igh above the planet Harmony, the Oversoul watches. Its task, programmed
forty million years before, is to guard the human settlement on this planet-to
protect this fragile remnant of Earth from all threats. To protect them, most of
all, from themselves.
But now the great artificial intelligence is failing. On the planet, the Oversoul
has lost control of the population. Forbidden technology has been rediscovered.
War has broken out. The only repair lies light years distant on a lost and ruined
Earth; the only way to get there is in the hands of trusted humans.
The Oversoul selected the family of Wetchik to return to Earth. Now grown to a
tribe in the years of their journey to the planet Harmony's hidden starport, they
are ready at last to take a ship to the stars. But from the beginning there has been
bitter dispute between Nafai and Elemak, Wetchik's youngest son and his oldest.
That dispute has grown to murderous hatred in Elemak's heart.
On board the starship Basilica, named for their lost city, the children of the tribe
will become pawns in the struggle. Each of the two factions is making secret
plans to be awakened early from the cold-sleep capsules in which they will pass
the long decades of the journey. Each side hopes to gain years of influence on the
minds of the children, winning their loyalty in the struggle for control of
But the Oversoul is truly in control of this journey. It has downloaded a complete
copy of itself to the ship's control computers. And only Nafai, who wears the
Cloak of the Starmaster by the Oversoul's command, really understands what this
will mean to all their plans for the future.
ORSON SCOTT CARD is the nationally bestselling, Hugo and Nebula Award
winning author of Ender's Game, Speaker for the Dead, and Xenocide. The
previous books in the Homecoming series are The Memory of Earth, The Call of
Earth, and The Ships of Earth.
Copyright © 1995 Orson Scott Card
A Tor Hardcover - Published by Tom Doherty Associates, Inc.
Jacket art by Keith Parkinson - Jacket design by Carol Russo