Ah, I liked it well enough. Enough to read more of C.J. Cherryh's work in the future, although not any time real soon. I thought the ending was rather predictable. It was pretty anti-climatic throughout. It was slow and ponderous, so it might bore a reader looking for a faster, more action-packed read. The characters brood a lot on the motivations of the other species which is interesting because they have to filter their understanding of the "the other," through their own cultures perspective, often times wrong in their assumptions and its also kind of funny when they assign culturally exclusive terms to a leader or class of a different culture, as the terms usually don't translate directly. Like Ursula K. Le Guin, C.J. Cherryh is very good at juxtaposing different cultures.