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!

1,421 Comments

  1. Neco-ji

    Does the Assassin’s Guild have a single type of allowed uniform (chiefly, is everyone in black and silver?), or do they vary in design according to the lord they serve, or are they allowed a certain level of personal preference from a selection of allowed attire?

    I remember early on that Bu-javid security seemed to differ from the aiji’s personal guard, who were specifically noted as being dressed in black. I also think Inheritor described Geigi’s guard as being dressed not in black uniforms, but in dark, fashionably cut clothing of the lord’s guard.

    Does the lord have a say in what he wants his guard to wear, so long as it meets certain specifications laid down by the Guild? Bren mentioned at one point that their uniform jackets were very expensive (one of Jago’s had been cut up to fit him, I think).

  2. scenario_dave

    Isn’t Taiben the only clan whose Assassin’s guild doesn’t wear black?

  3. scenario_dave

    Have we waited long enough to talk about Convergence?

  4. Teresa

    I think I slightly jumped the gun and commented a bit upthread, but now I pulling the ripcord on the parachute after tumbling over the edge of the cliff. Ok, I’m more than ready to find out what happens next.

  5. scenario_dave

    Nomari said that people consider Cajeiri scary on page 265 of the hardcover. I wonder if it’s that he is a nine year old but in ways he acts much older or is it partly Bren’s influence?

    I enjoyed the scene when Aunt Geidaro came to visit. You can really see a different side of Tatiseigi. I found it interesting that when Cajeiri ordered that Aunt Geidaro’s guard stay downstairs, Cajeiri’s new senior guard immediately left to see to it. I’m thinking that they really approved of the request. It gave senior guild a chance to talk to these guild members outside of Aunt Geidaro’s hearing so they get a chance to size them up. I wonder whether they thought that that was part of Cajeiri’s plan or was it that he felt he could handle Aunt Geidaro better when she didn’t have guns to back her up.

    • P J Evans

      I think he was worried about what her aishid would do. How loyal to her are they, and would they hesitate to take out the young aiji and his very powerful granduncle?

      • scenario_dave

        I’m sure that Cajeiri was concerned that Aunt Geidaro might try something even though his guild outnumbered her guild.

        But what did his senior guild think of the action? It really was a good move. It kept weapons out of his aunt’s hands and placed them at the mercy of the senior guild out of her sight. Cajeiri had no need to be overly polite. She was from a dishonored clan who was acting in a very rude manner. He was well within his rights. It could have come across as a shrewd political move.

  6. Rigeldeneb

    I think Cajeiri’s share of the story in Convergence is mostly about his developing political instincts and shows how he is maturing and how he thinks. The scene with Geidaro is a case in point. He spends much of the book mulling over his connections–who he can and cannot depend on, who are enemies and why, who he is connected to. He grieves the separation from Hakuut an Ti. He regrets Boji’s situation and recognizes how it came about–from his loneliness and desire to make connections. He seems quite concerned with how people can understand the historical events in which he was embroiled. Is what we are seeing in Cajeiri’s story an example of how an effective atevi leader is formed? Cajeiri “collects” associates. I think his new senior aishid will stay with him out of sheer interest–and respect. And Cajeiri is where the action is!

    • persistentoctopus

      Service with Cajeiri is undoubtedly more interesting than retirement. I’m glad he and his other four will have someone with experience looking after them.

      • P J Evans

        I can see them being very necessary if Geidaro tries to attack Tirnamardi.

  7. Sapphire

    I know there is another Foreigner title – Resurgence – on the way, but is Emergence, which is apparently currently being written, also a continuation of the Foreigner sequence?

    Would be interested to know, if anyone has an answer. Would love to see Machigi again, and more of the Atevi/Bren interactions – particularly with Tabini, Ilisidi and his own Assassins…

    • Sapphire

      Oh, wonderful. Thank you for letting me know about Resurgence, and that you are continuing with the series. I look forward to the further development of all my favourite characters!

      Your books take up an enormous amount of space on my bookshelves, and of course I have to have both the hardback versions of the Foreigner sequence and the paperbacks for rereading time and time again, and carrying around with me. 🙂

  8. Neco-ji

    Has everyone seen the work in progress cover art for Emergence?

      • Neco-ji

        Todd Lockwood’s page on Facebook.

          • persistentoctopus

            Aww, man I *almost* wish I hadn’t looked. SOMETHING exciting is happening.

          • Sapphire

            Looks full of action and the Atevi look GREAT, as usual.

