By Elizabeth Bear
(Spectra, Mass Market Paperback, 9780553591095, 352pp.)
Publication Date: February 22, 2011
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Rife with intrigue and betrayal, heroism and sacrifice, Grail brings Elizabeth Bear’s brilliant space opera to a triumphant conclusion.
At last the generation ship Jacob’s Ladder has arrived at its destination: the planet they have come to call Grail. But this habitable jewel just happens to be populated already: by humans who call their home Fortune. And they are wary of sharing Fortune—especially with people who have genetically engineered themselves to such an extent that it is a matter of debate whether they are even human anymore. To make matters worse, a shocking murder aboard the Jacob’s Ladder has alerted Captain Perceval and the angel Nova that formidable enemies remain hidden somewhere among the crew.
On Grail—or Fortune, rather—Premier Danilaw views the approach of the Jacob’s Ladder with dread. Behind the diplomatic niceties of first-contact protocol, he knows that the deadly game being played is likely to erupt into full-blown war—even civil war. For as he strives to chart a peaceful and prosperous path forward for his people, internal threats emerge to take control by any means necessary.
Elizabeth Bear shares a birthday with Frodo and Bilbo Baggins. This, coupled with a childhood tendency to read the dictionary, doomed her early to penury, intransigence, and the writing of speculative fiction—some of which conditions persist to this day. She lives in Manchester, Connecticut, with a giant ridiculous dog and a presumptuous cat.
"This deftly told story...is poised on a knifes edge. Bear's talent for portraying cultural divergence and conflict is especially apperent in this intense wrapup." --Publishers Weekly
"Bear's Jacob's Ladder trilogy finale is a stirring and satisfying story...while also being a book about what it means to be human." --Romantic Times