Make your own free website on
Back to Main Menu
Six months after the ship's arrival, Bren has been training the ship-paidhi Jase in the atevi language.  Plans are underway to build the first atevi spaceship, to be taken up to the space station.  Certain factions of atevi are opposed to Tabini's plans to put atevi in space, and they plot with Deanna Hanks and conseratives of the Mospheiran government to put a stop to his plans.  Bren's position is becoming more and more unpopular in Mospheira, where they view him as a traitor to his people.  His family is being harrassed, and his mother is in poor health, but he has been unable to contact them.  Tensions mount, especially when Lord Tatiseigi and Dowager Ilisidi arrive in the Bujavid, two powerful leaders who have the potential to be either allies or enemies of Tabini.
Do not read the synopsis if you have never read this book!
This summary was written for people who have already read this book.  It contains many spoilers and reveals the ending of the novel.  Since these books are published years apart, I thought a quick 10 minute review would be helpful.

Six months have passed since the ship-paidhiin landed at Taiben. Yolanda Mercheson is staying in Mospheira while Jason Graham has been with Bren and the Atevi. With the coming of the ship-paidhiin, and Mospheira's failed attempt at double-crossing the atevi, Bren's position as paidhi has shifted to the atevi side, making it impossible for him to ever go home to Mospheira again.

Bren is currently staying at Lord Geigi's estate, the same Lord Geigi who had been an enemy before. Now, Geigi has been granted permission by Tabini-aiji to be the Lord with the honor and charge of building the first Atevi spaceship. Bren is on an official visit check on the progress of the craft under construction. While assessing the progress, Bren's security, Tano and Algini, inform Bren that he has been called back to Shejidan due to an emergency: Lord Saigimi, one of the lords most violently opposed to the space program, has been assassinated by an unknown agent.  Bren returns to Shejidan.  On the way home, another airplane almost collides with his.

Bren arrives back in the Bujavid to find a letter from his brother: Their mother is in poor health, and Mospheira is becoming a dangerous place for Bren's family to stay. Matters aren't helped any by the fact that he returns to find Jase-paidhi in a foul mood, trying to deal with the difficulties of learning the atevi language and culture. Jase and Bren argue about Jase's position. Jase finally responds with: "My father's dead." Jase had learned this from his counterpart Yolanda in Mospheira, not the ship. He has not been able to contact the ship in Bren's absence. This explains his dark mood. Bren makes inquiries as to the reason for the improper channeling of such information. Jase should have received word directly from the ship. 

As he is writing a report of these matters to Tabini, two welcome arrivals brighten his day. Banichi and Jago have returned from some mysterious assignment that has kept them away for several months. The three of them sit down with glasses of shibei and have a pleasant reunion. They discuss atevi politics. Banichi and Jago drop hints that they were directly responsible for Saigimi's death, and that Bren must be careful since Saigimi is sure to have allies. 

He also learns that Lady Direiso of House Kadigidi, one such ally of Saigimi's, is the one to watch out for now. DIreiso happens to be the one that was responsible for Deana Hanks's kidnapping six months ago. At that time, Bren and the others hadn't known who was responsible, but the dowager Ilisidi and her ally Lord Geigi had. They had walked in and simply taken Deana back. Now, Ilisidi and Geigi are sided with Tabini. For the space program, not against it.

Lord Tatiseigi, Lady Damiri's uncle, is another one to watch. He was formerly one of Tabini's chief rivals along with Saigimi and Direiso. But now, with the death of Saigimi, and Direso's apparent intent to become the aiji herself, Tatiseigi's alliance is in jeopardy. With the added knowledge that it was either Direiso or Saigimi who had ordered the outrageous attack on Damiri's apartments in the Bujavid half a year ago, Tatiseigi is now a potential ally for the aiji, albeit a touchy one. (He would still like to see the aiji dead.)  The fact that his niece Damiri is Tabini's lover helps. Tatiseigi now has the potential to side with Tabini-aiji and become a very important lord. 

Bren meets with Tabini and Damiri to report on the progress of the ship.  He learns, during this conversation, that Lord Tatiseigi is coming to the Bujavid to survey the repairs on the porcelain lilies in Damiriji's old apartment that had been destroyed half a year ago.  Tatiseigi will be a dangerous guest.  Bren must make sure that he and Jase (especially Jase) are ready for the meeting.  Ilisidi will also be coming to the Bujavid.  Finally, Tabini reveals that Lord Saigimi had sent assassins to kill Lord Geiji and the director of Patinandi Aerospace in an effort to stop the space program.  Saigimi's assassins were stopped by Tabini.