            Rather too many humans for my liking (apart from Bren), and there even appears to be what looks like a hipster in the image, which might date the cover a little.

            But then, what do I know? I’m currently into raccoons… 🙂

          • purplejulian

            oh, wow I just saw Todd’s illustration for – it says Emergence – that looks pretty hard-core – in fact is it Resurgence? kind of a spoiler ….. something massive happening on the island ….

          • persistentoctopus

            I mean, he went back to the island WITH his aishid, if something big didn’t happen I’d be really disappointed.

    • persistentoctopus

      I was thinking it might be the 9th one he’s done? But he started with Conspirator, which would make Convergence his 9th.

  9. joelfinkle

    A couple questions:
    With the change to the type of word in the title (No more -er or -or) should Convergence be considered the start of a new set, or is it really not until Resurgence that a new ‘trilogy’ begins. (Is 17 a more felicitous number than 18 to put a wrapper on that phase?)

    With the atevi predilection to odd and prime numbers, and even numbers tending to be infelicitous, what does atevi architecture look like? I’m imagining that it’s not based on golden-ratio rectangles. I’m not remembering much describing Shejidan other than tiled roofs.

    • Sapphire

      I’ll have a go at this. In my mind’s eye the Atevi architecture in the countryside has elements of OLD Japanese architectural style, although it is more messy and certainly not as ’empty’ as old-style Japanese homes were (not sure whether they were all like this, though, or whether it was only the houses of the wealthy and nobility that were, to Westerners, quite bare). I can see ikebana-type flower arrangements in the homes, as well as beautiful simple pottery infused with meaning by the makers.

      When it comes to the homes of the nobility, I see them quite differently. Somewhere like Malguri to me is rather like I imagine ancient Mycenae would have been – a rather forbidding structure composed of huge stone blocks, and of course situated in a cooler climate than Mycenae was.

      I imagine the interior of Shejidan to be rather like some of the magnificent great country houses in England and Scotland – the ones that are still unrestored and retain all their objects and furnishings right from the time when fabulously wealthy nobles, company owners and the like established them.

      There’s no central heating in sight in any of these buildings…

      Perhaps superstition with regard to numbers does play a part in homes, but I’d be hard pressed to think of how it would manifest itself (the well-described arrangement of flowers/stones possibly does a lot to take care of that question).

    • Sapphire

      Right, here’s an attempt at a re-post with regard to how I see Atevi architecture in my mind’s eye (other people may see it quite differently).

      1. Malguri: a mixture of ancient Mycenae, built with massive stone blocks (grey in colour), and a very old, quite bare and forbidding kind of Scottish castle. Lots of warm textiles everywhere to protect the inhabitants from the cold, tapestries hanging on the walls, along with ancient weapons, etc.

      2. Machigi’s place: reminds me of how I see the enigmatic Minoan Crete. It’s because of the views on to the sea out of the huge windows, and the porcelains featuring sea creatures (Minoan pottery was very distinctive, with octopuses and other sea creatures beautifully displayed). Then there is the mention of the Great Wave, which reminds me of the destruction of Thera (probably a Minoan colony) through volcanic action, and all the colours of the frescoes and other things that were revealed on excavation, pointing to this civilisation’s way of life some 3,500 years ago.

      3. Shejigan: wealthiest places most reminiscent of English country houses in their heyday, with all the riches built up by affluent nobility and merchants visible through the objects. On the outer edges it is more simple, with perhaps something of a ‘Japanese’ appearance (apart from the unfortunate bit with the neon light).

      4. The countryside: perhaps contains something like the beautiful old Japanese villages (very few of these left now), though not as sparse as old Japanese buildings are often portrayed. The villages are small, on the whole, and surrounded by forests.

      In all these places, I imagine there are Ikebana-like flower arrangements infused with meaning, and simple everyday pottery that looks like very little to an ignorant eye, yet is full of meaning (as well as the more ostentations ‘art’ pieces in the wealthiest buildings). Numbers no doubt come into play in the architecture, but I think it’s clever the way Atevi homes been woven into arrangements of stones and flowers, rather than full-blown descriptions of the architecture. I quite like to imagine what all these places look and feel like, rather than to have detailed explanations…

  10. Sapphire

    Test: I left a comment here last night, but it hasn’t surfaced, so this is just to check if this was due to an error on my part…

    • Sapphire

      Obviously, yes…

      I’ll just have to resubmit it.

