Deliverer by C.J. Cherryh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Jacket Blurb: In the aftermath of civil war, the world of the atevi
is still perilously unstable. Tabini-aiji, powerful ruler of the
Western Association, along with his son and heir, and his human paidhi,
Bren Cameron, have returned to their seat of power. The usurper,
Murini, has escaped to the lands of his supporters, but the danger these
rebels pose is far from over. Ilisidi, Tabini's grandmother, the
aiji-dowager, has returned to her ancient castle in the East, for though
she supports the rule of her grandson, she also has powerful ties in
the lands of the rebels, and she seeks to muster whatever support she
can from among those enemy strongholds.
In his father's heavily
armed and tightly guarded headquarters, eight-year-old Cajeiri is
horribly bored. Two years on an interstellar starship surrounded by
human children have left him craving excitement and the company of his
peers. But unbeknownst to this dissatisfied youngster he has become a
target for forces bent on destroying his father's rule and everything it
stands for. Though still a child, Cajeiri embodies a unique threat to
the venerable, tradition-defined lifestyle of his people. For this
innocent young boy is the first ateva youth to have lived in a human environment, surrounded by human children. And after hundreds of years of fragile, tenuous atevi-human coexistance, Cajeiri may very well be the first ateva
to ever truly understand the so similar yet so dangerously different
aliens who share his home planet and threaten the hidebound customs of
This is the "conclusion" to the third trilogy in the Foreigner series but by no means an end in and of itself. I do believe book #16 just came out so there is plenty more reading to do!
After what I considered to be a purely transition book in #8 (Pretender), our cast of characters doesn't get much in the way of a break when young Cajeiri goes missing right out from under their noses in the Bujavid. Tabini-aiji tasks Bren to meet up with the Dowager and find his son. It's layers of intrigue and insight into atevi politics at its finest.
This book was more than just shuffling characters between a space station and planet. For the first time, Cherryh introduces Cajeiri as an independent character with his own point of view. I quite enjoyed seeing the plot from a different perspective. As usual, Bren is more of an observer in the story as it is the Dowager who must extract information from her traitorous neighbors and then it is the Dowager and Guild who must act on that information.
However, don't be put off by the description of kidnapping! This book moves along quite rapidly and has an absolutely splendid ending. Recommended!
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