This book is not filled with explosions and people running around shooting at each other. This is a book that was placed in front of its reader to provoke thought and discussion. It is allegorical in every way, following themes in our current reality and other Modesitt realities. Ultimately the underlying theme is that we as a civilization have forgotten what it is to question and to use the intelligence that has been gifted to us. If you enjoyed Parafaith War and Gravity Dreams, you will like this book. If you prefer the Recluse series, you may not. I happened to have enjoyed this book very much and appreciate the discussions it has led to with my friends and family. I think Modesitt went out on a limb writing this book, and I hope it will be followed by others that are out of the current assembly line literature modality that we have been fed recently.