Is there anyone out there who can make sense of Morley's scheme to get back at Zeck Zack near the end of Sweet Silver Blues? No matter how many times I read it I cannot figure out what he does and why.
Presumably he went around messing with the centaur's properties and henchmen until he pissed his target off so much that he got the guy chasing him down the street. Then he lured him into an ambush by the royal investigators from the ship. Precisely what he'd done to aggravate Zeck so much isn't that important to the story, as it's just a way to wrap up the loose end of a minor villain. The business with the empty coffins was probably a ruse to make Morley's target think Garrett's group was hiding somewhere other than they actually were.
Just how many more metals can Cook come up with, to name these books after? There don't seem to be many metals or alloys left, that wouldn't be blatantly anachronistic: cobalt and electrum maybe, and possibly something like invar if Kip Prose gets into metallurgy and clockwork.
There is a respectable number of historical, now obscure metal alloys. Billon? Shibuichi? Molybdochalkos? We'd better hope he moves on to metalloids instead.
Ah, let's see... Aluminium, tungsten (aka wolfram), molybdenum, tantalum, cobalt (since when it's not a metal?), bismuth, cadmium, titanium, zirconium, antimony, manganese, beryllium, chromium, germanium, vanadium, gallium, hafnium, indium, niobium, rhenium, platinum and thallium? Ah..what else? Palladium, rhodium, iridium, osmium, ruthenium, tellurium. Okay, I run out of metals. If we take fictional, there is always orichalcum and historically there were things called hepatizon and shakudo.
You know that and I know that. But how many of those would make sense in a medieval-to-Renaissance fantasy series...?
Supposedly, every fit Karentine human male for the past three generations got conscripted to fight in the Cantard at 18, all through the war years. So how did a soft-hearted guy like Playmate, or a couple of wusses like the two Karls dePena, come through their service without such squeamishness either getting knocked out of them or getting them killed?
Admin, support, supply posts, etc. Not everyone in the military is a front-line combat soldier. It's even referenced in one of the books when a teamster wants to get home before riots happen in the streets. Garrett asks him how he got through his time in service with an attitude like that. The guy did the same job he's doing right then - driving wagons around.
There's a fair bit of teasing based on what people did or didn't do in the war, along the lines of "you probably spent your time sweeping floors in the headquarters". One of the ex-Marines in Old Tin Sorrows claims he made it through Cantard without ever killing anyone; there's also one soft-hearted guy who didn't have that kind of luck.
Gilded Latten Bones: Why didn't the baddies just kill Morley immediately instead of waiting for the escape attempt? They had no real need to keep him captive, since they couldn't use him for their magic like they used their human prisoners. All they wanted was to shut him up forever; if they had him at their mercy enough to stuff him into the warehouse, couldn't they just as well have sliced him up the moment they caught him and thrown the remains in the river?
Possibly the villains had been trying to come up with a way to drain life-energy from breeds as well as humans, and Morley got captured shortly before they were ready to test their new technique?
They may have suspected he wasn't just a random witness, and were interrogating him to learn who he was spying for. Or there was somebody else nearby whom they didn't catch, and they thought Morley could tell them who it was so they could silence that person to.
Near the end, Morley remembers Nathaniel attempting to hypnotize him while he was a captive. Possibly they'd figured out who he was and/or why he was in the area (receiving smuggled goods), and thought he could be useful for their schemes if mentally dominated: he's tight with Belinda and has his own circle of criminal contacts they could use to acquire more victims.