by C. J. Cherryh
The last volume of the first Foreigner trilogy, and a pretty strong installment. The Foreigner series more than most of Cherryh's books is something that can be very frustrating to actually read but is very satisfying to have read. That’s primarily caused by the density of language and the slow pace, the struggle through conversation and nuance to get to things actually happening. It’s a very rich style that shows off some immensely interesting features, but makes for rather slow reading.
Specifically Inheritor offers some great and ambitious explorations of aliens in the atevi, and unfolding complexities in language, economy and political intrigue. Just when a climax comes insight Cherryh reveals a whole new paradigm of the larger situation that reveals the true conflict is yet to begin. With most authors that would seem like shameless anticlimax and padding to prolonge the series, but in this case it works because the new information is made compelling, explains past behavior of involved parties and works to deepen the complexity of the story and invented universe.
I still don't particularly like Bren as a character, but the things he encounters and the way he slowly transforms to become more like the atevi is intriguing. For the most part it's the worldbuilding I'm in this for more than the actual story, although seeing how the setting changes and conflicts with itself ass part of this is quite worthwhile. I'll seek to get to the next Foreigner trilogy soon, I drew out this last set one a lot and I have some ambitions of rounding out my reading of Cherryh before the end of the year. I'll see how exhausting it is to read some of these books back to back.
Better than: Matter by Iain M. Banks
Worse than: Dark Light by Ken Macleod