This is the sequel to Moon-Flash. Kyreol grew up in a world where the River was the world - Riverworld. Her people's lives are steeped in ritual and have the power of foretelling through dreams. In the first book her world ended where the River did - past a waterfall, but that changed when she discovered that the universe is much much bigger than she thought. Now she lives away from her people because she knows too much and wants to protect them from losing their ability to dream. In the sequel Kyreol will go offworld to another planet, while her friend Terje keeps observing their people's rituals. Both their enterprises cause her mother some concern and a foreshadowing of a problem. Terje and Kyreol may be very far from each other, but they find that both their stories are interlinked. This is an early McKillip novel, and the style is a little less dreamlike than her later works. There is a sci fi meets fantasy element to it as well.
I love Patricia McKillip's writing, however, I regretfully have to admit that I was not very impressed by this book.
It's a sequel to 'Moon-Flash' - which I haven't read, so that could be the problem. But it seemed like the events of this novel are merely a coda to whatever happened in the previous book. It's extremely short, and it's obvious that the author expects you to already be familiar with the characters, their relationships, and their world - so none of these are very fleshed out.
Also, in less than 200 pages, McKillip really attempts to tell two stories. A young man, Terje, goes back to the primitive village of his birth as an anthropological observer, as he has now been educated in a more advanced civilisation (details aren't given).
Meanwhile, his girlfriend, Kyreol, goes on a mission to another planet, but crash-lands on an abandoned moon on the way, and has an unexpected alien encounter. (it's not very believable).
Both must deal with issues of self-perception and identity - this is where McKillip excels, and her insights are emotionally touching - but still, I can't say that this is her best book.
Beautiful fantasy novella of Kyreol, separated from her beloved and marooned on a mysterious moon. Both must come to terms with their past experiences of Riverworld, where people possess the power of dreaming the future.