Ondry and Liam have joined the Grandmothers on the ship Calti headed into Earth’s space. The objective is to trade with humans, but also to make peace. Humans see the Rownt as alien and larger, so they immediately think of them as threatening. Liam wants the people of his choice and the people of his birth to get along. He also wants Ondry to be recognized by the tuk-rank he’s earned.
Ondry has little doubt the Grandmothers of the Calti will never honor the title of tuk-ranked trader, but once he has the taste of a higher status, he desires it, although not more than he desires Liam. Having Liam back on Earth is a problem for Ondry because it was humans who damaged Liam in the first place and Ondry fears they will do so once again.
When the Grandmothers request Liam’s presence alone to trade with Earth’s government officials, Ondry knows Liam’s physical safety is not at risk, not with the Grandmothers, but he worries that his emotional protection is in danger, as the Grandmother’s don’t understand human emotion. Then his fears are proven valid and Ondry must walk with Liam on his journey of emotional healing, while learning more about the people and world that make little sense to him.
Affiliations, Aliens, and Other Profitable Pursuits is the third book in Gala’s Claimings series. This series absolutely must be read in order or you will find yourself lost.
As this series moves along, I find myself more and more attracted to the relationship between Liam and Ondry. While they are very different and have different logic, they are compatible in so many ways, yet with each story, so far, they have had to conquer a new obstacle. I particularly enjoyed this story for the visit to Earth and the outlandish ideas by both human and Rownt, as well as the scenes that gave glimpses into Liam’s old life.
Up until this book, the only things readers have been aware of are how bad Liam has been treated by humans—his mother, Mort, Kaplan, and Thackary. The knowledge of these events in Liam’s life has done little to endear the Rownt to humans. But in this story, we get to see the good of humanity—Liam’s friends, his struggles with not seeing them, his heartbreak over certain events. There’s even a sort of conflict that arises with one of his former battle mates that leaves Liam with valid points to ponder.
This author ever amazes me with her ability to keep this world growing. Not only do I love Prarownt, but now I love the intergalactic side of the Rownt. We get new rules and new people to focus on. Gala does an amazing job bringing everything together. The only thing I wonder about is the way Diallo seemed to fall off the story. She’s in every now and then, but at one point, Liam makes it clear that she has sort of attached herself to Liam and Ondry, yet after that conversation, she’s not see with them again unless she’s with the human contingent, and that is merely to serve the humans.
Overall, I absolutely enjoyed this story. I’m hoping for travel into the Imshee space in the next book. I’m also looking forward to seeing more of Zach’s perspective of the Rownt once he’s gotten his feet wet, so to speak. I definitely recommend Affiliations, Aliens, and Other Profitable Pursuits by Lyn Gala.