Foreigner Series: Spoiler Alerts: Page 2

I’m giving the page a second section because page 1 was starting to behave oddly.

As always, wait at least 30 days from issue of the book before starting to discuss. And give our overseas friends some extra leeway: the distribution system doesn’t reach everywhere as fast!


  1. Tommie

    Is the doubled vowel in the Ateva language like that in the roman spelled Japanese; a place where you hold the vowel longer, as a fermata is to a musical not? Any one besides CJ know?

  2. scenario_dave

    I’m curious about the Ateva navy. Is it directly commanded by a lord or is it part of a guild? If its part of a guild, which one?

    • spaceman_spiff

      I assume it is commanded by a lord probably the Minister of Defense we meet back in book 2. The only other choice would be that if the navy was a part of the guilds it would be the Assassin’s Guild. Since they seem to have the monopoly on the use of force for the most part.

  3. scenario_dave

    Bren usually wears the white ribbon of the Paidi. Rarely the black of The Lord of the Heavens. Could he wear the ribbon of the Lord of Najida? It seems like it might be useful if he wants to send the message that he is working for himself and his estate rather than for the Aji. Maybe when visiting neighbors.

  4. CJ

    That would be true. I think I established Najida’s colors as blue.

    • P J Evans

      Light blue for Najida, IIRC. (Maybe the blue like the banner line?)

      I’m wondering, having read the preview and the previous several books, if someone in nand’ Bren’s aishid is also in the aiji-dowager’s manchi. And who. It would explain so much….

      • spaceman_spiff

        Well i don’t think it likely, but by the process of elimination from the previous books the only possible person that comes to mind is Tano. Banichi and Jago are very explicitly said to have been in Tabini’s man’chi when they were assigned to Bren. Algini is stated to have been loyal to the guild before declaring man’chi to Bren. The only person to my knowledge that we don’t know the background of in terms on man’chi is Tano. We know about his attachment to Algini and that is pretty much it. You could assume he was just Guild loyal but we don’t know for sure.

        • Hanneke

          There are certain fairly close ties there, apart from man’chi, if I recall correctly. I seem to remember from way back, the first book maybe (or an explanation received later, when Bren and his aishid had become more comfortable together, about the situation in the first book) that it was extra fraught for Banichi being sent into Malguri with Bren in that way, to potentially have to oppose Cenedi, because he had been trained at least in part by Cenedi and still had a fondness for his old teacher.
          I haven’t looked it up, so I’m not certain about this!

          Also, if it really has to be about man’chi, it needn’t be someone in the core aishid but might be someone in the next layer of trusted personnel, like Bindanda is Tatiseigi’s eyes-and-ears.

          • nekokami

            I don’t think Cenedi has ever been identified as one of Banichi’s teachers. It would seem very unlikely, as Cenedi is senior Eastern Guild, and Banichi was trained in the Western Guild (with Haikuti).

            Ilisidi presumably has at least one informant in Bren’s household. Tano would not be my first guess, but then, Bren seems to be pretty bad at guessing at the origin and prior man’chi of atevi he meets (though he seems to be amazingly good at inspiring man’chi in atevi who meet him).

          • chesty

            I thought Banichi and Cenedi were rivals in those days. Respectful, but the east vs west thing was palpable.

          • Hanneke

            From what I remember, Ilisidi was the first Easterner to use real Assassins Guild guards – before that the Easterners had their own clan guards, trained locally, but not part of the Assassins Guild.
            That was one of the advantages that the Lady of Malguri had over the other Eastern lords, not just the location of Malguri, but also the Assassins Guild trained guards.
            As Cenedi is her primary guard, and probably the one to come with her at first when she came West to be married, I inferred that he was probably (one of) the first Eastern guards to be fully trained by the Assassins Guild (as an extra after his own eastern training, presumably).
            He would then be part of the Guild and probably stay on as a mentor / (additional) trainer for the rest of Ilisidi’s guards who received the Guild training. With the disyrust between East and West having an ecperienced senior Eastern guard mentoring the young easterners sent to apprentice at the Guild would be a reassurance for the Easterners. Havong it happen under Guild auspices, with a lot of western guild teachers involved, would reassure the westerners.

            Which made me think, if Cenedi’s involved in training/ mentoring young Eastern assassins/ guardsmen at the Guild, why would he not also be involved in the training of other young assassins who are on track for being assigned to Illisidi’s grandson?

      • chesty

        Is there a lateral kind of manchi? One that applies to people like Ilisidi and Tabini, with their mostly shared, uh, philosophy and similar agenda?

  5. P J Evans

    Um. It’s going in interesting directions, all over the place (but it’s definitely a middle book). I hope that the Ajuri stuff gets settled, peacefully.
    Nand’ Cajeiri is maturing well. He’ll be a really impressive aiji.

