The last line, “He’ll be on the mat in less than thirty seconds,” is an homage of sorts, to a scene in Beowulf’s Children, the sequel to my favorite novel, The Legacy of Heorot. There is something similar in that book, although the scenes themselves are not all that alike. Also, they’re hardly of equal importance. That pair of books has influenced the series before; Weyland’s Bay is named for the main character of the series, Cadmann Weyland. The Serene is a school of swordsmanship, inspired by kung fu movies and Buddhist caricature.