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Peacemaker: Foreigner #15
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Peacemaker: Foreigner #15 [Format Kindle]

C. J. Cherryh

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By the charter of the Assassins’ Guild, there are several re­quirements preceding a legal assassination. First comes the Filing of Intent. In this process, a Document of Intent is entered into the official state registry, stating the issue between the par­ties, so that there is a permanent record, sealed, ribboned, and kept in archive. Any answering document is similarly filed.

There must then be a public advisement of impending Guild Council action, and an opportunity for the Assassins’ Guild Council to obtain depositions from both sides. Only after deter­mining that there may exist adequate cause for a Filing, does the Guild Council debate the merits of the Filing, and consider the potential for remedy short of lethal action. This delibera­tion may, at the Council’s sole discretion, entail testimony from Guild members employed by either or both sides of the debate as to whether there can be any settlement. And there may be yet another delay imposed while the Guild urges reso­lution short of action.

If all measures have failed to secure a legal resolution, the Filing is approved by Council vote, and there is a date set after which action is possible.

The Filing is published, and all parties are notified.

This affords an opportunity for the targeted party’s body­guard to take precautions, and a date and hour after which the complainant’s bodyguard may initiate offensive action, entering whatever premises it needs to in order to reach their target.

In the case of lords or officials employing a permanent body­guard, the bodyguard on either side will be in contact with the central Guild at all steps of the process. No advantage of infor­mation will be given to either side, but in the event an attack­ing or defending unit wishes to suspend action, they may contact the Guild and let the Guild mediate a solution mutu­ally acceptable.

Generally in small cases, particularly involving property or divorce, approval is given by an office of the Council, without Council debate, but with the deposition of witnesses. Once the Filing is approved by this process, there is a time limit imposed, usually of ninety-nine days, after which all attempts to carry out an assassination must cease and the Filing is set aside.

In practice, the Guild wishes to avoid bloodshed among its own members, and Guild units may at any time ask a truce in which to advise their lord that their defense has failed and that he must cede whatever is at issue, since he and they will not otherwise survive.

The number of lords who have pressed a case against the advice of their own bodyguards is relatively small. A unit aban­doning its lord or surrendering him to capture or death may be prosecuted, except if the lord has issued a false statement in the Filing or if the lord is judged to have been mentally or physi­cally incapable of sound judgment. The latter escape clause has frequently been supported by relatives and servants.

In the case of a private citizen who has no regular bodyguard, a complainant must engage the services of the Assassins’ Guild from the date of the Filing, and the case is heard by the Office of the Council. The defendant against the Filing must, on noti­fication, either cede the case, if property or a divorce, or hire Assassins for his protection for the usual ninety-nine days— an expensive proposition for the ordinary citizen to maintain long term, hence a heavier burden of time for the complainant— but there are occasional pro bono Filings.

Lethal force in civil disputes is common in potential— but far less common in actuality. The Filing of Intent affords a cooling-off period, requires depositions and an official vote at some level acknowledging that a wrong exists, and it offers constant opportunities for Guild to secure a negotiated settlement.

A Filing of Intent is absolutely required before action may be taken against a person or institution, except in defense against an illicit attack. In that case, whatever force the defender can muster on the spot is legal. An attack is defined as a movement within arm’s length of the defender, or the first use of a distance weapon or weapon of stealth such as poison.

It is absolutely forbidden for anyone other than a Guild As­sassin to bring violence against a fellow citizen, except in de­fense of self, employer, household, clan property, or national treasure. A person who violates this law is outlawed, subject to lethal Guild action with no time limit.

In the event a person finds himself thus outlawed, he is per­mitted to surrender to the aiji’s judgment, in consultation with the Guild.

Edward P. Wilson, Translator, ret., The Assassins’ Guild, Emer­itus Lecture Series #133, The University of Mospheira . . .


There were rules of operation for every guild— and in the case of the Assassins’ Guild, the rules were literally a matter of life and death.

There were rules against collateral damage.

There were rules about specificity of the target. An assassi­nation had to be announced a certain number of days in ad­vance. And the target was limited to the individual named.