Bren then holds a news conference with reporters and learns that there have been information leaks to the general public.  One of the suspected leaks includes Deana Hanks, who is currently on the island of Mospheira, but who could be sending illegal radio messages to the mainland.  Ironically, Bren has not been able to communicate with Mospheira at all.  Several attempts at contacting his family have failed.

Lord Tatiseigi arrives for the inspection of the restored porcelain lilies.  Ilisidi, other atevi lords, and news crews are also present.  Bren introduces a nervous Jase to various lords.  Jase's new language skills hold admirably.  During the party, Bren receives a phone call from his brother Toby who reports that his mother has suffered a small heart attack and is in hospital.  Toby asks Bren to come home to Mospheira since mother is ill and the whole family is being harrassed.  Bren can't.  The two argue, and Bren hangs up.  Jago reports the phone conversation to Tabini, and relays a message to Bren:  Tabini is willing to personally protect Bren's family.  Bren appreciates the gesture. 

Later at the party, a small explosion is heard.  Jase jumps towards Tatiseigi, knocking him to the floor, trying to protect him.  The explosion turns out to be a news camera light that popped.  Tatiseigi is insulted by Jase's actions and speaks rudely to Bren who holds his own against the lord.  Bren explains that Jase had been trying to protect Tatiseigi, not embarrass him.  Tabini, who has been standing behind Bren, also defends Jase.

Finally, Bren hears that a very young atevi from Dur named Rejiri, the pilot who had nearly collided with his plane, has been trying to contact him with apologies.  Rejiri is becoming a substantial nuisance to Bren's security.  Bren accepts Rejiri's apologies.

Bren and Jase then prepare for a much-needed trip to the sea, something that a depressed Jase has been asking for for quite some time.  Bren had asked Ilisidi if she could accompany them to Geigi's seaside estate.  Ilisidi had suggested Saduri, a historic site near Mogari-nai, instead.  They arrive, but don't seem to be going to the beach anytime soon.  Bren is not sure what is going on.  Jase is extremely upset and suspects he's been deceived yet again.  Jase loses it temporarily and argues, then fist fights, with Bren.  They make up, sort of.  Jase wants an assurance that he will see the ocean.  He doesn't quite trust Bren.

Later, during dinner with Ilisidi, a perimeter alarm goes off, and security finds that Rejiri has followed them to Saduri.  In the midst of this trouble, Jase continues to ask Ilisidi about seeing the ocean and fishing.  Bren asks Ilisidi's forgiveness for Jase's odd and rude behavior.  They question Rejiri.  The boy reports he came to tell the paidhi that he was in his plane and heard radio transmissions between Mospheira (a human female speaking Raji) and mainland.  Plots against the aiji were overheard. Bren returns to his room, assured that Rejiri is not a threat, but also fairly sure that Ilisidi is up to something and they may not see Jase's ocean any time soon.

The next morning, Ilisidi leads them all (including Rejiri) on a mecheiti ride.  Bren suspects their destination to be the satellite at Mogari-nai.  Ilisidi reveals to Bren what happened last year with Deana's kidnapping.  Direiso had been responsible, and her son had been the one to shoot up the lilies.  Geigi helped Ilisidi get Deana in return for Ilisidi's help in keeping Saigimi's wife (who happens to be Geigi's cousin) from taking over Geigi's land and title.  Ilisidi wanted to shoot Hanks, but Geigi prevented it.  Ilisidi now regrets not shooting Deana since Deana's been causing so much trouble via the radio calls. 

That night at camp in Jago's tent, Jago reveals more history to Bren.  She tells him it was one of Ilisidi's people who tried to shoot him in the first place in the incident that brought Banichi and Jago into his household.  Tabini had filed Intent, forcing the Guild to reassess the paidhi's position within the Association, and leading to new laws protecting the paidhi.  Ilisidi's side had been embarrassed when Bren himself had shot the intruder.  Tabini then asked Ilisidi to take Bren in to her custody in an effort to make her believe he and Bren had not betrayed the Association and as a test of her loyalty to him.  Ilisidi eventually believed Bren, and some of her allies did to, especially after several of them conducted his interrogation in the cellar where he'd proved his loyalties.  Those allies of Ilisidi who did not believe Bren then attacked her, and at that point, Ilisidi's siding with Tabini was sealed.  Jago also reveals that they have discovered, since last night, that Deana Hanks is planning to return to the mainland illegally to side with Direiso's faction and challenge Tabini's rule.

Banichi declares he will stay with Bren's tentmate Jase, leaving Bren in Jago's tent.  The reason, is fairly obvious.  Bren once again asks Jago if relations with her would be proper.  He doesn't want to offend anyone.  She initiates 'explorations' and they make love.

