A Foreigner NovelBook - 2015
It's been a year of upheaval, since Bren Cameron's return from space--a year when he and the aiji-dowager, one of his most powerful atevi allies, returned home from their two-year interstellar mission to find the government overthrown and their world in chaos.
Now, at last, things are calming down; the Assassins' Guild is functioning again, working out its internal difficulties, and Bren is settling back into his routine: not as Lord of the Heavens; not--to his regret--as Lord of Najida peninsula, where his leisure estate is located; but as paidhi-aiji, an official in the atevi court.
His current ambition is to keep himself and his bodyguard out of harm's way, and to shepherd the aiji-dowager's daring new trade agreement through the appropriate legislative committees. Combined with Tabini-aiji's recent appointment of his young son Cajeiri as his official heir, Bren's workload is challenging, but at least things on the atevi world seem to be on the right track.
Something is coming, however, quietly, stealthily, just the first ominous twinkle of a new star in the heavens....
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He did not so much defy the rules as ignore the ones that inconvenienced him.
That was entirely disconcerting. He was not ready for them. He was not ready to be questioned or required to report. He froze in place, too tired, too confused to know what to say or do first.
Then Great-grandmother’s teaching took over. Manners. Manners gained a person time. Manners let one gather one’s wits, decide what to do, and above all, calm down.
God, Bren thought, laying the receiver in its cradle.
Three years of not dealing with human problems . . .
And there it all was again, same old theme, different verse. _Them_. And _us_.
I felt – and this is difficult, son of mine. I felt that the world was changing. That I had let something loose that was changing the world, and I knew no better answer – for you – than to put you into the tutelage of the woman who taught me, the woman who twice ruled the aishidi’tat – and who remembers more of how things came to be than most still alive. I knew that you would see foreign things your mother and I would never understand. I knew you would not be ours when you came back, I knew, and I gave you to her.
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