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9/09/2020 4:28 am  #1


Λα Διϝεργενζα (Divergence spoilers)

So...we now know that Bren speaks (or at least writes) Italian and knows the Greek alphabet.

 

9/09/2020 1:30 pm  #2


Re: Λα Διϝεργενζα (Divergence spoilers)

If the Atevi have taken up card playing are they going to add a fortunate fifth suit to the deck. Poker with five suits???
The way the transportation guild manages to run through most crises reminded me of how in China during WW2 the postal service worked. My father had a friend who after being evacuated by the company after Pearl Harbor who quit, joined the Red Cross to get back to China -Sichuan - and was able to send a letter to the German nurse he was in love with to have her get from Japanese occupied Peking up into Sichuan where they were able to marry. - She had a lot of walking and bicycle riding in addition to the trains to get to Nationalist territory.

 

9/09/2020 4:34 pm  #3


Re: Λα Διϝεργενζα (Divergence spoilers)

So I actually started out skeptical at the beginning with an eye-roll about this being another local atevi clan politics one...and it was, but somehow actually really good and satisfying.  Cherryh ties many of the threads together and restores my faith that she's not just making it up as she goes along.  Bren is psychologically put back in his place in this one, that while things have worked out well for him, it's not entirely the case that he really understands atevi, rather, his atevi allies have learned to work with and make good use of what is to them an alien pattern of behaviour. 

We see Ilisidi's breadth of vision on display here, and even how she sees atevi politics and human politics eventually colliding.  We even gain a better understanding of Damiri (which we've been getting in dribs and drabs in the last couple of books), that she's not the irrational, high-strung meddler or obstacle that she seemed to be, that there was a reason why she insisted on a permanent rather than contract marriage with Tabini, and that there's a reason why she and Ilisidi both resent and tolerate each other. 

And we get some foreshadowing about how complicated it really is going to be to ship the Reunioners to Mospheira and multiple hints that that is going to be an upcoming issue.  Can't wait for the next book.

I do worry that the plotline about Ilisidi feeling her age might be a little...author-biographical, so to speak.  *sigh*
 

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9/09/2020 5:43 pm  #4


Re: Λα Διϝεργενζα (Divergence spoilers)

Eupathic - if I weren't already a super fan of FOREIGNER, your note would have drawn me in. Well said. I am watching my mailbox.


Wild about cats, handmade lace, CJ Cherryh.   politics junkie
 

9/09/2020 7:51 pm  #5


Re: Λα Διϝεργενζα (Divergence spoilers)

Thank you Eup, I am actually looking forward to reading this because of what you wrote.


http://strengthofthehills.tripod.com/hanilanguageandculturepage/   

The date I joined the original board: 12/04/2002
 
 

9/09/2020 8:36 pm  #6


Re: Λα Διϝεργενζα (Divergence spoilers)

So one thing is that for the past little while, Bren has mostly worked in the context of Ragi society, where he has become increasingly popular and accepted (rather, has enough support to shield him from negative viewpoints) -- or in the East, where his association with Ilisidi shields him from xenophobia or other disapprobation.  In this book, for the first time in a long time, he has to do politics in a part of atevi society where he does not have a place made for him, where even potentially allied forces do not really understand or appreciate who or what he represents while somehow speaking for the most feared leaders of the aishidi'tat, which they don't even like in the first place.

Bren does not *do* a lot in this book, by the way, Ilisidi uses him not as *bait* but as an element whose very presence causes a social discontinuity to create a rift which she can lever open.  There's a whole rigamarole of her "sleeping in" while a crisis proceeds where, again, Bren does actually very little, but potentially hostile powers are forced to look to him to figure out what Ilisidi would want them to do...

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9/11/2020 6:32 pm  #7


Re: Λα Διϝεργενζα (Divergence spoilers)

Eupathic - interesting interpretation. My copy arrived this afternoon. Soon I will be able to see what you are saying.


Wild about cats, handmade lace, CJ Cherryh.   politics junkie
 

9/14/2020 12:37 am  #8


Re: Λα Διϝεργενζα (Divergence spoilers)

I like your synopsis, EI.  I also like how Cajeiri's relationship with his parents is changing; e.g., his clearer understanding of his mother's actions and interactions with Ilisidi and being included by both parents in conversations involving critical information.  He's certainly growing up and both Damiri and Tabini are acknowledging that and treating him accordingly. 