  6. P J Evans

    I see a discrepancy: in chapter 6 of Tracker, when nand’ Bren calls Shawn (on p 103 of the hardcover), he asks specifically about Shawn’s wife and kids. So how is Shawn single and childless in Convergence?

    • nekokami

      Toby is effectively childless now…. The human custody situation isn’t as extreme as with atevi, but it can feel that way sometimes. πŸ™ I don’t know if that was the intent, but it’s a plausible explanation.

        • chesty

          I don’t remember Shawn’s domestic situation. As a devoted reader of the series, I’d be glad to research the question, but I don’t have all the books on hand anymore. Shameful. Does everyone else have a full set?

          If Shawn was married, he may have separated or divorced during the troubles.

    • P J Evans

      Another: the two Dojisigi Assassins had two missing partners in Protector, and now they only have one?

  7. nekokami

    Just finished Convergence. The ending felt rather abrupt, but a good read otherwise. πŸ™‚ Cajeiri is making his various teachers proud (even his new tutor). A question: Kate Shugart and Ben Feldman were originally introduced as young graduates of the linguistics program, working in the Foreign Office. Now Kate is some kind of business manager, and Ben is doing logistics work (for Tom Lund?) Did they leave the Foreign Office? And I know ten years have passed, but how did Kate get gray hair?

    • Raeann

      As a reader, I understand when a writer occasionally uses an abrupt ending…However as a vicarious inhabitant, they are frustrating!! Also are the books getting shorter or am I just diving into them faster?

      • CJ

        THat one is a bit shorter because that’s how the story worked out. The next one takes up immediately—and is already done. SOmetimes you have to break where the story has to break to make sense in the next book.

    • BlueCatShip

      I see CJ’s answer that Kate dyes her hair. Grey could be a choice, if there’s a higher value placed on eldership than on youth in Mospheiran culture. Or for some other connotations. Or just because she liked that color with something else (a favorite blouse or suit?).

      But I can give you an alternate theory, easily. My mom was already beginning to grey in her late 30’s, and by the time I was 10 or so, she was completely iron grey to lighter, so much so that a woman just insisted I was my mom’s grandson, despite both of us saying definitely no. (Odd stranger, that.) Soon after, my mom began dyeing her hair to its former very dark brown. As a surprise bonus, business at the art shop went up. People perceived her as younger, more lively, or personable. (Mom was good with customers anyway.) Only her hair color had changed. This carried over outside of business too. Mom dyed her hair ever after.

      My dad had the start of a bald spot in his mid-30’s, when I was little, and still had hair on the sides, but was bald on top, and then grey, by his mid-60’s.

      I’m very lucky with all that so far. I have a very full head of hair, dark blond, wavy since hitting puberty back when (it’s lighter blond if I get lots of sun.) And so far, only a bit of thinning in front. No real signs yet (now in my 50’s) that I’ll go grey or bald any time soon. I resemble my dad’s brother, who still is blond with a full head of hair, so I’ll likely be the same for life, or until very old.

      Oh, and one guy I knew in high school already was going bald in front by his junior year (11th grade). Very bald, fast. Dunno what his body chemistry, diet, or physiology were doing to cause that, but it was starting fast. He’s probably completely bald by now.

      So Kate might be prematurely grey, even in her mid-30’s. It happens for both men and women.

      But CJ’s word stands, so Kate dyes it. πŸ™‚

  8. Hanneke

    I’m reading Convergence and loving it, so far.

    I just found a typo in the first sentence of chapter 12: thorough instead of through – thorough fits with the following word group but not in the sentence, so it’s hard to notice!

  9. Rigeldeneb

    Just finished Convergence. I really enjoyed the first chapter because it included what I most favor in the series: insight into atevi psychology,observations on human-atevi interaction and humor from Tabini. We get to see more Mospheirans in this book, which I favor, because I find the humans of the series to be more inexplicable than the atevi! Of course, that reversal of identification exists because Bren and Cajeiri are our point-of-view characters.

    Damiri’s story–let’s call it Damiri’s Dilemma–is being revealed like an onion being slowly peeled. I find her a more sympathetic and interesting character. Even Seimiro, the baby, is interesting in how her presence affects Cajeiri and his relationship with Damiri. Like Cajeiri, I am waiting for her to be old enough to be interacted with.

    I rather hope the next book in the series comes out soon, because this book is a series of elaborate set-ups: pieces being situated on the game-board of atevi-ship-station-Mospheiran politics (infelicitous four?). I was already antsy to know what happens next, and this book just increases the itch.

    Will we be seeing more of Machigi?

    Will we ever know Cullen’s fate?

  10. Neco-ji

    I can’t believe I’m asking this after years of reading the Foreigner books but… how DO you properly pronounce the word “atevi”?

    Was there an audio file of that one being said? I say it differently from the audiobook narrator.

    • Neco-ji

      Then I have been saying it right!