The next morning, he finds Jase in a surly mood again.  Bren admits to Jase they're not on vacation to see the ocean.  He fills in Jase on the news he learned last night.  Jase is upset that Bren hadn't told him any of this sooner.  He finds it difficult to trust Bren and feels he's been lied to over and over again.  Bren counters, asking Jase why the ship came back and where had it been.  Jase answers vaguely.  Bren states that whatever Jase feels when Bren doesn't tell him the full truth, Bren feels when Jase answers like that.

They arrive at Mogari-nai for Ilisidi to tour the facility.  Ilisidi asks the assistant director why the paidhi has been having difficulty with his messages and communication.  The workers there produce Bren's missing mail as well as messages from Deana to the mainland.  Bren searches for news of his mother and is relieved to find she has had surgery and is recovering.  In danger of showing strong emotions, Bren heads to the restroom to compose himself with Jago to stand guard.  Jase follows him there, having read Bren's message. 

Jase confesses to Bren that he wanted to see the ocean because Yolanda has given up on Mospheira and is planning to come to the mainland by boat.  He was to meet her on this side.  They had arranged a code by phone, and when she had told him his father was dead, what she meant was that her attempts to deal with Mospheira were impossible.  Jase, seeing that Bren couldn't even get his own family off of Mospheira, wasn't sure he could tell Bren about Yolanda's difficulty.  Bren is furious that Jase was complaining of Bren's lying when Jase was the one who had been lying this whole time.  Jase states that now he is sure Bren has been honest with him based on what he's been able to piece together of recent events. 

Mospheira will try to stop Yolanda.  Bren has one resource to call.  He contacts the Foreign Secretary Shawn Tyers only to find out that the entire Foreign Office has been shut down.  There is no way to know what is happening with Yolanda.  Suddenly Rejiri states he knows where she will cross.

Rejiri, familiar with the local terrain, knows where boats from Mospheira will arrive on the mainland.  Yolanda will most likely be there.  So will Deana Hanks and Direiso's faction.  He points the spot out and offers to fly a plane to his father, who lives nearby, for help.  Ilisidi agrees.  Preparations are made to go to the arrival point.

In a quiet moment, while others are organizing for the confrontation to come, Jase tells Bren his father really is dead.  Centuries ago.  Jase is one of Taylor's Children.  Taylor was a hero of the ship before the Landing.  His progeny, drawn from cold storage, are considered the elite of the ship.  Jase is not just a lowly computer tech, Bren discovers.  The Pheonix had sent down two of its elite in Jase and Yolanda.  Jase also tells Bren the reason The Pheonix wants the atevi in space so badly is because they ran into hostile aliens at another station.  The aliens destroyed this other station and the ship fled back to the atevi homeworld, hoping to find help only to discover the station was dead. 

Bren informs Ilisidi and the others of this new important news.  Jase calls his ship, letting them know once and for all that the ship's best bet is with Tabini and that Mospheira really is a lost cause.  Jase then broadcasts a speech to the entire Western Association, Mospheira, and the ship explaining Yolanda's assessment of Mospheira and decision to come to the Atevi mainland.  The ship plans to deal solely with Shejidan.  He tells of Hanks and Direiso's faction's plans to disrupt this, and that Ilisidi has decided to take steps to protect Yolanda. 

Ilisidi's party then heads into the township of Saduri.  They are shot at on their way to the waterfront.  Geigi meets them there with a boat.  Their boat is hit by enemy fire.  They abandon ship near the shoreline in waist-deep water and take cover as the enemy shoot at them. A firefight ensues, between Ilisidi's men from their boat and Direiso's faction, with Hanks, from trucks on shore.  Rejiri's Dur Island people arrive in their ferry to offer aid.  They manage to blow up all but one of the trucks.  The last one tries to get away when it too is suddenly bombed...compliments of Lord Tatiseigi's team's surprise arrival from the township.

Deana Hanks is dead.  Direiso's faction defeated.  In the aftermath of this, the survivors find yet another ship arriving on shore.  To Bren's shock, it is his brother Toby's boat.  Shawn Tyers, Yolanda, and others had fled to Toby and taken his boat when things became too touchy on Mospheira.  For them, it seemed safer on the atevi mainland. 

The next summer, Geigi has a new boat, and Bren, Jase, and Yolanda are at his estate for a vacation.  Bren's mother, Toby, Shawn Tyers, and their families also arrive for a visit.  Mospheira is gradually changing its ways, Shawn is in the running to be the next president, and Hanks' faction in Mospheira was losing power.  Bren and Jago enjoy the day.