|Fall of Angels (Saga of Recluce)|
L.E. Modesitt, Jr.
Date: 15 July, 1997 — $7.99 — Book
Throughout the Recluce novels, references are made to the Legend, a myth in which angels fell to the Roof of the World, where they ruled with the lances of winter. This novel starts to explain the truth of that myth, following the crew of a ship as it is twisted out of one universe into the one of Recluce. The ship is of the United Faith Forces, which is apparently a theocracy of some sort, and the leaders, from the cold world of Sybra, refer to themselves— only half-jokingly— as "angels." They fell in the midst of a battle against the Rationalists, sometimes referred to as "demons," who use mirror towers to disrupt and destroy the flux that the angel ships use for transport.
As near as I can figure, this is a trade war, but you don't get very much information before a node in the flux dumps them above a habitable planet in a world where the power sources aren't working quite right. The shift worked a few odd changes as well— several of the ship commanders, and a few of the marines, experience changes in hair color (including to wrought silver and firey red), and, as it turns out, new abilities.
They abandon ship and set down in the one place cold enough for them to survive and work on getting together a habitation, but it doesn't take long before the locals come to attack the "demon women" on the heights. Pretty soon it becomes apparent that there are traces of a Rationalist colony as well as an extreme patriarchal system in place, something that doesn't sit well with the largely female crew. And as they try to survive one challenge after another, with the extraordinarily competent help of Nylan, the ship's engineer, they begin to set up a female-oriented warrior culture that will survive well into the time when the fall of angels is a myth.