This space opera adventure takes place at a time in the future when Earth is a barren ruin, and the star-faring Humans have gone far and wide across the universe thanks to a series of “gates” that permit rapid (faster than speed-of-light) progress between points. Nobody knows who created the gates, or how, but that doesn’t stop them being put to use. Two ruling dynasties are established, trading and commerce blossoms, and all seems good. On the surface.
Into this picture comes one man’s obsession with trying to transcend his existence, and some political maneuvering in each of the dynasties. All of which is shaken up by the appearance of a new gate. What lies beyond?
This is a well told story of society at war; of scheming, plotting, and backstabbing as well as crimes to suit the scale of the universe. If you like space opera, this is worthy of your attention. It’s more of the thoughtful type rather than crash-bang-boom, but it’s richer for that because the author knows how to deliver the story and keep you interested without too much need to resort to violence as the spice of choice. Although Nancy Kress is a leading name in the genre, this is the first of her books I have read. I expect to read more.