Here is a novel as original as the breathtaking, unspoiled world for which it is named, a place where all appears to be in idyllic balance.
Generations ago, humans fled to the cosmic anomaly known as Grass. Over time, they evolved a new and intricate society. But before humanity arrived another species had already claimed Grass for its own. It, too, had developed a culture...
Now, a deadly plague is spreading across the stars. No world save Grass has been left untouched. Marjorie Westriding Yrarier has been sent from Earth to discover the secret of the planet's immunity. Amid the alien social structure and strange life-forms of Grass, Lady Westriding unravels the planet's mysteries to find a truth so shattering it could mean the end of life itself.
Generations in the future, when humanity has spread to other planets and Earth is ruled by Sanctity, a dour, coercive religion that looks to resurrection of the body by storing cell samples of its communicants, a plague is threatening to wipe out mankind. The only planet that seems to be spared is Grass, so-called because that is virtually all that grows there. It was settled by families of European nobility who live on vast estancias and indulge in the ancient sport of fox hunting--although the horses, hounds and foxes aren't what they what they appear to be. Rigo and Marjorie Westriding Yrarier and family are sent to Grass as ambassadors and unofficial investigators because the ruling families--the bons--have refused to allow scientists to authenticate the planet's immunity from the plague. The egotistical Rigo sets out to prove himself to the bons while Marjorie remains wary about the relationship between the hunters and the hunted. She gains allies in her search, but invasion strikes from an unexpected quarter before the truth about an alien species comes to light. Tepper ( The Gate to Women's Country ) delves into the nature of truth and religion, creating some strong characters in her compelling story.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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February 28, 1993
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