Imagine a world a thousand light years from our Earth, where each season lasts for generations, and each generation knows only one season. Where twin suns warm the icy winds of the Sibornal, the forests blaze and kingdoms turn into ashes once every 2500 years. Where it is summer again on Helliconia.
This is book #2 of Brian Aldiss' Helliconia Trilogy.
Publisher's Blurb: It is the summer of the Great Year on Helliconia. The humans are involved with their own affairs. Their old enemies, the phagors, are comparitively docile at this time of year; yet they can afford to wait, to take advantage of human weakness - and of the king's weakness. How they do so brings to a climax this powerfully compelling novel, in which the tortuous unwindings of circumstance enmesh royalty and commoners alike, and involve the three Helliconia continents.