Author: C. J. Cherryh
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: DAW Books, 2011
"Be careful, Nichi-ji. I want you back. I want you all back. One is quite adamant on that point."Synopsis: 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.
Review: There were so many new and interesting characters in this trilogy that is part of the larger Foreigner series. But, it doesn't matter how many new characters come along, my favorites are always the same: paidhi Bren; Banichi and Jago, Bren's bodyguards; and Illisidi, the aiji-dowager.
While his bodyguards would never understand it, Bren loves them and would give his life for theirs. This directly conflicts with their need to protect him, so Bren keeps this mostly to himself out of respect for their man'chi, their loyalty to him.
Illisidi is the grandmother of the current aiji and she is so much fun, although I'm fairly certain she would stamp her cane at me and call me pert for saying so. Her temper and wisdom are unequaled and very few would dare to cross her or even disagree with her unless it was unavoidable. But, I see, under her tough exterior, a female with unbelievable strength, loyalty and honesty.
This book had so much excitement and political intrigue that I could not put it down. All in all, a great ending to a great trilogy.
I am sad to report that I have to wait for another two books to come my way before I can revisit these old friends and revisit the incredible, beautiful and realistic Atevi world. However, I do notice that the e-book and paperback versions are not expensive. Since I have no intention of waiting another 5 years, that may be my recourse.
Rating: 9.5 / 10