Author: Orson Scott Card.
The sphere is alien in origin, but has been controlled by man for millennia. A legend as old as the stars rules this constructed world; When the seventh seventh seventh human Heptarch is crowned, he will be the Kristos and will bring eternal salvation . . . or the destruction of the cosmos. Patience is the only daughter of the rightful Heptarch, but she, like her father before her, serves the usurper who has destroyed her family. For she has learned the true ruler’s honor. Duty to one’s race is more important than duty to one’s self. But the time for prudence has passed, and that which has slept for ages has awakened. And Patience must journey to the heartsoul of this planet to confront her destiny . . . and her world’s.
I can’t really say whether I liked it or not. I don’t think it’s a book you’re supposed to like or not. It’s definitely an adult book, possibly too adult for me yet. Had some interesting reflective thoughts, thoughts on free will and right versus wrong. Short, I found it quite fast-paced with only a few slow parts. The main character was not exceedingly likeable, but it was clear she was the product of her training. There were also some reflections on that, on true identity and how much it is made up of our surroundings.
Sexual content: Mention of possible alliance-marriage with a seven-year old girl. Speaking of the rank of slaves “whores and chamberslaves” are mentioned. For reasons that are unclear, the main characters go to see a show which could be pornographic, but turns out to be what they call “erotic dance”. The Wyrm, who is calling Patience to bear his children, uses his mind-power to rouse her (unwillingly) to a constant state of sexual lust for him. Patience is essentially raped by the Wyrm (graphic).
Language: 3 d***/ned, 2 exclamations of “My God!”
Violence: The main character assassinates several people for the king, off-screen. Fakes her own suicide by cutting into her neck with a garrote. Her father dies, his head is preserved, she lets it die at his request. A bailiff attempts to assassinate her on the king’s command, she kills him (dagger in the eye) and escapes with no remorse. Threatens to kill a woman and cut off a man’s hand (doesn’t do either). MCs are attacked by bandits, end by killing all of them by arrows, stabbing, poisoned darts. One character receives an arrow through the throat, but survives. SPOILER: In the end the Wyrm rapes Patience, is stabbed to death by her, and his child subsequently dies within minutes of malnourishment.
Other Issues: A framework that seemed to draw on the Christian religion, speaking of the Kristos, but the actual connections if any were not clear. Heads are preserved and able to speak. Mention of a native race that has no will of their own, therefore being the perfect servants.