Authors: Orson Scott Card
Praise for Orson Scott Card’s Homecoming series
“Card’s protagonists confront their moral quandaries with a brutal and compassionate honesty in this stand-alone conclusion to a galaxy-spanning series.”
School Library Journal
“As this novel opens, the only one of the original voyagers still alive is aboard an orbiting starship. On Earth, numerous factions have arisen and become divided because of disagreements about forms of government and the rights of the ‘skypeople’ and ‘diggers.’ All, however, are still seeking the Keeper of Earth. This complex situation, abetted by Card’s superior characterization, offers more than enough conflict and questing to keep the yarn moving. The grand saga of human evolution is a demanding category of SF and fantasy, but Card has met its demands.”
Speaker for the Dead
Children of the Mind
Shadow of the Hegemon
The Folk of the Fringe
Future on Fire
Future on Ice
(with Kathryn Kidd)
Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus
The Worthing Saga
The Memory of Earth
The Call of Earth
The Ships of Earth
Maps in a Mirror: The Short Fiction of Orson Scott Card
Maps in a Mirror, Volume 1: The Changed Man
Maps in a Mirror, Volume 2: Flux
Maps in a Mirror, Volume 3: Cruel Miracles
Maps in a Mirror, Volume 4: Monkey Sonatas
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This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental.
Copyright © 1995 by Orson Scott Card
All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book, or portions thereof, in any form.
Cover art by Keith Parkinson
A Tor Book
Published by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010
is a registered trademark of Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.
First Edition: April 1995
First International Mass Market Edition: October 1995
First Mass Market Edition: May 1996
Printed in the United States of America
0 9 8 7 6
To Jerry and Gail Argetsinger:
Before the pageant, before the costumes,
Before we were cast in the roles we play today,
You taught me how to create a lasting love.
LANDS AND KINGDOMS
Among the Nafari humans, it is the custom for persons of distinction to add titles of honor to their names, as honorifics. Formally, the honorific is put at the beginning of the name, so that on state occasions the king of Darakemba is Ak-Moti; but most commonly the honorific is added at the end: thus, Motiak. Some honorifics are altered in order to combine with the name, and some names to combine with the honorific. Thus when Jamim was heir, he was Ha-Jamim or Jamimha, the normal pattern; but as king he was Ka-Jamim or Jamimka (compared with Nuak/Ak-Nu and Motiak/Ak-Moti); and as former king he is spoken of as Ba-Jamim or Jamimba (compared with Nuab/Ab-Nu and Motiab/Ab-Moti).
The honorifics for men that show up in this book are: Ak/Ka, which means “reigning king”; Ha/Akh, “heir”; Ab/Ba, “former king”; Ush, “mighty warrior”; Dis, “beloved son”; Og/Go, “high priest”;
Ro/Or, “wise teacher”; Di/Id, “traitor.” The honorifics for women that show up in this book are: Dwa, “mother of the heir” (whether she is living or dead); Gu/Ug, “most-honored wife of king”; Ya, “great compassionate woman.”
In addition, the syllable
is used as an all-purpose term of endearment, and is inserted at the end of a usually shortened name, but before any added honorifics. Thus Chebeya, in private, calls her husband “Kmadaro,” which is (A)kma + da (endearment) + ro (honorific meaning “great teacher”), and Akmaro calls her “Bedaya,” which is (Che)be + da (endearment) + ya (honorific meaning “great compassionate woman”).
The sons of a prominent man are regarded collectively as his “tribe” and are referred to that way. Thus the four sons of Motiak are sometimes called “the Motiaki”; the four sons of Pabulog are called “the Pabulogi” until they repudiate the name.
It is also worth pointing out that there are several terms for the different intelligent species. The sky people, earth people, and middle people can also be called angels, diggers, and humans, respectively. The former three terms suggest formality, dignity, and equivalency among the species. However, the latter three terms are merely informal, not necessarily pejorative, and members of all three species readily use both the formal and informal terms for themselves.
Motiak, or Ak-Moti—the king, conqueror of most of the Darakemba empire
Dudagu, or Gu-Duda—Motiak’s present wife, mother of his youngest son
Toeledwa [toe-eh-LED-wah], or Dwa-Toel—Motiak’s late wife, mother of his first four children
Jamimba, or Ba-Jamim—Motiak’s late father
Motiab, or Ab-Moti—Jamimba’s father, who led the
Nafari out of the land of Nafai to unite them with the people of Darakemba, forming the core of the empire
Aronha, or Ha-Aron—Motiak’s eldest son, his heir
Edhadeya, or Ya-Edhad—Motiak’s eldest daughter and second child
Mon—Motiak’s second son, third child; named after Monush
Ominer—Motiak’s third son, fourth child; the last of Toeledwa’s children
Khimin—Motiak’s fourth son; the only child of Dudagu, Motiak’s current wife
Monush, or Ush-Mon—Motiak’s leading soldier
Akmaro, or Ro-Akma—a former priest of King Nuak of the Zenifi, he now leads a group of followers of the teachings of Binaro/Binadi; his people are sometimes called Akmari
Chebeya, or Ya-Cheb—Akmaro’s wife, a raveler
Akma—Akmaro’s and Chebeya’s son and oldest child
Luet—Akmaro’s and Chebeya’s daughter and youngest child
Pabulog, or Og-Pabul—former high priest of King Nuak, and now a particularly vicious leader among the Elemaki, with an army at his disposal
Pabul—Pabulog’s oldest son
Udad—Pabulog’s second son
Didul—Pabulog’s third son
Muwu—Pabulog’s fourth and youngest son
Zenifab, or Ab-Zeni—the founding king of the Zenifi, for whom the tribe is named; their fundamental belief is that humans should not live with angels or diggers, and they tried to re-establish a pure-human colony in their ancestral homeland of Nafai after the Nafari merged with the Darakembi
Nuak, or Ak-Nu; also Nuab, or Ab-Nu—Zenifab’s son
and recent king of the Zenifi; in speaking of the time when he reigned, “Nuak” is used; in referring to later times, he is called “Nuab”; there is always some confusion for a while in changing over from one honorific to another