97 points, 5 stars
The civil war among the alien atevi has ended and Tabini-aiji, the ruler of the Western Association, has returned to power. Bren Cameron, Tabini’s human paidhi, decides to return to his recovered home on the coast, but when Tabini’s son Cajeiri flees his responsibilities to join Bren, Tabini sends the boy’s great-grandmother, Ilisidi, to find him.
Najida, Bren’s coastal home, is no longer the safe haven it once was. For a neighbor’s estate—the ancestral home of Lord Geigi, a close associate of Bren’s—has been left without strong leadership. Lord Geigi now resides on the atevi space station, and in his absence, rebel clans have infiltrated his home. When these rebels attack Bren’s home, the paidhi has no choice but to recall Lord Geigi from space. With Lord Geigi, Ilisidi, Bren, and Cajeiri all under one roof, they pose an irresistible target for the enemy. Can these four powerful individuals overcome their adversaries and end this guerilla war that is the last vestige of revolution?
Would his father do a thing like that?
It was what mani said, ‘Watch out for a man whose enemies keep disappearing.’
Well, that was his father, damned sure. Most everyone knew his father that way.
Boy am totally, head-over-heels in love with this series. But… it is a bit difficult to even know what to say after 11 books. If you want to start with Deceiver: don’t. If you’ve already made it this far: you know what to expect by now, there are no changes. Only awesomeness. Action. Politics. Danger. Tea. Great company, awesome friends and a whole lot of responsibilities. What more can you ask for? Whatever it is, you probably got it with this.
Deceiver takes up immediately after the events Conspirator and just… doesn’t ever stop. It is action sequence after action sequence, with the requisite sitting around talking and meeting over gallons of tea in between. I just couldn’t stop reading. I didn’t want to stop. I needed to know absolutely everything. Hell, I still want to know more even now.
Matters at Najida have gotten very heated. And Bren, being the Lord of Najida, and Cajeiri are right in the middle of it. And now Ilisidi is here to help. This is all part of a massive plot against Bren, Tabini, and the aishidi’tat as a whole, both the past kerfuffle we just wrapped up and the new one that was started which was a continuation on the previous. And wrapped up in this is Geigi, who is home from his time on the space station because his nephew fucked up bad. Geigi is fun to have around, I missed him.
The past two books have almost felt like they were just one book that got split up when it got big enough (a trend that will continue from this point forward). The biggest change between this book and the previous was how much I have started to like Cajeiri. Only eight years old, he is a child by any standards. He thinks and acts and exists like a child, so it has always been a bit perplexing why Cherryh made him a perspective character. Yet I have warmed up to him so much. I liked him before, but this book was the time for Cajeiri to shine. I’m so, so, so proud of this little shithead.
Sidenote: Oh my god look at that cover! It’s the best one yet! 😍😍😍