeness,” 0 likes
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