Review: It was an especial pleasure to finally have answered some of the questions based on the past few books, such as why Tabini wanted his then sole heir to go on the space mission with Bren, among so many humans as well as allowing him to stay in danger at Najida. Also we are finally revealed some secret alliances and who really set spies in place, such as the mystery of Bindanda. I particularly enjoyed the rounding out of some characters personalities, showing a different side as opinion shifted, Lord Tatiseigi was a prime example of this. And for the first time in years, we were able to “spend more time” with Tabini-aiji, who has always been a favorite of mine.
The strategic offensive and defensive actions within the last few books had agreeably relaxed back to earlier descriptions of daily high-ranking atevi life and living, occasionally punctuated with dangerous, tense action sure, but again we are reintroduced into the goings-on in the Bujavid and more to Shejidan. Using Cajeri’s youthful perspectives also is a continued novelty in this book, and one sees subtle touches of possible future complications that will occur.
As Intruder neared its climax, one could clearly ascertain what event would likely take place to twist the plot, yet I thought it brilliant of Cherryh, though I’d guessed what the trigger would be: I still had no idea how the characters would ultimately react. Would the meeting between Ilisidi and Machigi be able to take place? And although not directly connected to the event, how might one boy close to his felicitous ninth birthday possibly influence its course?
I thought it was a little repetitious at times, such as restating on multiple occasions what the second pair of bodyguards were doing if Bren was in an important meeting, and how messages were passed back and forth between them, or that private discussions are going through Guild channels. It’s book number thirteen; all readers should have gotten that at least by the fifth or sixth book. Reminding us at the beginning sure, but spending paragraphs on it later? But definitive restating has often been a part of Cherryh’s writing style. And as usual, which I can’t help but remark in almost an amused way, there were a few quite outstanding errors the editors missed.
Intruder ties up a lot of loose ends, and sets the stage for greater and deeper intrigue within the political structures of the aishidi’tat that continues to struggle with factions within the secretive Assassins Guild and Tabini-aiji’s household. Intruder was a very welcome addition to this decades running excellent series exploring a “humans among aliens” theme.
Description: “The civil war among the alien atevi has ended. Tabini-aiji, powerful ruler of the Western Association, along with Cajeiri his son and heir, and his human paidhi, Bren Cameron, have returned to the Bujavid, their seat of power.
But factions that remain loyal to the opposition are still present, and the danger these rebels pose is far from over.”
- Hardcover, 372 pages
- Published March 6th 2012 by DAW Hardcover
- ISBN: 075640715X
- ISBN13: 9780756407155
- Source: Self-purchase
Other of my reviews in the Foreigner series Betrayer.
Currently resident in Spokane, Washington, C.J. Cherryh has won four Hugos and is one of the best-selling and most critically acclaimed authors in the science fiction and fantasy field. She is the author of more than forty novels. Her hobbies include travel, photography, reef culture, Mariners baseball, and, a late passion, figure skating: she intends to compete in the adult USFSA track. She began with the modest ambition to learn to skate backwards and now is working on jumps. She sketches, occasionally, cooks fairly well, and hates house work; she loves the outdoors, animals wild and tame, is a hobbyist geologist, adores dinosaurs, and has academic specialties in Roman constitutional law and bronze age Greek ethnography.
She has written science fiction since she was ten, spent ten years of her life teaching Latin and Ancient History on the high school level, before retiring to full time writing, and now does not have enough hours in the day to pursue all her interests. Her studies include planetary geology, weather systems, and natural and man-made catastrophes, civilizations, and cosmology…in fact, there’s very little that doesn’t interest her. A loom is gathering dust and needs rethreading, a wooden ship model awaits construction, and the cats demand their own time much more urgently. She works constantly, researches mostly on the internet, and has books stacked up and waiting to be written.
C J. Cherryh’s website http://www.cherryh.com/WaveWithoutAShore/