      The audiobook readers could use some correction, lol. Especially on some of the names. Andi really wish they wouldn’t try to imitate different voices, dear lord, that is just awful…

  11. BlueCatShip

    Although overall, I like the audiobook voice actor’s reading of the Foreigner books, he could use a good cheat sheet / pronunciation guide, firstly, and secondly, his voice characterizations of Tabini-aiji and the Lady Ilisidi don’t quite hit the mark for me; they don’t match my internal voices or demonstrated personalities of these two atevi. Most typically, he’s stressing the final syllable of Ragi words, and he says Sen-eh-dee for Ken-EH-dee, but he gets the j as zh and most other things right.

    Er, to refresh my memory: I had thought in Foreigner 1 that the Appendix on pronunciation and lexicon gives the -h as an aspirate, rather than blurring the preceding stop consonant to a fricative. (That is, ph = p+h rather than f, b+h, t+h not th (theta), d+h not dh (that), k+h not kh or k (Scottish Loch, German Bach, Spanish reloj, jota), g+h not Modern Greek gamma, Spanish paga.

    My internal voice for Tabini-aiji is more active and positive, educated and cultured, aristocratic, but personable and interested in everything, something of a cross between Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and (maybe) Henry VIII (of all people). I don’t know if Peter the Great, who, if I understand right, modernized / Westernized Russia, would apply, but maybe.

    For Ilisidi, I hear a wise senior lady, practical, dangerous to cross, a mix of traditional and progressive. Other fans have characterized her as selectively progressive when it benefits, when it doesn’t tear down their way of life. Women like Queen Elizabeth I, Katherine the Great, or several strong women leaders, as well as my own grandmother, are in her voice. (My grandmother would have been especially appalled at some things Ilisidi is capable of, but I think in terms of a strong woman leader, someone who can value progressive / liberal things right along with a preference for traditional ways, would suit her fine. They might get along well, if a fictional character and a person now only spirit (wherever we go after this life) could get along. πŸ˜‰

    I like Ilisidi, but her introduction would never have led me to think I would. And, if she’d put me through what she first put Bren through in book 1, I am not sure I would have been able to set that aside as Bren did. Just a difference in personalities. Otherwise, I find myself sometimes seeing things uncomfortably familiar in and’ Bren. I expect I’d like him in person. (Hah, if my hair were longer and my physique were a bit better (more athletic) I could do a good cosplay of Bren or Tully. πŸ™‚

    Only a short way into Convergence, but loving it a lot! (And bring on Alliance Rising! Looking forward to it very much.)

    • persistentoctopus

      Also Toby suddenly sounds like he’s from New Jersey in Convergence which he never has before. But he tries. I’m rather attached to Daniel Thomas May after listening to 18 books of him talking.

  12. Neco-ji

    Just finished Convergence! I was a little sad to see that there wasn’t as much of Bren and Co as I had hoped there would be, and the scenes on Mospheira seemed very truncated, but the moments they did have were adorable. Tano’s “deep fried fish!” and the home made cake were especially favorite moments.

    I am also enjoying the insights to atevi personality, and that not every atevi has the same lordly training and high born manners and refined emotional responses. I’m always a fan of seeing how the “little” people live, and this is doing a lot more to show that. I am very interested to see how Nomari’s story-line goes, and how Cajeiri settles in with that senior unit. They seem like a good humored set of fellows.

    My favorite characters remain adorable. πŸ˜€

    Climbing the walls now waiting for the next installment!

  13. CJ

    This and Resurgence or Emergence or whatever we called it are kind of one sprawling novel that had to get stopped somewhere. I can promise you more of everything in the next one.

    • Neco-ji

      yay! I look forward to it, as always. πŸ™‚

    • P J Evans

      I can tell it’s only part of the story – nand’ Bren and Cajeiri-nandi haven’t gotten into anything more than minor difficulties. Large Shoes Have Not Yet Dropped.

  14. purplejulian

    it always seems such a long time to wait, we get our boxed sets and eat everything up in a couple of days, but then one is still hungry for more! more story is always necessary. have to make oneself look forward to a deferred treat instead. and there’s always starting at the beginning again. I love how Cajeiri is developing – along with all the other characters, they just get deeper. Bluecatship I do agree with you about the reader’s handling of voices!

  15. scenario_dave

    Does anyone else have the urge to order tea whenever you get upset at someone or when you get frustrated over something? It always comes to mind for me now.

    • persistentoctopus

      Should I admit to how often I address my toddler as ‘nadi’?

      • Hanneke

        I occasionally find myself trying to put down such words when playing Wordfeud, and only when they are disallowed I realise that of course, that is not a real English word.

    • smartcat

      I have always drunk tea; lately I have been consuming enormous amounts of it.

  16. Neco-ji

    I have noticed that Onami’s name seems to have been switched to Onomi later in the book.

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