This is the second book of the third Trilogy of the Foreigner series and both this trilogy and this book in particular are proving to be some of the best entries in the series so far.
The Atevi remain as inscrutable as ever, and are possibly the most engrossing alien race of any series. While superficially similar to humans, but unmistakably alien. Possibly the most alien species in fiction and I find myself, as with the main character, almost understanding them and almost getting a grip on what is happening.
It sounds frustrating, but Cherryh's writing is so strong that it is, instead, absolutely gripping.
And she has really picked up the pace this time around. The political maneuverings still provide the core of the story, but this feels like a much more action-oriented installment.