Maybe it's the start of a Karl Schroeder serial in the shape of Sun of Suns, or the fact that John Barnes is giving us another glimpse into the life of Giraut in a Thousand Cultures novella "The Diversification Of Its Fancy". I think I may have found my first Hugo nomination for next year in the Barnes...
It's 15 or so years after the end of Giraut's and Margaret's marriage. Giraut's Occitan troupe of balladeers is still handling secret missions on the side, while he's happier than he's been in a long long time. Change happens fast, as always, and confronted by assassination and terrorism Giraut learns that love means more than marriage, and power means more than control.
Good reading indeed.
Recommended for anyone who likes intelligent, challenging SF.