In the far future, humanity is scattered among the stars and has divided into many subgroups. On Old Earth itself, after many wars and disasters, society is based on conservation and non-aggression. But the resilience of this culture is tested when a hostile fleet of 12 spaceships appears in orbit around the planet. Built of adiamante, a nearly indestructible material, the ships have been sent by a former colony bent on revenge. Narrator Ecktor deJanes, Earth's temporary coordinator, has to prevent the fleet from sterilizing the planet. He's not without resources, as it turns out. But he's bound by a code of honor that mandates that ""those with great power must exercise equally great responsibility."" Modesitt avoids the digressions and lingering scholarly points that sometimes slow his popular Recluce series, though his narrative here does get didactic at times (""For all our nets, for all our communications, humans... are aliens, aliens to each other and to the universe, and that is why we must trust""). If he doesn't always fully explain the technological distinctions and intricacies of his elaborate far-future Earth, he nevertheless paints an absorbing picture of this world and how it became what it is. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 03/29/1999 Release date: 04/01/1999 Genre: Fiction
Ebook - 320 pages - 978-1-4299-5456-3
Mass Market Paperbound - 320 pages - 978-0-8125-4558-6
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