Sometimes, especially with stories told from several viewpoints across multiple volumes, the writer needs to have a scene that establishes the relationship between this POV in this book, and a different POV in a previous book. Particularly, in the entire Paksworld work, the temporal situation. We are so used to knowing today what happened an hour ago 2000 miles (or more) away, so used to having simultaneous different points of view, with television cameras and interviewers able to get the reaction of four widely scattered “foreigners” (to whatever station the news is on) and four “native” (ditto) that it’s hard to keep in mind how long it could take for information to get from one place to another. My entire life, privileged information arrived within 24 hours (telegraphs were expensive but used for super-important stuff) and the technology wasn’t new then.
So this snippet, early in Limits of Power, re-connects in a way the POV of someone else somewhere else with the POV here. Very important things have happened to someone else, and this person didn’t even know–had not a clue what was going on. It is a slight overlap, reflecting the temporal effect of distance. The chapter it’s in has possible snippets holding spoilers, but I’m handing you this one instead.
Where: North Marches stronghold
Who: Count Arcolin
The green velvet sack with the gold-embroidered arms of Lyonya lay alone in the center of his desk; lesser messages were stacked to one side, a courteous gap between them and the royal missive.
Arcolin opened the sack. A letter from Kieri, in his own hand, and a wedding invitation in multi-colored inks, clearly the work of a palace scribe.
The other messages were routine. Marshals of the two granges on his domain, reporting on the membership and training schedule of each. Captain Valichi, reminding him that Valichi intended to retire as soon as the troops left for Aarenis, reporting that the neighboring Count Halar had agreed to let Fox Company recruit in his domain and shared more gossip about Dorrin Verrakai. Mayors of Duke’s East and Duke’s West, their usual reports, including–from Duke’s West–a request for one more Count’s Court to hear a case arisen while he’d been in Vérella.