This novella tells the beginning of the story of Don Eyr. Here is a tale of a man who makes the best of a very bad situation, again and again. He's every bit as much of a hero as any main character in any of the 21 Liaden novels. Unlike most of them, he never had a family to support him and help him reach his full potential. He had to do that on his own. Like a true hero, when he finds others even worse off than he is, he does what is necessary to help them, even though it puts him at risk. It's not a long story, but it is a wonderful character study of a man... a hero.
And then, we also learn a little bit more about the strange and complex rules of Liaden clans.
This novella is one that I will read again, and again.