I stole this plot description from a couple of reviewers because there was no official plot description offered and I am tired of trying to synopsize a complicated and ongoing story line.
We get a new PoV. Cajeiri, the Son of Tabini, the great-grandson of Ilsisdi, is missing his human friends aboard the spaceship and is semi-successful in fitting in with the rest of the Atevi. He likes tech and is doing all he can to sneak away from his protectors.
Bren is becoming more and more confident in his position in the world, but he does make a few mistakes along the way. That’s all right. That’s Bren. He always thinks his way through problems and he’s as loyal a companion as anyone could want.
Cajeiri, however, has a big problem on his hands. He’s not growing up with all the proper instincts of an Atevi. For one, he’s ignoring his instincts and following a code of “friendship”, and he doesn’t think it’s a code for “salad”. Things are gonna get really hairy, now. 🙂
There’s more action and intrigue in this one. Quite fun action and intrigue! But above all, it’s the world-building that shines.
Picking up from the situation left at the end of Pretender, paidhi Bren Cameron is once again installed (albeit in a somewhat temporary accommodation) in the Bujavid in Shejidan, capital of the powerful Aishidi’tat. However, while the aiji Tabini has reclaimed his power from the pretender Murini and restored some sense of order, Murini himself is still at large and the political climate remains a bit shaken up. In short, Cherryh delivers another in depth study of atevi politics as focalised through Bren Cameron.
Cajeiri is only infelecitious eight. And too bright for his own good. He is bored and up to mischief, and in the confusion of trying to settle who is safe and who is not, he is kidnapped and in real danger.
The story races along with Bren and the aiji’s dowager, plus their security, rushing to the rescue. Young Cajeiri is not slow in helping himself and the reader gets another layer of understanding in the intricate political alliances and feuds.