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    CYTEEN by C. J. Cherryh

    Popular Library, Warner, 1988/1995

    Ariane Emory (Ari) has dominated Cyteen and Union for decades, but not without making enemies. When she is murdered, old alliances shift and both friends and foes regroup. The evidence points Jordan Warrick as her killer--and Ari's allies move to exile him while keeping his son Jordan as hostage. Meanwhile, they enter into a desperate attempt to clone not just Ari's body, but her entire personality.

    CYTEEN describes the final days of Ari Senior, the life of Jordan as his is manipulated by Ari, and the interaction between Jordan and young Ari. Ari, living and dead, is the moving force behind the novel but every character fights for their own power base. Can young Ari count on even her older self's strongest allies when they have so much to lose if she achieves her full power?

    CYTEEN is part of the universe C. J. Cherryh (click here to see other reviews of novels by this author) created in Downbelow Station. CYTEEN (the name of the planet which forms the basis for Union power), describes Union (which Downbelow Station left as an amorphous power), and the warring forces within it. Parts of this novel are difficult. Certainly Ari Senior pursues her goals unhampered by any simple morality. Her intervention on Justin nearly destroys him. Young Ari, in contrast, is a delight.

    CYTEEN has been offered both as a single complete novel, and as three separate novels--CYTEEN: THE BETRAYAL, CYTEEN: THE REBIRTH, and CYTEEN: THE VINDICATION. In either format, this is a classic in modern Science Fiction.

    Four Stars

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