Savage barbarians enslave Aleytys, the wearer of the Diadem, as she sails the stars in her quest to find her truth and her history in this science fiction adventure. The second book in author Jo Clayton's phenomenal Diadem science fiction space opera series continues the adventures of Aleytys, blessed and cursed by an alien power that has both marked and altered her, as she crosses the galaxy on an epic fantasy quest that rivals anything imagined by Andre Norton or C. J. Cherryh. When she donned the Diadem, Aleytys was changed forever. An artifact of tremendous power, it has given her psychic abilities beyond her comprehension or complete control, while making her a target of the distant, dangerous alien race that created it. However, survival for herself and her infant son is Aleytys's first priority as she searches for a home and a history. Her quest has brought her to the barbarous planet Lamarchos, where she intends to aid her companions—the thief Miks Stavver, the native Kale, and the psychotic criminal mastermind Maissa—in the theft of a valuable cache of powerful poaku stones. Moving across the perilous alien landscape in the guise of a mystical healer, Aleytys cannot help but attract the attention of the local gods, who expect her to do their bidding. But neither godly intervention nor the Diadem's awesome power can prevent the treacherous betrayal that will leave Aleytys stranded on this wild and dangerous planet—or save her from capture by the terrible zombie-like horde bringing chaos and horror to their world. Ingeniously melding science fiction space opera with fantastic invention, alien worlds and technologies with epic quest adventure, Clayton has created a unique universe of wonders and terrors. With her extraordinary Diadem Saga, she joins such acclaimed masters as Anne McCaffrey, Mercedes Lackey, and Marion Zimmer Bradley in the pantheon of speculative fiction's most revered science fantasists.
by Jo Clayton
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