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9/14/2020 6:52 pm  #11


Re: Λα Διϝεργενζα (Divergence spoilers)

I finished the book late last night, and find I like this one very well. It is about atevi clan politics, but that is not what I focus on. I think it is really about something else. In book 4, the one where Bren goes up to the station for the 1st time, he meets with the ship captains and reassures them about reaching an agreement. He does that by figuring out what the real concerns are that motivate the captains. He tells them there would be a special area set up where only ship law would run. And another special area where Mospheiran law would run. And atevi would run the rest. And they immediately become cooperative.
Bren does the same thing in this book with his various meetings with 2 lords and an almost-lord. I think this is one of the things that is at the heart of Cherryh's work. Empathy is about figuring out what the other person is feeling, figuring out what their issues are, what they are afraid of, and addressing those worries and fears directly. It immediately puts people at ease and reassures them. I think it is the mechanism which allows Bren to be a mini-aiji. People agree with him and follow his lead because he demonstrates that he understands them and takes their issues as valid..

And yes, Ilisidi's advance planning and deep understanding of the total situation becomes clear. Also Tabini's out-maneuvering her. And Cajeiri's growing maturity. And Damiri's understanding that if she and Tabini accepted a contract marriage, Ajuri would have an opportunity to plant her Ajuri offspring in the aijinate. A marriage would mean the children would be brought up by Tabini and Damiri, not by her relaives. (the childrens' manchi would be to their parents, not to Ajuri.)

But there is another major element in this story which I especially like. It is something that appears in many of her other books. Don't hear the words somebody says, look at the total situation, read the events, to understand what is going on. An example: 2 navy ships, one positions itself just behind a Dojisigi ship, uncovers its cannon in the bow, turns on the lights. Doesn't do anything. But the message is screamingly clear.  She does that in several places in this story, and I absolutely love it. Read what lies behind what is happening. Don't stop with the top layer of the event, look at what lies beneath, at the larger message. (A similar one is when Toby parks his boat in the straight, near a navy ship. The message is: the navy is watching what happens to Bren and to Toby, and harm to either will produce an immediately aggressive and violent response. Don't threaten. Just make clear that the option and the means is available,)

And one more element that occurs in all her books. Everybody has to get something out of a negotiation. One side doesn't win all the goodies, everybody has to benefit. I keep thinking this is a deliberate message to modern America and our political dysfunction.

Last edited by lynxlacelady (9/14/2020 6:57 pm)


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

9/15/2020 7:42 pm  #12


Re: Λα Διϝεργενζα (Divergence spoilers)

I recently did a re-read of the entire series, so I was better-placed to read this than I would have been a little while ago.

I have to say that I am finding Bren's travails less interesting than I did when the first volumes of the series were coming out.  But that's OK because Cajeiri is taking the stage more and more. 

The interactions between Damiri and her son go straight to my heart ("right in the feels" my younger friends would say).  Poor Cajeiri has the mental equipment to handle an awful lot, but his emotional processing is't quite up to it, and the troubles he's having settling down to sleep make me very sad (I have problems like this myself!).   The conversation with Damiri, when she tells him the details of how she came to marry Tabini and why she insisted on the contract marriage, and he tells her "Father chose the very best" -- aww, kid, I'm tearing up all over again thinking about it.

Also, Ilisidi is seeming fragile to me now in a way she hasn't previously.  She hears the "sound of chariots" -- time's inexorable march, which will catch up to her eventually.  She's uncertain, for the first time, whether her grand design will be completed.

Finally, I don't like the way Husai (Bregani's teenaged daughter) is used to advance the plot.  Although the narration, presumably in Bren's viewpoint, notes several times that she seems intelligent, she spends the entire book as a mechanism to get Nomari to do various things.   Poor kid.
 

 

9/15/2020 9:30 pm  #13


Re: Λα Διϝεργενζα (Divergence spoilers)

Regarding Ilisidi, I do wonder if CJ is preparing to write her out of the story. But there is another issue with Ilisidi. In the last book and this one there are several references to her poisoning of Bren. Up til book 20 we were never sure if it was deliberate or accidental. Now all sorts of people clearly think it was deliberate. And Cajeiri for the first time criticizes granny, at least in his own mind, for this treatment of Bren. Granny's pique at being shut out of the Atageini and Ajuri solutions does not present her in the best light. And she is constantly asking Bren, did you do this or that.  So, Ilisidi's flaws are coming to light in a way that hasn't occurred before. And Tabini, with Geigi's help, out maneuvering her (the high speed train and the lander) is just delicious. But I keep wondering, where is this all going?

One more thing. This book contains many fragments of story lines that may be developed in the future. I take this as CJ not having run out of ideas. She has the seeds of several more books sown throughout this story. I find this mightily reassuring.

Last edited by lynxlacelady (9/15/2020 9:33 pm)


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

9/17/2020 10:51 am  #14


Re: Λα Διϝεργενζα (Divergence spoilers)

I think one of the biggest upcoming lines being foreshadowed in this book is the actual work of administering the new treaty in the heavens.  The biggest challenge of which is the transfer of the Reunionfugees.  They must land in potentially hostile atevi territory and be moved en masse by train, batch by batch, to a place where they can be shipped to their new lives in Space Wisconsin.

And then, as Tabini mentions, atevi have an inkling of the way this might destabilize Mospheira which may lead them to have to concern themselves with internal human politics...

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9/17/2020 3:17 pm  #15


Re: Λα Διϝεργενζα (Divergence spoilers)

I am astonished that I did not realize this had arrived. Have now rectified my omission, and am tickled pink to have this to read on upcoming vacation.

 

9/17/2020 6:31 pm  #16


Re: Λα Διϝεργενζα (Divergence spoilers)

Eup - yes, I agree, the possibility of of conflict when the Reunioners land is a story line that I hope to see in the next book. And there is the Homura-Momichi situation, imminent. Does Bren get sent to Amarja?


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

9/18/2020 10:39 am  #17


Re: Λα Διϝεργενζα (Divergence spoilers)

I always felt that it was obvious that the Dowager poisoned Bren on purpose. The mistake was that she poisoned him too much. She wanted to make him sick. Not almost kill him. She did the same thing on the ship. It was never an accident. 

 

9/20/2020 5:19 pm  #18


Re: Λα Διϝεργενζα (Divergence spoilers)

One more potential story line -- the Ashidama bay, Hurshina, Jorida Isle situation.


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

9/20/2020 10:52 pm  #19


Re: Λα Διϝεργενζα (Divergence spoilers)

Normally, One would slurp down a new Foreigner novel like a slushie on a summer day.  But this one was devoured a few chapters at a time.  Which led to the unfortunate coincidence of the RBG news right before I finished the novel, increasing my worries about Ilisidi.  I Quite Enjoyed this one.  And found it....Educational.https://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons2/winking.png

 

9/21/2020 5:23 am  #20


Re: Λα Διϝεργενζα (Divergence spoilers)

Well like I said, the whole "she is sleeping and Bren must exercise authorities he doesn't have" plotline was a little jarring.  It *could* be that it was on purpose, a political manipulation.  But I also wondered if she had some kind of brief medical emergency in that period, or had some scheduled treatment that took her out of commission.

Bren is highly emotionally attached to Ilisidi (which she clearly knows even if the manner he's attached is foreign to her), plus a little bit of Stockholm Syndrome given that their first interaction was her poisoning him.  Her inevitable eventual passing is going to be hard on him.

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