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4.7 7
by C. J. Cherryh

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

Six months have passed since the reappearance of the starship Phoenix—the same ship which brought a colony of humans to the hostile environment of alien atevi nearly two hundred years


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

Six months have passed since the reappearance of the starship Phoenix—the same ship which brought a colony of humans to the hostile environment of alien atevi nearly two hundred years ago. During these six months, the atevi have reconfigured their fledgling space program in a bid to take their place in the heavens alongside humans. But the return of the Phoenix has added a frighteningly powerful third party to an already volatile situation, polarizing both human and atevi political factions, and making the possibility of all-out planetary war an even more likely threat.

On the atevi mainland, human ambassador Bren Cameron, in a desperate attempt to maintain the peace, has arranged for one human representative from the Phoenix to take up residence with him in his apartments, and for another to be stationed on humanity's island enclave. Bren himself is unable to return home for fear of being arrested or assassinated by the powerful arch conservative element who wish to bar the atevi from space.

Responsible for a terrified, overwhelmed young man, and desperately trying to keep abreast of the atevi associations, how can Bren possibly find a way to save two species from a three-sided conflict that no one can win?

The long-running Foreigner series can also be enjoyed by more casual genre readers in sub-trilogy installments. Inheritor is the 3rd Foreigner novel. IT is also the final book in the first subtrilogy.

From the Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The human-alien tensions that marked Foreigner (1994) and Invader (1995) peak in this sophisticated conclusion to the trilogy. The atevi and the humans co-inhabiting the planet Mospheira are near the brink of interspecies war. The major hope for peace is Bren Cameron, the paidhi, or sole translator-diplomat between the atevi and the humans, who tries to bridge the inscrutable and unpredictable alien society and the small and paranoid human colony nervously marooned on its world. Bren's complex job is further complicated by the unexpected disappearance of the starship that had established the human presence two centuries earlier. Cherryh works entirely through the paidhi's eyes as Bren struggles to untangle the intricate relationships, shifting associations and convoluted motives of atevi, colonists and spacers. As he does, he realizes, to his dismay, that as his linguistic competence grows his heart goes out less to his own species than to individual atevi, even though the aliens are incapable of affection. Through her hallmark ability to craft nonhuman languages as the basis for alluring alien psychologies, Cherryh superbly resolves this epic trilogy's multifaceted conflicts, dramatizing again the idea that people can't truly know their own language-nor others, nor themselves-until they master at least one other tongue (Apr.)
Library Journal
In this conclusion to the "Foreigner Universe" trilogy (Foreigner, LJ 2/15/94, Invader, LJ 4/15/95), a spaceship returns after 200 years, and its human occupants threaten the balance of power between the human colony and the native, deadly atevi. Human translator Bren Cameron tries to avoid a human-atevi war while the atevi factions jockey for power. A good look at an alternative civilization where humans are not dominant, this nicely concludes a series but can stand on its own. Highly recommended for all sf collections.
Roland Green
The third volume of Cherryh's latest saga, begun by "Foreigner" (1994) and continued in "Invader" (1995), commences six months after the human ship "Phoenix" "discovered" a planet shared by the descendants of marooned human colonists and the nonhuman atevi. The atevi are trying to advance their space program in order to be classified as a developed race; that is, they're involved in one of the classic sf plots, which Cherryh handles as well as her admirers expect of her. While the atevi labor, the planet's humans, the crew of the "Phoenix", and the atevi, too, are splitting into factions and creating so many conflicts that a sensible reader could not reasonably expect them all to be resolved this time. They are not, which rather strongly hints at one further installment, at least, in the saga. Coming from Cherryh, this is a prospect worth waiting for, especially since this is the kind of anthropological sf of which she is an acknowledged master.
Kirkus Reviews
Third in Cherryh's alien-contact—trilogy? series?—about the humanoid alien "atevi" and the human colonists they've permitted to occupy the island of Mospheira (Invader, 1995, etc.). Now, however, the starship that originally brought the colonists has returned from a mysterious deep-space voyage. Bren Cameron, the "paidhi" or translator/technical liaison, the only human allowed to leave Mospheira and mingle with the atevi, has been attempting to instruct the starship's representative, Jase Graham, in the intricacies of "man'chi," the instinctive loyalty that's the only force binding the various atevi clans and factions. Mospheira, meanwhile, dominated by an anti-starship clique led by the deputy paidhi, the ambitious and meddlesome Deana Hanks and her patrician backers, is plotting with atevi rebels against Tabini, the most powerful atevi and Bren's sponsor. Jase is encouraging the atevi to build shuttle craft while instructing them in the nuances of faster-than-light travel. But why should the starship be in such a rush to get the atevi into space? Because, as Bren discovers after another near-ruinous showdown with Hanks, the starship encountered some unfriendly aliens in nearby space and wants the atevi as allies in case matters turn ugly.

A familiar yet still impressive and more or less self- contained swirl of political intrigue, filtered though a memorably alien consciousness.

Product Details

Publication date:
Foreigner Universe Series , #3
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Sales rank:
File size:
984 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

C. J. Cherryh planned to write since the age of ten. When she was older, she learned to use a typewriter while triple-majoring in Classics, Latin, and Greek. With more than seventy books to her credit, and the winner of three Hugo Awards, she is one of the most prolific and highly respected authors in the science fiction field. Cherryh was recently named a Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America. She lives in Washington state. She can be found at cherryh.com.

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Inheritor 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The entire Foreigner series is superb. I put it above the Cyteen works and would even consider it better than the Pride of Chanur series (which I liked very very much.) To me, there are some clear Oriental culture elements that she is drawing on for this work and she has been successful in this before. I can't wait to read the next one.
joleneb3 More than 1 year ago
Excellent read. And well worth reading the whole series, in order yet!
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