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Destroyer (Foreigner Universe) Mass Market Paperback – February 7, 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
In this solid if slow-moving addition to Cherryh's much-praised Foreigner series (Invader, etc.), Bren Cameron and his atevi allies finally return to their home world, where atevi natives and human colonists live in an uneasy truce. Their desperate, two-year mission has been a success; they've evacuated the humans stranded on distant Reunion Station and made tentative peace with the kyo, an enigmatic and heretofore hostile alien race. Bren soon discovers, however, that his troubles are far from over. His employer, Tabini, the most powerful atevi ruler on the planet, has been deposed and may well be dead. Along with Tabini's bumptious young heir, Cajeiri, and the ruler's highly competent but aging grandmother, Ilisidi, Bren must make a dangerous shuttle landing and then travel cross-country through hostile territory in search of his employer, who is the only leader on the planet, human or atevi, with the foresight and presence of mind to deal with the impending arrival of the kyo. Cherryh's Foreigner books make up one of the finest on-going series in the genre. This volume, the first in a new trilogy, is hampered by the need to clarify what is now a considerable back story, but it features a healthy dose of the author's trademark well-developed characters, fine style and intense psychological realism. Cherryh's many readers should snap this one up.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Human diplomat Bren Cameron is about to arrive at Mospheira, the homeworld of the atevi, after a two-year voyage that has nearly exhausted his ship's supplies and almost exhausted the patience of the atevi traveling with him. The most important of those is eight-year-old Cajeiri, heir to one of the major political units (so called for want of a more precise term), who is now sufficiently acculturated to human standards of behavior that he wants a birthday party. This is only the first conundrum pitched at Bren; upon arrival, he finds that Mospheira is on the brink of war due to breakdowns in the complex system of rivalries and affiliations among what can loosely be called clans. Bren is probably the only human who adequately understands the intricacies of atevi culture, but he is a long way from human support, which wouldn't be expedient, anyway, though the consequences of atevi social breakdown would be grisly for humans, too. It doesn't happen, but expect further crises in the trilogy Destroyer launches. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The Foreigner series begins with the book of that title. I must confess that I and friends to whom I have since highly recommended this series, struggled with the first book, Foreigner.
In it, Cherryh introduces the main characters, Bren-Paidhi, human interpreter to Tabini-aiji, the leader of the Atevi on whose planet humans landed 178 years past when they were left by their spaceship lost in that galaxy.
All of the main characters surrounding these two are complex, well drawn and, like them, brilliant strategists. They get in and out of trouble in very clever ways, are excellent strategists.
Stick with the first one and by the end of the first trilogy, they are addictive.
Lots of lessons here for us on Planet Earth in dealing with cultural diversity, communication, strategy, diplomacy, respect, war and peace.
For those like me, who enjoy returning to visit favorite characters and watching their evolution, this is a treat. Enjoy!
Given the backdrop to this title I found the attention to courtly behaviour and sensibilities to be verging on the intrusive. The mainland is supposed to be in upheaval, after all. So Illisidi's leisurely trisection of her egg, Bren's recurring concern about the starchiness of his lace, and the need to get in-flight catering underway during shuttle descent, for example, tended toward an unwelcome distraction, even though such details do, in the end, embellish the cultural aspects of the proceedings.
Interesting thoughts about inter-clan concerns, the impact of well-intentioned government interference in the economy, and how an external influence can heighten problems. Those interested in reading about such things in more detail, may wish to consider the following suggestions.
Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn: Liberty or Equality.
Hans Herman Hoppe: Democracy, the God that failed.
Bertrand De Jouvenel: The Ethics of Redistribution
Cherryh's characterization, as always, is superb. Her books are complex and nuanced, and reflect the way real life is, a series of greys, not just blacks and whites. Her action is believable and carries the reader on to more contemplative spots. She continually allows us to explore with her the interaction between human and "alien" minds, values, and hard-wired responses to situations. I look forward to reading the rest in the series, and recommend this book to any fan of her work.
However, if you are new to the series and haven't read the 6 books that came before this one, you will not understand the dynamics or the personalities in this book well enough to get the full picture.
C.J. Cherryh did tend to spend alot of time going over Bren Cameron's thought processes on Atevi politics, maybe a bit too much time! I sort of skipped through some of those sections because they really didn't seem to impact the story at all - at least for me - and I wanted to get on with the 'real' story and out of Bren's brain!
Even so, my only thought after finishing....how long do I have to wait for the next book???!!! I hope not long!