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Synopsis

The tenth novel in Cherryh’s Foreigner space opera series, a groundbreaking tale of first contact and its consequences…

The civil war among the alien atevi has ended. Tabini-aiji, powerful ruler of the Western Association, along with Cajieri, his son and heir, and his human paidhi, Bren Cameron, have returned to the Bujavid, their seat of power.

But factions that remain loyal to the opposition are still present, and the danger these rebels pose is far from over. Since the rebellion, Bren Cameron's apartment in the capital has been occupied by an old noble family from the Southern district—the same district from which the coup was initiated. This family now claims loyalty to Tabini, but the aiji is dubious. To avoid additional conflict, Bren has decided to visit Najida, his country estate on the west coast.

Tabini-aiji has once again take over the job of training his young son in the traditional ways of the atevi, and has Cajieri under strict supervision. But after two years in space, surrounded by human children, Cajieri bristles in this highly controlled and boring environment. Desperate for freedom and adventure, Cajieri escapes the tightly guarded Bujavid with his young bodyguards and sets out secretly to join Bren on the coast.

Determined to ensure his son’s safety, Tabini recalls Ilisidi from her home in the East, asking her to find Cajieri and secure him at Bren’s estate. But it has been a long time since Bren has been to Najida, and the war has shifted allegiances in many quarters. A district that once was considered a safe haven might now be a trap. And with Bren, Cajieri, and Ilisidi all under one roof and separated from their allies, that trap is now baited.

Release date: May 4, 2010

Publisher: DAW

Print pages: 400

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