High above Earth orbits the starship Basilica. On board the huge vessel is a sleeping woman. Of those who made the journey, Shedemei alone has survived the hundreds of years since the Children of Wetchik returned to Earth.
She now wears the Cloak of the Starmaster, and the Oversoul wakes her sometimes to watch over her descendants on the planet below. The population has grown rapidly - there are cities and nations now, whole peoples descended from those who followed Nafai or Elemak.
But in all the long years of watching and searching, the Oversoul has not found the thing it sought. It has not found the Keeper of Earth, the central intelligence that alone can repair the Oversoul's damaged programming.
"Card's far-future religious saga manages, brilliantly, to be at once entertaining, unobjectionable, and edifying." (
"[The] complex situation, abetted by Card's superior characterization, offers more than enough conflict and questing to keep the yarn moving. The grand saga of human evolution is a demanding category of sf and fantasy, but Card has met its demands quite successfully." ( Booklist)
"The conclusion of the story...is vintage Card and a joy to read." ( Publishers Weekly)
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