cover image Conspirator


C. J. Cherryh, . . DAW, $25.95 (370pp) ISBN 978-0-7564-0570-0

Readers unfamiliar with Cherryh's Foreigner series (most recently 2007's Deliverer ) are likely to be somewhat at sea in this complex and sophisticated 10th installment, but those who persevere will be rewarded with a space opera where ideas are as important as action. This book continues chronicling the experience of Bren Cameron, who serves as the paidhi-aiji, the interpreter for human colonists stranded on the planet of the alien atevi. Cameron's current concern is the spread of human technology, which has the potential to wreak havoc with the formal communication protocols the atevi rely on to maintain their societal structure. Cameron must engage in subtle diplomacy and political maneuvering while evading attempts on his life and keeping track of a headstrong young atevi nobleman. The lack of basic background may discourage new readers, but fans will be delighted. (May)