Not seen since Dragon Pearl, Haneul makes her long-awaited return in the pages of Fox Snare: A Thousand Worlds Novel. As excited as we are to catch up with our favorite climate-controlling dragon spirit cadet, we’re worried she won’t have much time to shoot the breeze.
Between her reunion with Kim Min, her new assignment accompanying a Dragon Councilor to a huge diplomatic meeting, and her having to work alongside an even more no-nonsense cadet, Haneul’s schedule is rather swamped.
But isn’t that the way Haneul prefers it? The more you foresee, the more you plan, and the more in control you are of any situation.
Then again, fate is a lot like weather. No matter how hard we try, we can’t always predict all the storms the universe has in store. Our advice to Haneul is to start hunkering down as soon as possible.
Respect Your Elders
What exactly has the dragon spirit been up to since her time on the Pale Lightning? Currently, her official title is apprentice to the esteemed Dragon Councilor Gwan. For those who don’t watch intergalactic news, Gwan is an incredibly important representative of the Thousand Worlds’ Dragon Council. So important that the Thousand Worlds government wouldn’t dream of planning to terraform a new planet without her invaluable input.
Sure, some might argue that the Dragon Council cares more about lining their own pockets than building lasting peace throughout the galaxy. And that the last thing the current bearer of the Dragon Pearl needs is even more politicians breathing down her neck. Just don’t let Haneul hear you spreading such baseless slander.
Mainly because Haneul’s duties as an apprentice supersede her responsibilities as a cadet, even as she’s preparing to board the battle cruiser Haetae. Naturally, Haneul’s dual loyalties are bound to cause some friction with other members of the Space Forces. And no, it’s not just because her fancy customized uniform makes all the other cadets look like nerds. At least, that’s not the only reason. . . .
When we first met cadet Sebin in Tiger Honor, we assumed that if they ever met Haneul, those two would instantly become best friends. They’re both no-nonsense intellectuals who suffer no fools and are usually the most competent person in the room. Even if that room is filled with military superiors and commanding officers.
And yet we can’t help but detect a bit of tension between cadets Haneul and Sebin. Could it be that these two feel threatened by each other? Is there some ancient irrational distrust between dragons and tigers? Or is it the general aura of uncertainty pervading the Thousand Worlds in the wake of their current negotiations with the Sun Clans?
A lot is riding on whether these two warring factions can come to an agreement about the potential terraforming of the hostile, heavily contested planet Jasujeong. With a political situation this delicate, and with different parties working toward their own agendas, we can’t blame anyone for looking over their shoulder. Alliances can easily shift when the stakes are this high.
We just ask that if any dragon and fox cadets do decide to fight, they please take it outside the battle cruiser. Aside from the danger their violence might pose to the rest of the crew, the combination of floodwater and cat hair is a nightmare to clean out of the ventilation shafts.
Despite her impressive new job title, Haneul seems ambivalent about working with the Dragon Council. As a friend of Min, the current bearer of the Dragon Pearl, we understand why Haneul might be less than thrilled with her apprenticeship. After all, the Dragon Council isn’t exactly over the moon about their most important artifact being in the hands of someone they can’t control (or barter with). A child, no less. And a fox spirit (but don’t tell anyone).
But what really confuses us is that Haneul also seems to be keeping her distance from Min. The apprentice is not overly happy working for the Dragon Council. She’s not interested in developing bonds with her fellow cadets. Is Haneul taking her professionalism too far? Or could it be that she’s just sick of the politics and diplomacy altogether?
It sounds like what Haneul needs is an impromptu vacation. Somewhere she can stretch out and spend as much time in her dragon form as possible without taking orders from anyone. Many of the planets in the Thousand Worlds are simply lovely this time of year. As long as she avoids the ones that are:
1. Completely inhospitable
2. Contested between Thousand Worlds and the Sun Clan
3. Haunted by the ghost crew of an ancient and strategically important dreadnought
You could maybe survive on a planet with two of the above disadvantages. But certainly not all three. No matter how powerful your weather-controlling abilities are. Then again, what are the odds of finding a planet that fits this exact criteria?
Huh. Did anyone else see that escape pod flying careening off in space? We could have sworn it was heading toward Jasujeong. Wonder what that’s all about . . .
Want to get caught up with Haneul for yourself? Be sure to pre-order your copy of Fox Snare: A Thousand Worlds Novel, on sale 10/17!