Peacemaker by C.J. Cherryh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Jacket Blurb: At last—Cajeiri has his
young guests from the starship, three young folk entranced by weather
and trees and creatures with minds of their own. It’s all he dreamed
But now safety is foremost: Cajeiri’s grandfather has been
assassinated, hostile Assassins Guild invaded Great-uncle’s house, and
now Bren Cameron, paidhi-aiji, who was sent to keep the aiji’s son safe,
has more than the young guests on his mind. The aiji-dowager knows
who’s to blame for the attacks, and they’re going after him.
fact that the person responsible is in the heart of Assassins’ Guild
Headquarters, the most closely guarded fortress on the continent, is not
going to stop her.
Bren Cameron has the pieces now, of a
decades-old plot that’s been threaded through Guild actions going back
before his arrival on the continent, and more—he knows the person
responsible is going to find out he knows, and find out within hours.
They have no choice. If they don’t move, the other side will.
And the lives of the boy, the guests, the entire ruling family are at stake.
Peacemaker starts with Bren, Cajeiri, the Dowager, Uncle Tatiseigi, and Cajeiri's human guests leaving his Uncles estate in haste for the Bujavid. Secrecy and safety are of the utmost importance - the Dowager and her Guild guards in addition to Bren's Guild guards have discovered the identity behind the Shadow Guild, and until that individual can be either detained or eliminated, nobody is safe.
Cajeiri is fretting over yet another ruined birthday, when exactly a year to the date they were dropping from the space station in a last ditch attempt to salvage the upstart Murini regime and to find where his father and mother had hid.
Bren is pulled into Guild politics in an attempt to bring to light the illigitimate and secret doings of the Assassins Guild. He is also tasked with trying to pacify a southern alliance who feels threatened and out of the loop as it pertains to the railroad. As Tabini springs yet another surprise with a National Holiday celebrating his son's felicitous ninth birthday, it's up to Bren to molify Damiri-aiji. In short, it's up to Bren to act as the peacemaker he's been trained as.
Once again this was a non-stop book from the first page. What made this installment different was the balance between Bren and Cajeiri as separate individuals. Cajeiri - and who he represents - is pulled away from Bren's world and into that of his own. Bren and the Dowager are still movers and shakers, but we get to see the Young Gentleman come into his own. I really liked that. All those forces that brought Cajeiri to this moment in time are now starting to come to fruition.
This isn't an action book by any means; yes, there is action (fleeing Tatiseigi's estate), and an action scene, but most of the momentum is carried forward in the political maneuvering. The politics are just fascinating - and, granted, if you've made it this far in the series you obviously find the Atevi politics fascinating otherwise you would have given up long ago.
There is so much! going on in this book, yet Cherryh deftly weaves nearly everything together at the end, and what wasn't resolved, will show up in the next book.
Peacemaker is by no means a stand alone. If you haven't read this series yet, I HIGHLY recommend it, but start with book one: Foreigner.
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