There were rules about protection of children and uninvolved parties, like neighbors, or guests.

There were rules forbidding aerial attack, explosive traps, and the use of wires where any other individual, including servants, might accidently run afoul of them.

And there were rules forbidding damage to property. An ac­tion was not supposed to happen, say, where it might damage artworks, national treasures, livestock, or a person’s means of livelihood.

Well, they’d done that, a bit, this morning. There was bound to be complaint.

Bren Cameron closed the computer file. The last time he’d read Wilson’s paper on the topic, he’d been on a plane bound across the straits to serve a new aiji in Shejidan. He’d been, in that long-ago meeting with the Secretary of State, handed his credentials, computer-printed. He’d been handed the official dictionary, containing all the words approved for him to use in communication with the atevi.

And with that, State had launched him, the youngest paidhi who’d ever held the office, as Wilson-paidhi’s replacement.

He’d been excited by the appointment, scared to death of the responsibility— and completely unsure whether a novice in Wilson’s job was going to survive the year— in the real sense of life and death— or even whether he might be met at the airport by some party that wasn’t official, and he’d have no way on earth to know who he was really dealing with.

He’d studied the Ragi language for years. He was good at math, a requirement for the language study program. He’d qual­ified as a backup translator for the Department of State, in­tended to become one of those faceless individuals who sat in little cubicles parsing atevi publications for clues to policy and mining them for new words that weren’t officially approved, but that ought to be known to other translators.

He’d landed at Shejidan airport on a sunny afternoon. He’d been met by two of the aiji’s own black-uniformed bodyguard and escorted up into the Bujavid, the fortress on the hill that rose picturesquely above the red tiled roofs and maze-like streets of the capital. He’d been assigned living quarters, a mod­est suite in the servants’ wing.

Then he’d been handed a small ring with three keys, and had had only enough time to toss his bag into the room before his escort had led him on a confusing route to a barren office roughly three meters by three.

The office supplies, on otherwise vacant shelves, had con­sisted of a packet of copying paper, a packet of fine paper, three well-used pens— computers were not part of the technology sur­rendered to atevi at that point— and three somewhat worn mes­sage cylinders. On that small desk had stood a bottle of ink, a bundle of reeds, a pen-rest, a shaker of sand, and a waxjack for the seals he’d create with the resized seal ring he’d worn back to the mainland. It was Wilson’s ring, surrendered along with the office.

He still wore it. And used it.

He’d had no clue on that day even how to use the waxjack. Left to his own devices, he’d found the lighter beside the device, lit the wick, and discovered that its whole function was to melt white wax from a winding coil on its baroque stand and drip it— he’d hastily inserted a piece of paper to prevent a wax spatter on the brass plate below— into a small, nicely unstained white puddle on a document. One adjusted the flame to prevent the wax collecting soot.

That, indeed, was what it did. It was the finest instrument in the little office. In point of fact, it was the only instrument in the little office, except a penknife to sharpen reed pens— literally, to shape pens out of the little bundle of reeds, a species that grew to a natural size, of a certain toughness, and that actually made Ragi calligraphy rather easier, once one got the knack.

He’d made his first impression with his ring of office on a letter to Tabini-aiji officially reporting his presence, his satis­faction with the arrangements, and his hopes for a good rela­tionship between atevi and humans. He’d put his rolled letter into one of the little message cylinders, the nicest. And there he’d sat— Bren Cameron, from the human enclave on the island of Mospheira, on the Earth of th...

Revue de presse

"One of the best long-running SF series in existence.... Cherryh remains one of the most talented writers in the field." —Publishers Weekly
"Some of the finest work of Cherryh's long and distinguished career."—Locus  
"My favorite science fiction series is C. J. Cherryh's Foreigner universe. Cherryh deftly balances alien psychology and human vanities in a character caught between being human and part of an alien race."—Denver Post
"There is plenty of intrigue…marvelous attention to detail that makes the culture of the atevi one of the most complex, multi-layered creations in science fiction…. The Foreigner series is about as good as it gets…so finely and densely wrought that you may end up dreaming of sable-skinned giants with gold eyes, and the silver spun delicacy of interstellar politics."—SF Site
"A seriously probing, thoughtful, intelligent piece of work, with more insight in half a dozen pages than most authors manage in half a hundred."—Kirkus
"Cherryh superbly crafts complex intrigues and alien races possessed of integrity, as well as a sense of otherness."—Library Journal
"A large new Cherryh novel is always welcome...a return to the anthropological science fiction in which she has made such a name is a double pleasure.... Superlatively drawn aliens and characterization."—Chicago Sun-Times

