|The Parafaith War|
L.E. Modesitt, Jr.
Date: 15 February, 1997 — $7.19 — Book
Fiction, Science Fiction
Trystin has a problem. On the one side, his home federation Eco-Tech is carefully restraining population while working on making dead planets habitable. On the other side are the Revenants, people of a faith that mandates expansion. Trystin can see that they are human, but he has to stop them from taking over the planets of the Eco-tech.
To make things worse, this is not just a war of views; the Revenants are largely of a different genetic stock than the Eco-Techs, and Trystin looks like a Revenant. So even as he works to provide security for his homeland, he is looked upon with deep suspicion. And then he is tapped as a spy, and given a mission that is sure to kill him, while doing, as he thinks, very little good... unless he can figure out an alternative.
This is one of Modesitt's better books, in part because Trystin is genuinely trying to do the right thing while not feeling that the world is unfair. He's also a lot more hopeful than many of Modesitt's protagonists; though the future looks bleak, he's convinced that if he's careful, he can have a positive effect on both sides. This book also convinces me that Modesitt has one major universe that he plays around in for both science fiction and fantasy: one can see the hints of a future war that leads to the people of the Recluce series. (It is not merely that one side or the other becomes the chaos and the order groups; it is obvious that there is a lot of crossover between the two groups before the war of the angels.)