What is a summary of A Planet Called Treason by Orson Scott Card?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Orson Scott Card's science fiction novel A Planet Called Treason was first published in 1979 but was later intensely changed and again published with the title Treason in 1988.

The background of the original book concerns anarchists who have been exiled to a planet named Treason for trying to overthrow their democratic government and replace it with one ruled by superior intellectuals. The subversives have been on the planet Treason long enough to establish their own nations, establish allies, and even go to war. The nations are especially racing against each other to build the first spaceship, which is challenging since little metal can be found on the planet Treason.

The novel features protagonist Lanik Mueller, next in line to inherit the throne of the Mueller kingdom. The Muellers have used genetic manipulation to create a race that heals rapidly and can even regenerate body parts. However, there also exist among them what they call radical regeneratives, which are people who grow extra appendages and even develop into hermaphrodites. Radical regeneratives, rads for short, are treated as outcasts and harvested for parts the kingdom uses to buy metals.

It is soon discovered Lanik is a rad, and Lanik's father exiles him from the kingdom as a means of saving him from torment. In exile, Lanik is sent to spy on the Nkumai nation, a dominant military nation and rival. There, he learns exactly how the Nkumai are acquiring their metals. But his adventure develops into an entire odyssey all over the planet Treason in which he learns a great deal about the planet and its people, including the fact that some the planet's people have loving and harmless natures, while others are extremely dangerous. His journey particularly takes him to face the planet's greatest enemy, the Andersons, whom he also successfully defeats.

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