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Betrayer

by C. J. Cherryh

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Foreigner (12)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3521854,372 (4.13)28
After the civil war among the alien atevi has ended, Tabini-aiji, ruler of the Western Association, and his son, Cajeiri, return to Bujavid and face threats from rebels who remain loyal to the opposition.

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» See also 28 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
This series is consistently satisfying in a way that very few SF can be. It's very political, very immersive, and so deeply rooted in an alien world. Humans and Atevi navigate the turmoil in the provinces as Tabini regrows his political strength. Tabini's grandmother Ilsidi has sent Bren into enemy territory to broker a deal among the most chaotic associations.

This is a huge amount of trust. And amidst various accidents, Bren has been forced to appear like he's betraying all his associations with Tabini and Ilisidi. It's exciting and it's very, very political, but Cherryh pulls it off wonderfully. I just love how Bren always comes through as an extraordinary diplomat.

If that wasn't enough to hold our interest, of course, we get a huge dose of action as war breaks out and alliances shift and Bren is caught in horrorshow of field movement and gunfire. These novels aren't normally this full of action, either, but this is the end of this mini-trilogy, so it's perfectly natural. :)

I can't help but think of this as anything but a long, long story arc over years, from Bren's early days to his middle age, encompassing so many huge changes over an alien world, with humans stuck on a small island in a world full of very dangerous aliens. What would it be like as a tv series? A long-running tv series? It's very close in my mind to, say, Shogun, and the similarities keep coming... only, I have to admit... I love this one more. :) ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
To read more of my reviews, check out my blog at keikii Eats Books!

Quote:
The world was getting scary. That was the truth. And it was moving fast. And it wasn’t a good morning. Not at all.
Review:
WAR.

And Bren is square in the middle of it. Pulled in many directions at once. He feels responsible for this war that has, as of now, broken out a second time. It has been a very hard year, the sides are complicated and they're all in it for different reasons. And it all feels aimed at Bren. He feels that he is responsible for why it started. He feels like he should have been able to prevent it. He worries over his people, especially since he is now a Lord and land-owner.

He is an anxiety-ridden mess. I wouldn't have it any other way. It doesn't help that he is in enemy territory on a mission of diplomacy between two people who historically have not been allies, without much guidance, and not strictly under the direction of the one who is the ultimate ruler of the world. Which means Tabini doesn't have a clue what he is doing. It doesn't help that armed forces want to kill him. And it definitely doesn't help that he has had to flee enemy territory for his own safety across rugged terrain while being injured.

This, at its roots, is pure politics. Sure there is a whole bunch of action. Sure, he spends a large portion of this book running for his life. Yet this is pure Atevi politics, with a human trying to navigate his way through waters that will kill him if he takes a single step out of bounds. And he doesn't have much of a guide for help. He has his job, which has prepared him for this. But nothing can prepare you for thinking Atevi if you're human.

And

Um.

This was awesome.

Pure awesome.

Unputdownable awesome.

BUT WHY WOULD YOU END THERE?! ARGH!

These books kill me. First they start. Then they are great. And I don't want to stop reading. And then they have the fucking audacity to end. Who does that to another person? ( )
  keikii | Jan 23, 2020 |
A great "ending" to this story arc -- fraught with suspense and action from beginning to end, but also the continuation of young Cajeiri's transformation from childhood and his new understanding of himself as an atevi, that had been delayed by being among humans on the space ship for so long. It seems apparent, more and more, that atevi and humans, while so different, have some chance of learning each other's ways--clearly Bren is becoming atevi, and Cajeiri, while he is learning to truly feel his atevi self, will always have an understanding of human affection and friendship that most atevi don't have. It's interesting to think about though--Bren is truly changed, he really isn't fully human in his outlook anymore and that is what both sides fear the most--loss of "pure" identity. Sound like anything we face here on earth just among ourselves? Of course this has nothing to do with the plot, except that Bren has infiltrated the Marid, the most fearful of change of the atevi, and he has to convince the leader to "join" forces with his "boss" Tabini. This was, in some ways, the best story arc yet! ***** ( )
  sibylline | Jan 6, 2018 |
One of the best Foreigner books since the trilogy on the space station, this book was riveting, action packed, and almost impossible to put down. I greatly look forward to Intruder. ( )
  liveshipvivacia | Apr 26, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
C. J. Cherryhprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lockwood, ToddCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
May, Daniel ThomasNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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To Joan and Buzz: good neighbors, good friends.
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After the civil war among the alien atevi has ended, Tabini-aiji, ruler of the Western Association, and his son, Cajeiri, return to Bujavid and face threats from rebels who remain loyal to the opposition.

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