The Plot

(Critical Survey of Science Fiction and Fantasy)

The old Watcher travels to Roum with Avluela, a young, female, genetically created true-breeding flyer with nightwings, and her lover, Gorman, a guildless changeling. Changelings are genetically modified members of the human race. The Watcher’s guild duty is to search the heavens for the invaders of Second Cycle myth and legend. They travel in a Third Cycle Earth that is highly stratified socially and is bankrupt. Earth also is full of modified humans and visitors from other planets.

Upon entering Roum, the Prince of Roum passes the three traveling companions on the city streets. Seeing Avluela, he commands her to become his concubine. Gorman vows to gouge out the eyes of the prince in revenge. In Roum, Gorman is revealed to be an alien invader scout instead of a changeling. He reveals that an invasion is beginning.

Torn from his traveling companions during the invasion and now a member of a useless guild, the old Watcher undertakes a journey to Perris to join the guild of Rememberers, the planet historians. While traveling to Perris, the old Watcher becomes the companion of the deposed and blinded Prince of Roum, who travels in the guise of the Pilgrim’s guild. As an apprentice rememberer, the old Watcher, now named Tomis, discovers the true history of the invaders’ claim to Earth, including visual records of the sin humanity committed against the invaders’ people.

The former prince of Roum, as a former world leader, is a...

(The entire section is 481 words.)