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Confluence – a long, narrow, artificial world, half fertile river valley, half crater-strewn desert. A world beyond the end of human history, served by countless machines, inhabited by 10,000 bloodlines who worship their absent creators, riven by a vast war against heretics.
This is the home of Yama, found as an infant in a white boat on the world’s Great River, raised by an obscure bureaucrat in an obscure town in the middle of a ruined necropolis, destined to become a clerk – until the discovery of his singular ancestry. For Yama appears to be the last remaining scion of the Builders, closest of all races to the revered architects of Confluence, able to awaken and control the secret machineries of the world.
Pursued by enemies who want to make use of his powers, Yama voyages down the length of the world to search for answers to the mysteries of his origin, and to discover if he is to be the saviour of his world, or its nemesis.
A marvellously sustained cosmogonic romance of the far future - where whole galaxies engage in Stapledonian dances at the behest of the trans-human Preservers.
John Clute, SF WEEKLY
So many unique and original ideas that it easily bears comparison with many of the greatest settings of fantasy and SF . . . Well-written and expertly told . . . May well be destined to become a classic.
A genre-bender combining the plausibility of hard sci-fi with classic fantasy themes . . . McAuley has it both ways, exploiting narrative archetypes while maintaining an air of modernity.
Full of beauty, wisdom, humanity, and grace; it is a travelogue of man's destiny, and reading it made me gladder to be alive.
A lusciously scenic quest for the past in an artificial post-human world, resulting in revelations 10 millions years deep.
A superb, wholly engaging story told by a talented and influential writer.
EXPRESS ON SUNDAY
This is a trilogy you will want pinned to the board. This is magic.
A powerful epic that could be one of the most important in recent SF.
Rich, challenging, and inventive, with a satisfying complexity.
Exciting . . . colorful . . . highly entertaining and beautifully written, full of exotic settings, unusual characters, nuggets of scientific speculation and a healthy dose of decadence. McAuley is one of the field's finest writers and here he is writing at the top of his form.