The Summer Queen Author:Joan D Vinge This is the tale of history and civilization that challenges even the limits of galactic space, passion that overwhelms even the destinies of worlds, betrayal that devastates even the tapestries of time - the eagerly awaited climax to the magnificent series started in Joan D. Vinge's classic Hugo Award-winner, The Snow Queen, and continued in Wo... more »rld's End. This is the tale of a single planet, Tiamat, and of Moon, the island girl born to rule a world and become The Summer Queen.
Because the unstable Black Gate permits only periodic access to the stellar Hegemony, Tiamat's past has been divided by two alternating and radically different cultures. The superstitious, nature-loving Summer clans once brought it centuries of primitive isolation. Years of dark exploitation followed when the materialistic, urban Winter people came through the Gate, sharing Tiamat with offworlders who wanted one thing only - to slaughter the mer, the gentle sea mammals whose blood grants immortality. Now, once again, it is the time of the Summer people. For a young mystic named Moon Dawntreader has witnessed the death of the evil Snow Queen Arienrhod and become Lady of Summer. . .
The new Queen is pledged to save Tiamat from offworld tyranny and end the mer-hunts. Moon knows, yet is forbidden to tell others, that the mer are the psychic link connecting galactic civilzation, and that their extinction will doom all human worlds.
As stubborn Summers defy Moon's reforms, treacherous Winters plot her death. Her own mate, Sparks Dawntreader, slips into the vices he'd indulged as the Snow Queen's assassin. Even Moon's children, Ariele and Tammis, are alienated, tainted by Arienrhod's secrets and sins.
Across the universe, another danger threatens. Hegemonic Tinspector BZ Gundhalinu solves the mystery of World's End, rediscovering an ancient mode of starflight - one without Gates. One a pariah, driven mad by his love for Moon, Gundalinu becomes an Hegemony hero. But he is obsessed by desire to reunite with the Summer Queen, even if he brings the mer-killers with him, a century too soon.
And in a hidden fortress, a sadistic crimelord finds the perfect monster to unleash on Tiamat - Reede Kullervo. A Charismatic, handsome, utterly psychotic genius, Kullervo is a tortured mystery man with no memory or morals, whose very soal has burned from his body. Instead, he is possessed by an unimaginable secret, a love he should be unable to feel, and orders to destroy everything the Summer Queen holds dear.« less