It can come as no surprise that I greatly enjoy the science fiction of C.J. Cherryh, and while my favourite books are in the Alliance/Union & Compact Universe I am also a fan of the Foreigner series.
Deliberations is something as rare as a Foreigner short story. Not a prequel, but a glimpse into the atevi world prior to when Bren’s story begin it lets us see into the minds of Tabini and Ilisidi respectively, at the eve when Tabini is about to come of an age and to claim the aijinate. Most of the text is retrospective, with Ilisidi reflecting on her two stints as “almost-aiji”, and we hear her version of the modern history of the Aishidi’tat.
I am in two minds about the story. It is a Foreigner short story, and we get to meet two of the major players during a time we know about only through hearsay and rumour. Candy! But. The story is not true to history as we know it; it do fit recent developments but contradicts “common knowledge” and thus feel much like a retcon.
Which is fine. It is the author’s prerogative to do whatever the tale need.
It’s just that… it jars a bit, to someone like me. So. I am unable to decide on which side of the fence to set down; balancing precariously in the middle.
Sometimes that’s all one can do ;-)