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Intruder: Foreigner #13    by C. J. Cherryh order for
by C. J. Cherryh
Order:  USA  Can
Daw, 2012 (2012)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Intruder is the thirteenth (following Betrayer) in C. J. Cherryh's long running and deservedly popular Foreigner series, starring stranger in a strange land Bren Cameron, and his atevi associates - primarily his atevi lover Jago and her father Banichi, both professional bodyguards/Guild assassins.

Aside from his brother's occasional visits, Bren spends little time with the human colonists who inhabit the island of Mospheira on the atevi world. A talented diplomat, Bren is responsibile for the treaty transfer of human technology to the aliens, and works closely with their ruler, Tabini. The series has exposed both atevi and Mospheirans to surprising new contacts (human and alien), putting the fragile Mospheiran/atevi relationship at risk.

In the previous two episodes, Tabini's grandmother Ilsidi sent Bren and his close associates into the eye of the storm to negotiate with an autocratic rebel, Machigi of Taisigi clan. A tenuous agreement was reached and Intruder deals with the follow up to solidify it. This requires another meeting between Bren and Machigi, in which they initiate arrangements for the latter to travel to the capital to sign the treaty with Ilsidi.

This episode has little action compared to the last few, but develops the theme of a very dangerous conflict within the Guild itself, that has precipitated recent events. It is also very much the story of the continuing coming of age of Tabini's son Cajeiri, who is reunited with his parents after many years apart (living with his grandmother and in space). In fact, as he has in the past, Cajeiri steals many scenes.

Contact with humans in space, and with Bren, have changed the precocious Cajeiri from the atevi norm. Living in his parents' apartments (though with his own rooms and staff) in Shejidan, he once again manages to get himself in serious trouble - this time though his acquisition of a pet parid'ji (spidery and furry, rather like a monkey). Its escapades bring him closer to his father, but create conflict with his pregnant mother Damiri - and between his parents.

As always I can't wait for more Foreigner episodes - in particular for Cajeiri's reunion with his young human friends from his space adventures, and to see what further trouble he manages to get all of them into!

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