Deceiver by C.J. Cherryh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Jacket Blurb: The civil war among the alien atevi has ended and Tabini-aiji, the ruler of the Western Association, has returned to power. Bren Cameron, Tabini's human paidhi,
decides to return to his recovered home on the coast, but when Tabini's
son Cajeiri flees his responsibilities to join Bren, Tabini sends the
boy's great-grandmother, Ilisidi, to find him.
coastal home, is no longer the safe haven it once was. For a neighbor's
estate—the ancestral home of Lord Geigi, a close associate of Bren's—has
been left without strong leadership. Lord Geigi now resides on the atevi space
station, and in his absence, rebel clans have infiltrated his home.
When these rebels attack Bren's home, the paidhi has no choice but to
recall Lord Geigi from space. With Lord Geigi, Ilisidi, Bren, and
Cajeiri all under one roof, they pose an irresistible target for the
enemy. Can these four powerful individuals overcome their adversaries
and end this guerilla war that is the last vestige of revolution?
The long-running Foreigner series can also be enjoyed by more casual genre readers in sub-trilogy installments. Deceiver is the 11th Foreigner novel. It is also the 2nd book in the fourth sub-trilogy.
As with the rest of the Foreigner books, this one picks up immediately after Conspirator (#10). Ilisidi, Bren, and Cajeiri, Banichi, and Jago, and their respective ashids are still at Najida, Bren's coastal estate, waiting to welcome Lord Geigi from the space station and to start cleaning up the mess Geigi's nephew has made of things politically in the region.
But the more they uncover from the nephews transgressions, the more of a snakes nest they find. When Toby is shot and Barb kidnapped, Ilisidi sends Bren to the thickest snake nest of all, the enemy camp run by the young and ambitious Maschigi.
This was fast paced despite the large info dumps on the enemy's clan and historical conflicts. I thought Cajeiri came into his own in this book, where he was more of a participant than someone everyone was running after. The closer look at Atevi man'chi as viewed through Cajeiri and his newly assigned bodyguards was interesting.
There are layers and layers of political intrigue in this one. Just when I thought I had something figured out, the author would drop the neatest little info bomb and take things in a different direction.
Ultimately, what can I say other than I absolutely loved this installment? Recommended if you've read the first 10 in the series.
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