Tor, Nov 2004, 19.95, 233 pp.
Altima is the dominant nation in the area with its advanced technology making it so “superior” to its neighbors. Altima depends on its backward neighbors for raw materials including cheap labor that are especially used in its highly sophisticated manufacturing sector.
The largest border nation is the fundamentally religious Bartokhrin, an agricultural society that treats females as subservient yet worships the Goddess Shanna. Most Bartokhrins detest their powerful secular neighbor. A small group begins a terrorist war to rid Bartokhrin of all ties with Altima. Priests provide volunteers with negative psychic energies which convert them into living bombs to wreck Altima. As Altima plans to devastate Bartokhrin with a military assault, plots abound to assassinate leaders felt to be too soft on terrorism.
A terrorist attack kills the family of teenager Chamus Aranson, whose obsession to fly has changed to kill all Bartokhrins. While flying, he makes an emergency landing in Bartokhrin where he meets tomboy Riadni Mocranen, who is his only hope to elude captivity, but neither understands the values of the other.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner