In the wake of civil war, Bren Cameron, the brilliant human diplomat of the alien atevi civilization, has left the capital and sought refuge at his country estate, Najida. But now he is trapped inside Najida - which has been surrounded by enemies - with the powerful grandmother of his ally, Tabiniaiji, atevi leader of the Western Association. Ilisidi, the aiji-dowager, is not inclined to be passive and sends Bren into enemy territory, to the palace of the leader of the rebels.
Bren's mission is to negotiate with Machigi - a young atevi lord who has never actually seen a human - and somehow persuade him to cease his hostile actions against the west. Is Bren a shrewd enough negotiator to stay alive, and not alienate Ilisidi or Tabini, while also representing the interests of their enemy?
©2012 C. J. Cherryh (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving or riding my bike.
C.J.Cherryh is an established and revered master of the SF/F genre so, not having read any of her work for a while, I snapped up this book and its sequel when I saw them on sale. Unfortunately that was a mistake. This is the 13th book in the series, the first in the 5th three book sequence, and I was almost completely lost for over half of the nearly thirteen hours it took to finish listening. Joining in the middle of any series is difficult and ill-advised, but Cherryh made it an almost insurmountable task in this case. She creates extremely intricate and fully realized worlds for her stories, including an entirely alien system of names and titles, a culture which is completely distinct from humanity, and byzantine social and political structures which, while brilliant in their conception and consistency, resist every effort to understand them when joining a narrative "in medias res." Add to that the difficulty of retaining it all as spoken without being able to see the alien terms on the page, and the result was glassy-eyed bewilderment. All of Cherryh's literary assets of imagination, plot integration and subtlety of effect conspired to make it a real chore to get through the book.
In addition this is a book about diplomacy with dozens of factions involved and with years of history undergirding it. There is virtually no overt action. The leading character comes across as unassailable in his skills of negotiation and persuasion so that we never really fear an unfavorable outcome. The arc of the narrative is long, uninterrupted and without a great deal of suspense. In context with the precedent events of the four earlier three book sequences, I have no doubt it fascinates and delights, but even given Cherryh's superbly drawn characters and evocative descriptions of settings, it was at times tedious.
It's unfair to ask an author to overcome the obstacle a reader faces when starting in the middle of a series, but we often do it anyway, don't we. Usually we lose something but get up to speed fairly quickly and perhaps decide to go back later and pick up what we missed. Please heed the warning, however. If you ever have the urge to sample the Foreigner series, do not even consider starting here. I began it at the beginning many years ago and lapsed. I think I will go back and pick it up again at the proper place now.
This Series is amazing!
I've already reviewed previous books in it and as the series progresses it just keeps getting better. But I wanted here to emphasize the marvelous job the narrator has done.
The voices of the characters are perfectly conceived and delivered. The pace is exactly what the story requires at any given time and he truly takes you into the mind of the main character. The tone is precisely what the action demands. I would live to buy more books narrated by him!
An absolute magnificent combination of writing and narration!!!
As good as ever. Ms.C J Cherryh's continuous plot for the Foreigner Series is as good as ever. Can't wait for the next volume.
Daniela's narration beings the characters to life. Something I won't be able to ever imagine if I were to read it myself.
Yes, can't put down the book until the end. In fact I can't wait for the sequel!.
Please continue delivering such good books!
1*=I didn't like it..... 2*=It was OK...... 3*=It was good but I will never read it again.......... 4*=Maybe I will read it again in the future.............. 5*=I will definitely read it again(maybe more than once)
I've read all 13 books and it was awesome.
I can't wait to see book 14 in april 2013.
The narration was perfect Mr May is the perfect voice for this series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If you like science fiction and find cultural diierences interesting, try the Foreigner series. This book is one of my favorites of the Foreigner novels. I especially like that the same narrator has been used to record all of the series and Daniel Thomas May's reading is fantastic.
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It goes without saying that if you have read this far then you are going to continue the whole series and at this point on 30 Oct 2014 this is the last sequence available now however there are books planed and I think one is in the works now.
This will be a review of the whole sequence as I have said in all the other reviews.
The Civil War is over at this point and after these many books it comes back to Cageiri and his friends from the space ship as you were probably wanting to know what happens since like the second or third sequence when they were introduced, the whole sequence of books pretty much focus around Cageiri and his friends split between Bren and all the things he has to do.
What I have really liked about this whole series is the way it goes to another story and feels like a totally different group of books but in the same world, I cant wait for the rest of the story to be created.
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