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Foreigner #11

"Deceiver" by C.J. Cherryh is the eleventh installment in her `Foreigner' series that details the interaction of human Bren Cameron and the enigmatic and fascinating aliens known as the atevi. The civil war among the atevi has ended with Tabini-aiji's return to power but there are still dangers lurking as Bren tries to ensure the safety of key members of Tabini's family even as the murky political waters are being navigated. Continued assassination plots, insubordinate guards for the young heir, political upheavals involving the various factions including the Gan and Edi as well as the constant maneuvering between the major clans all serve to keep Bren juggling various aspects of his life as well as his official duties. Bren must walk a fine line to maintain his impartiality as a representative of the human government even as he struggles to support Tabini and his adherents in the role of paidhi-aiji. The return of the powerful Lord Geigi and his attempts to counteract the actions of his apparently treasonous nephew embroils Bren even deeper in the internecine struggle among the clans and the attack on Bren's own family propels him to even more dangerous actions.

Another well-crafted and almost overwhelmingly intricate tale from this prolific author. It is somewhat difficult to juggle the myriad names and ranks of the various players without an index or glossary of the complex terms from this universe but Ms. Cherryh pens an enthralling story that captures one's attention even if one has not received a thorough grounding in the series. There are fascinating tales within tales that are alluded to within this volume that will encourage a newcomer to the series to read the previous ten volumes. The sequel to this fascinating tale is fortunately already available ("Betrayer") and another installment will be available early next year. A very enjoyable example of the author's dexterity with world-building and hypnotic ability to ensnare the reader in a foreign yet familiar universe.

Book Blurb for Deceiver

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, desperate for adventure, flees his responsibilities to join Bren, Tabini sends the boy's great-grandmother to find him.

Even though the war is over, the opposition is still present, and a district once thought to be safe could now be a trap. With Bren, Cajeiri, and his great-grandmother under one roof...a trap is baited.

Night Owl Reviews Dec, 2011 5.00