  11. Sapphire

    Right, here’s an attempt at a re-post with regard to how I see Atevi architecture in my mind’s eye (other people may see it quite differently).

    1. Malguri: a mixture of ancient Mycenae, built with massive stone blocks (grey in colour), and a very old, quite bare and forbidding kind of Scottish castle. Lots of warm textiles everywhere to protect the inhabitants from the cold, tapestries hanging on the walls, along with ancient weapons, etc.

    2. Machigi’s place: reminds me of how I see the enigmatic Minoan Crete. It’s because of the views on to the sea out of the huge windows, and the porcelains featuring sea creatures (Minoan pottery was very distinctive, with octopuses and other sea creatures beautifully displayed). Then there is the mention of the Great Wave, which reminds me of the destruction of Thera (probably a Minoan colony) through volcanic action, and all the colours of the frescoes and other things that were revealed on excavation, pointing to this civilisation’s way of life some 3,500 years ago.

    3. Shejigan: wealthiest places most reminiscent of English country houses in their heyday, with all the riches built up by affluent nobility and merchants visible through the objects. On the outer edges it is more simple, with perhaps something of a ‘Japanese’ appearance (apart from the unfortunate bit with the neon light).

    4. The countryside: perhaps contains something like the beautiful old Japanese villages (very few of these left now), though not as sparse as old Japanese buildings are often portrayed. The villages are small, on the whole, and surrounded by forests.

    In all these places, I imagine there are Ikebana-like flower arrangements infused with meaning, and simple everyday pottery that looks like very little to an ignorant eye, yet is full of meaning (as well as the more ostentations ‘art’ pieces in the wealthiest buildings). Numbers no doubt come into play in the architecture, but I think it’s clever the way Atevi homes been woven into arrangements of stones and flowers, rather than full-blown descriptions of the architecture. I quite like to imagine what all these places look and feel like, rather than to have detailed explanations…

  12. Sapphire

    Is there a limit on how many words one can post here? I just tried to post something longish but it doesn’t appear.):

    • CJ

      Not to my knowledge. Nothing is in the spam filter. It just didn’t ‘take’. You might try breaking it in 2 parts and seeing if it posts.

      • Sapphire

        I might try that at some point – it was quite long (talking about Atevi architecture as I imagined it in various places). Many thanks, anyway.

        • Neco-ji

          I believe it was mentioned in Invitations that the structure of the lower halls of the Bu-javid had angles peculiar to humans. One hall intersected another at a 68 degree angle or something like that.

          Also that atevi seemed to use intricate flowing dressings in their city buildings/homes, but geometrics in their decorations (Precursor- I remember the book saying the colors chosen in the patterns fought like dragons)?

          But then, I also remember one of the books saying the servants halls under Najida were more blocky and humanish, with right angles.

  13. Neco-ji

    My spouse asks: Do Mospheirans grow/drink coffee?

    To my knowledge, they didn’t have the plants or seeds to grow them, and that they only had a limited range of carefully guarded Old Earth seeds (some herbs, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, carrots, etc) to augment the atevi world produce that they grow and eat. Also that atevi liked tomatoes, potatoes and peppers, but that humans try to sterilize everything to prevent seed growth on the mainland.

    Spouse thinks that some kind of genetics program was being used to bring those plants back out of gene storage, but I feel like he’s probably thinking of some part of the A/U, and not Foreigner, because I don’t recall any of that happening in any of the books.

    • persistentoctopus

      Probably wouldn’t have been on the ship in the first place – tomatoes, potatoes etc you can grow in hydroponics. No room for coffee or cocoa. Although since I learned the reason dogs can’t tolerate chocolate is alkaloids, I wonder if the atevi have something similar to cocoa but a little stronger that humans just can’t eat.

    • paul

      Both tomatoes and potatoes are members of the nightshade family. Alkaloids are in their ancestry. Potatoes exposed to the sun that have turned green should never be eaten. The Atevi should take to breeding them.

  14. persistentoctopus

    I had to scour Pretender to find the name of young lord Dur’s co-pilot fiancee (it’s Aigino.) Are we going to get to see that wedding? Obviously Bren would be invited.

    • chesty

      That would be nice. I’d like to hear more about Dur in general. Also, she apparently owns one of the four remaining small aircraft in the world. Might be important.

  15. scenario_dave

    Humans sometimes have unrequited love. Could Aveti have unrequited manchi? Cajeri had two impressionable teenagers declare manchi to him. What would happen if two impressionable teenagers declared manchi to Bren and he didn’t want them?

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