96 points, 5 stars
It has been two years since the starship Phoenix left Alpha Station on a rescue mission where over four thousand human spacers were under attack by a hostile alien race. Now, exhausted from their journey, the crew of the Phoenix yearns for home. But when the ship makes the jump into atevi space, they learn the worst: that supplies to the station have been cut off; that civil war has broken out on the atevi mainland; that the powerful Western Association has been overthrown; and that Tabini-aiji, Bren Cameron’s primary supporter and Ilisidi’s grandson and ally, is missing and may be dead.
With no one left to lead the Western Association, Ilisidi and Bren know that the survival of their allies lies in their hands. And with the atevi world at war, the only safe landing strip lies on the human colony at Mospheira. Although there are many dangers inherent in bringing a powerful atevi leader such as Ilisidi onto human lands, Bren realizes they have no other choice. But even if they safely survive their landing, will Bren and Ilisidi together prove strong enough to muster the remaining shards of the Western Association and regain control of their planet?
“We value you,” she said. “Our compass. Our true lodestone of virtue.”
“One is glad of some usefulness, aiji-ma.” He was not comforted. The old spark had entered the dowager’s eye this morning, ever since that turn of events in the camp. Ilisidi in this mode was dangerous. Lethal.
And sometimes frighteningly honest. She reached out a hand and touched his arm.
“Protect the truth, paidhi-ji. Do not swerve from that. We wondered when, not if, you would come to consult us about the future.”
His face still burned.
“And what future, aiji-ma? One regrets not to know, but one has no understanding at all.”
“Nor will you. Nor can you. Nor can we. We will know when we see Tatiseigi.”
After two years in space and a hell of a journey, we’re finally back to the Atevi homeworld. Everyone is looking forward to being back. Only, because this is Foreigner, and this is Bren and Ilisidi and the chaos demon known as Cajeiri, nothing can ever go right. They get back to earth and drop into a civil war. Almost literally. Tabini is missing, presumed dead but hopefully alive, a new faction has asserted their dominance over the aishidi’tat, and none of our main characters want this. As soon as they get back they are flying off to see if Tabini is still alive and if they can end the civil war.
Destroyer was soooo gooooood. Oh my god. I didn’t want to stop reading. Ever! Holy shiiiiit! I thought the previous trilogy and book were more action packed. It had nothing on Destroyer. The entire situation was incredibly precarious the entire time, plus some added action scenes as well. Sheeeesh! Why do good books have to end?
And Bren himself? Oh gods alive, I love Bren and his anxiety ridden ass. He is exhausted the entire book. The book starts off fine enough and then drops into gogogo mode. He never has enough time to sleep. He never has enough time to recover. It is perfect. It adds to the ambience.
Everything about this was just good. I loved the pace, I loved the story, I loved the characters. This is not the book you want to be starting on. Fuck, I’m lowkey obsessed with this series right now. (Future keikii here: change lowkey to absolutely 100% completely obsessed give me more I needs it.)