Earth is dead. Humanity is hiding. Invention, progress, change. . . all are forbidden. Now it's time to change all that. The science fiction epic of the decade begins here. Humanity pushed its way to the stars—and encountered the Gbaba, a ruthless alien race that nearly wiped us out.Earth and her colonies are now smoldering ruins, and the few survivors have fled to distant, Earth-like Safehold, to try to rebuild. But the Gbaba can detect the emissions of an industrial civilization, so the human rulers of Safehold have taken extraordinary measures: with mind control and hidden high technology, they've built a religion in which every Safeholdian believes, a religion designed to keep Safehold society medieval forever. Eight hundred years pass. In a hidden chamber on Safehold, an android from the far human past awakens. This "rebirth" was set in motion centuries before, by a faction that opposed shackling humanity with a concocted religion. Via automated recordings, "Nimue"—or, rather, the android with the memories of Lieutenant Commander Nimue Alban—is told her fate: she will emerge into Safeholdian society, suitably disguised, and begin the process of provoking the technological progress which the Church of God Awaiting has worked for centuries to prevent. Nothing about this will be easy. To better deal with a medieval society, "Nimue" takes a new gender and a new name, "Merlin." His formidable powers and access to caches of hidden high technology will need to be carefully concealed. And he'll need to find a base of operations, a Safeholdian country that's just a little more freewheeling, a little less orthodox, a little more open to the new. And thus Merlin comes to Charis, a mid-sized kingdom with a talent for naval warfare. He plans to make the acquaintance of King Haarahld and Crown Prince Cayleb, and maybe, just maybe, kick off a new era of invention. Which is bound to draw the attention of the Churchand, inevitably, lead to war. It's going to be a long, long process. And it's going to be the can't-miss SF epic of the decade. About the Author David Weber is a science fiction phenomenon. His popular Honor Harrington novels are New York Times bestsellers and can't come out fast enough for his devoted readers, and his novels have regularly been Main Selections of the Science Fiction Book Club. In addition to the Honor Harrington series, he has written many top-selling science fiction novels, including Mutineers' Moon, The Armageddon Inheritance, Heirs of Empire, and Path of the Fury. Weber has also begun a top-selling epic SF adventure series in collaboration with John Ringo, with four novels so far: March Upcountry, March to the Sea, March to the Stars, and We Few. His novels of the adventures of the Bahzell—Oath of Swords, The War God's Own, and Wind Rider's Oath, another New York Times bestseller—have proven that Weber is equally a master of epic fantasy adventure. He lives in South Carolina.