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Deceiver by C. J. Cherryh

Deceiver (edition 2012)

by C. J. Cherryh (Author), Daniel Thomas May (Narrator), Todd Lockwood (Cover artist)

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Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
This volume in the series (#11) did not feel like a stand-alone, the way many of the previous books did. There was little introduction or review, and the end was unresolved. I think we've given up the pretense that there won't be a future book. On the other hand, there was more action and less internal monologue by Bren (although not "none"). Also almost no inter-species sex. Bren is finally back to doing his job, interpreting and negotiating peace. ( )
  Pferdina | Jul 28, 2013 |
Well, if you haven't read the first ten you should probably start with those. Brlliant. As always, Cherryh makes me believe that I understand alien patterns of thought and hardwired alien emotions that are different from human.

( )
  romsfuulynn | Apr 28, 2013 |
I love reading stories about intrigue, where the aim is to outwit your opponents, not to overpower them, where complex machinations are set into motion and then clash with each other in unexpected ways, where the antagonists dance around each other with words rather than bashing at each other with weapons, but where a well-placed word can be as deadly as a swordstroke or a bullet. And C. J. Cherryh belongs to the authors who do this best, in particular in her Science Fiction (which I tend to prefer over her Fantasy), and even among her extensive work the Foreigner series marks a high point in the way she unfolds, develops and finally wraps up political intrigues.

A large part of Deceiver (which is among the more intrigue-heavy installments), volume #11 in the series, is taken up by Bren Cameron and his associates (the always formidable Dowager Ilsidi is this time joined by Lord Geigi returning from the space station) thinking and talking through the implications of the conspiracy discovered in the previous volume, Conspirator, peeling back its many layers until they arrive at the truth behind it and discover who is actually pulling the strings, and then trying to find a successful counter-strategy that would avoid embroiling the whole planet in a disastrous war. Reading about people talking and thinking is probably not everyone’s cup of tea (even if most of them are aliens), but I for my part found it very exciting to follow this, to watch people use their brains plausibly in a SFF novel that blithely assumes that the reader is not completely stupid and able to follow what’s going on.

It is always a pleasure to see Bren settle into atevi mode and to see how comfortable he is among them now – he has come quite a long way from the scared, inexperienced interpreter of Foreigner, to the degree that he is starting to get worried about losing his touch with his essential humanity. This familiarity with atevi culture might have constituted a problem for the series – Bren in the early novels was markedly non-atevi, someone who never quite belonged and had to struggle to understand the finer points of atevi behaviour and language. As such, he was a representative for the readers, offering them an outside perspective on the atevi not altogether dissimilar to their own. But the more comfortably settled in the alien culture Bren became, the more estranged he grew not only from his own humanity, but also from the readers who were thus in danger of losing their bridge to understanding the atevi.

Cherryh solved this problem in an unforeseen and uttlerly brilliant manner by introducing another viewpoint character, Cajeiri. The really clever thing Cherryh does here is that she does not give us the point of view of view of another human (which would likely have only been a rehash of young Bren) and instead selects an atevi, but one that grew up amongst humans, and so is a foreigner to his own culture. I admit, I was a bit sceptical about Cajeiri at first, but the way his point of view is handled in this arc overcame all my doubts – a lesser author probably would not have pulled it off but Cherryh keeps just the right balance, making Cajeiri familiar to the reader without negating his essential alien-ness, and presents us with a perspective on ative culture that is very different from Bren’s. Cajeiri shines in particular in Deceiver; his struggles with his two new body guards and how to deal with man’chi were my favourite part of this generally excellent novel.
1 vote Larou | Apr 8, 2013 |
Book 11 in the Foreigner series. continues right on from the last one - there's a full-scale coup on the planet in progress, so many events are converging. the Dowager and the Heir are both front and center, which is always good, and the boy is finally beginning to grasp what he was meant for. meanwhile, Bren becomes dangerously involved in politics, no part of his mandate until he became a landowner in the Western Provinces, so he is somewhat uncertain of his ground, which makes him a bit less predictable, and that's good for the audience, and along the way he gains a new appreciation for his own family. great characters and a good story, not done with yet. ( )
  macha | Jul 17, 2012 |
This book goes deeper into Atevi politics, and really presents Tabini and Ilisidi as foils, with Tabini representing an official state power that can be severely limited by political concerns, while Ilisidi is more of a freewheeling power that can actually get things done. It's funny that Tabini and Ilisidi may have the same goals, and may even support the same means, but need to disagree in public for appearance's sake. The ending isn't satisfying, being the middle book of a trilogy, but we do get a first glimpse of Machigi, a character that I'm looking forward to getting to know better in the next book. ( )
  Phrim | Oct 4, 2011 |
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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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It was an interesting little pile, the stack of wax-stained vellum that occupied the right side of Bren Cameron's desk, in his office, in Najida estate, on the west coast of the continent.
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The civil war among the alien atevi is over-- but peace and tranquility are not in the cards for Bren. Cajeiri, the young son of Tabini-aiai, the ruler, slips away from his bodyguards for an adventure. When rebel clans attack, Bren's pastoral retreat becomes a locked-down fortress.… (more)

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