Originally I read Cherryh‘s 14th Foreigner novel Protector as it was first released, in April 2013, but a casualty of my accumulated life stress, meaning I didn’t remember much of it, I decided to return to the book now when things are starting to balancing out again, leaving me the energies needed to process things outside my immediate personal sphere.
First of all I might need to say that I am partial to the Foreigner suite. Often riddled by bad proofing, not to mention inconsistencies to the tale, I still enjoy them hugely. They form an anthropological foray into unknown and strange lands, offering up a chance to reflect on what is human, what is culture, what is conditioned, what are we – watching humankind through a mirror. Or is Bren, the main human protagonist, a prime exhibit of Stockholm Syndrome?
Be that as it may, well into the suite, into book fourteen, bridge book in the fifth trilogy about the human paidhi and his adventures amongst the atevi, those questions are left behind; any reader who still follows the series is probably, like me, invested in the characters and how they fare, taking the rest for granted.
This time Cajeiri, 8 year old heir to the aishidi’tat, finally gets at least a part of his birthday celebration – his friends from the ship is finally down on the planet visiting. Meanwhile the tricky situation with renegade Assassins’ Guild is nowhere near a conclusion. Events in Protector, though, might speak of a solution coming up? It would be about time – it has been seven books now of upheaval down on the planet; four since Tabini was reinstated… Not that I am complaining. Foreigner is like a favourite TV series and I’d be happy for it to go on forever (even as I’d like Cherryh to write something new in her Compact space or Alliance-Union universe suites as well) ;-)
A worthy instalment in the series and I really REALLY wish for the concluding part of this trilogy – Peacemaker, announced for April this year – to be out sooner rather than later.