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1365 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 385 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 0756408830
  • Editeur : DAW (1 avril 2014)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.5 étoiles sur 5  121 commentaires
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The best in the Foreigner series since the first trilogy 2 avril 2014
Par P. M. Whitehouse - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
For readers who have never read the Foreigner series or coming back to it after a long absence, this 15th volume in the series is a perfect re-entry into the fascinating world of the atevi.

Peacemaker continues the story of Cajeiri's plight just trying to have a (9th) birthday party. Continuing from the the events of the 14th book where the translator Bren, has stumbled on the details of a far reaching plot in the Assassins' Guild. Bren and company are determined to set the world aright and relieve the pressure on atevi society, caused by higher ups in the Guild and family politics.

This book centers around the plan to throw the rascals out of the Assassins' Guild while protecting Cajeiri and the human children and preventing the plan details from slipping into the wrong hands. Cajeiri's mother Damiri is operating under the misapprehension that her father had been assassinated by members of her husband's family, and the impending birth of Cajeiri's sister has the whole family in a dynastic uproar.

Like most of the Foreigner series, the book is a complex mixture of alien versus human psychology and convoluted but understandable political intrigue. Ms Cherryh's world-building is first rate, and her writing style strikes a happy median between the stilted style expected of the atevi society and the informal humans. Of note is the summary narrative by Lord Geigi and Bren at the end of the book (not noted in the Kindle table of Contents, but in the book, nonetheless). If you have not read previous books in the series, read Lord Geigi's History of the Aishidi'tat starting at location 4798 (about 91%) first. There are no spoilers in the history. For long-time fans of the series, my only quibble is the lack of much about Jago and her relationship with Bren.
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Liked it! 4 avril 2014
Par J. Leung - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I really liked this book.

I found the back story of the guild and other historical events very interesting.

The atevi "leaders" are making it clear to Bren how they feel about him. He is valued. It would be interesting how the atevi "leaders" would describe their relationship with Bren. What word(s) would they use?

At first, I was not fond of the alternating voice of Cajeiri and Bren (which started in earlier books). Now I enjoy what is running through Cageiri's mind. It is interesting because he is young and he has lived in both the human and atevi worlds. He, and his human friends, are learning so much about each other. Yes, they use the word "friend" now knowing they may not be able to use it when they are adults ..... or will they???

I am looking forward to future books and how they deal with the Kyo and the "others" out there. I look forward to Cageiri's development as he gets older and what he "teaches" his baby sister ......
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Yay for Damiri! 1 avril 2014
Par Billy Dean Woods - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
This book was a real pleasure to read. Plenty of action and lots of loose ends getting tied. The scene with Damiri compelling Bren to inform and advise her was gripping. I already want to go back and read it again.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Awesome read 2 avril 2014
Par Tamisha S - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
A fresh adventure for our friends in the Foreigner universe. Fast paced, action packed, with plenty of character development. Love it, love it, love it!
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 If you're looking for a deep, long series with everything 14 avril 2014
Par John W. Shipman - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
C. J. Cherryh is my favorite living SF author. She does it all: plots that surprise me, characters that I care about, aliens that are really alien and not humans in alien suits, and page-turning action. This series showcases one of her specialties: the lives of humans who are plunged into an alien culture and have to find a way to fit without losing their essential humanity. Protagonists who wage peace and avoid war are all too rare in the genre, and Bren Cameron's thoughts on conflict resolution are worth much more than a good story. It's tricky to sustain a long series of novels like this: each volume has to build tension, then resolve it in a way that the reader does not feel like they're dangling over a cliff; yet there are always more storm clouds building for the future volumes. I can't wait for #16!
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