The third and final book in the epic Helliconia trilogy. The centuries-long winter of the Great Year on Helliconia is upon us, and the Oligarch is taking harsh measures to ensure the survival of the people of the bleak Northern continent of Sibornal. Behind the battle with which the novel opens lies an act of unparalleled treachery. But the plague is coming on the wings of winter and the Oligarch’s will is set against it – and against the phagors, humanity’s ancient enemies, who carry the plague with them.
Helliconia is a planet that, due to the massively eccentric orbit of its own sun around another star, experiences seasons that lasts eons. Whole civilisations grow in the Spring, flourish in the Summer and then die in the brutal winters. The human-like inhabitants have been profoundly changed by their experience of this harsh cycle. In orbit above the planet a terran mission struggles to observe and understand the effects on society of such a massive climatic impact. Massive, thoroughly researched, minutely organised, full of action, pulp references and deep drama this is a classic trilogy.