 

9/14/2020 9:48 am  #9


Re: Λα Διϝεργενζα (Divergence spoilers)

Well, I found the whole bit where Damiri's full story is finally filled in to be very satisfying and explanatory and tied the whole situation together.  The Shadow Guild essentially hollowed out the Ajuri clan from inside and used them as a front for a long time. Damiri was forced to endure a kind of a repressed half-life inside the Ajuri household, her fate planned for her by manipulative forces outside of man'chi.  She witnessed the Shadow Guild making an example of her mother and had to live with the cowardice of her father.  Finally, she has had enough and makes a difficult escape to Uncle Tatiseigi's protection, who has defended the Atageini from the same inner rot by absolute rigid adherence to tradition. 

Tabini saw in her an intellectual ally as well as an attractive sexual partner, but she insisted on permanent rather than contract marriage to Tabini as the only way she could ensure that was fully clear of Padi Valley conflict and danger from her Ajuri relatives.  Tabini accepted this despite Ilisidi's objections and it has turned out to have been a good gamble that offers a means to supplant the Ajuri leadership and drive it further out of the hands of the Shadow Guild.

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9/14/2020 5:10 pm  #10


Re: Λα Διϝεργενζα (Divergence spoilers)

Eupathic Impulse wrote:

Well, I found the whole bit where Damiri's full story is finally filled in to be very satisfying and explanatory and tied the whole situation together.  The Shadow Guild essentially hollowed out the Ajuri clan from inside and used them as a front for a long time. Damiri was forced to endure a kind of a repressed half-life inside the Ajuri household, her fate planned for her by manipulative forces outside of man'chi.  She witnessed the Shadow Guild making an example of her mother and had to live with the cowardice of her father.  Finally, she has had enough and makes a difficult escape to Uncle Tatiseigi's protection, who has defended the Atageini from the same inner rot by absolute rigid adherence to tradition. 

Tabini saw in her an intellectual ally as well as an attractive sexual partner, but she insisted on permanent rather than contract marriage to Tabini as the only way she could ensure that was fully clear of Padi Valley conflict and danger from her Ajuri relatives.  Tabini accepted this despite Ilisidi's objections and it has turned out to have been a good gamble that offers a means to supplant the Ajuri leadership and drive it further out of the hands of the Shadow Guild.

I also think he accepted the permanent marriage because it led to less conflicts. If they were in a temporary marriage, women would be throwing themselves at him trying to gain favor for their clan. Having just one wife eliminated a lot of political issues. 

I also think he agreed to the permanent marriage because she was leader material without having that ability to draw followers. Without followers, she's not a threat to him. The wife as villain is a classic story line. People can't even use her as a figurehead unless he's already dead. If she ends up running her uncles clan, she won't have to draw manchi, her daughter will do that for her. 

I think a lot of the reason that they have started to realize that Cajeri is growing up is from the last book. When Damiri came to her Uncles house, he greeted her as the head of household when their uncle wasn't able to. He acted very mature throughout the whole book. He actually interviewed the candidate for the guild and did a very good job. He asked the questions that they wanted asked and he also asked questions that he wanted asked but were useful to the guild, like questions about exactly how he did his job. 

I'm sure the new senior guild near him gave a very good report of him. He clearly didn't know everything but he didn't try to act like he did. He asked appropriate questions and listened to the answer. At one point, he told his senior guild that while his uncle was incapacitated, if there was a dispute between him and his mother, he and his guild were in charge. This was the correct decision. As the heir, he outranked his mother and his guild outranked hers. He made sure there was one person in charge. The worst thing that could happen in a chaotic situation is having his uncles guild, his guild and his mothers guild working at cross purposes to each other. He looked at the situation and made the correct political decision and made it clear to everyone. I'm sure that the guild there was glad he was in charge because in reality in any security situation his very senior guild would actually be the ones in charge.

Cajeri clearly thinks ahead and he thinks about more than himself. There were multiple situations where it was pretty clear that his new guards were very impressed with him. And if a 9 year old can impress senior guild instructors, he's not a typical 9 year old. 

 

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