Alpha Station, orbiting the world of the atevi, has taken aboard 5,000 human refugees from a destroyed station in a distant sector of space. With supplies and housing stretched to the breaking point, it is clear that the refugees must be relocated down to the planet, and soon. But not to the atevi mainland, rather to the territory reserved for humans: the island of Mospheira.
Tabini-aiji, the powerful political head of the atevi, tasks his brilliant human diplomat, Bren Cameron, to negotiate with the Mospheiran government. For the Alpha Station refugees represent a political faction that the people of Mospheira broke from two centuries ago, and these Mospheirans are not enthusiastic about welcoming these immigrants from space.
In the decades Bren has served Tabini, he has become enmeshed in the atevi world in a way no human ever has before. Bren is now an atevi lord, with his own estate on the mainland, his own household, and his own Assassin's Guild bodyguards. He is a treasured resource to Tabini and has become close to Tabini's young son and heir, Cajieri, the first atevi child ever to grow up in the presence of a human. Tabini, impatient with human politics, has ordered Bren to return to the island of his birth in his official capacity as an atevi lord, with his full atevi retinue. Bren is to inform the president of Mospheira that he is no longer his diplomat, that Mospheira must take in the refugees from Alpha, and that there is no other acceptable solution. And among the refugees are three children requiring special protection because Cajieri has made them his "associates" - a bond of atevi loyalty that is unbreakable and lifelong.
While Bren travels to Mospheira, Tabini sends Cajieri to the country to visit his uncle Tatiseigi - a political gesture to shore up an old man and give the boy a well-earned vacation, a cherished opportunity to escape the formality of the atevi court. Tatiseigi's neighbors, however, are determined to end an old feud to their own satisfaction....and Cajieri's presence is just the excuse they need.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Pam F on 04-06-17
Tying the ends together...
As others have said, there isn't a lot "going on" physically in this installment, but there is a LOT of interplay and politics happening, as usual. Politics of the known players, winding out in their slow and plodding fashion. I love this series for it's political depth and character interaction. For anyone looking for a lot of action and hero vs villain interplay, perhaps the series is a bit too subtle.
Bren is maturing and has fully seated himself in Atevi society, and is absolutely invested in his role within same. It is logical that he'll spend time in preparation and thoughtfulness, over action. Politics is all about appearances and presentation, after all.
Cajeri is maturing and coming into his own. I love how the author describes Cageri's thought process as he makes decisions - relating them to his tutelage under Ilisid, or how they would affect his father. Listening to Cajeri make plans to begin to set up his own household was interesting as well. Dealing with his pet Boji, seems so very "real" - a wild animal caught and caged who makes a terrific and uncontrollable amount of noise and fuss, Consequences of a spur of the moment choice that must be dealt with.
All that transpires within the book (and series) is logical, from the "abandonment" of a barely trained paidhi to his fate to the uproar and actions revolving around Tatesegi's estate and nearby lands. Perhaps it is my own maturity that makes me a bit more forgiving of some aspects.
Though the ending of this book felt quite abrupt, I do look forward to what happens on the mainland regarding the "outsider" cousin to Cajeri, Nomari (sp?), and on Mosphera with the landing and integration of the shipfolk. ...twists and turns and plots and conflicts.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
By Shaun K. on 17-04-17
This was the weakest of the books so far.
There wasn't no plot that couldn't be summed up in a chapter. I feel like this book was only to set the stage for the next one.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful