Hugo-nominated editor Bryan Thomas Schmidt won Honorable Mention on BarnesandNoble.com’s Year’s Best Science Fiction Releases alongside books by Ben Bova, Robert J. Sawyer, Jack Campbell, Ernest Cline, and more with his debut novel, The Worker Prince, which more effectively captures the feel of the original Star Wars than any other recent series. In 2015, WordFire Press released a revised and expanded Author’s Definitive Edition of that book. Now, Schmidt returns to the Saga of Davi Rhii with a revised, expanded book two, The Returning: Author’s Definitive Edition.
Davi Rhii helped his enslaved people fight for their freedom and earn equality, but now that they are equal, they’ve found freedom and acceptance don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. When assassins begin killing and terrorizing Vertullians, even Davi’s family and friends, they face a renewal of old enmity all over again. Davi, Farien and Yao reunite to investigate the murders, finding their lives and friendships threatened by what they discover.
Meanwhile, while Xalivar is back seeking revenge on Davi and all those who defied him, the new High Lord Councilor, Tarkanius, Lord Aron, and Davi find themselves fighting all over again to preserve the unity of the Borali Alliance, while even many of their allies and friends work against them to tear it apart. Suddenly, the future of the entire system is at stake, unless they can find those responsible and bring them to justice.
God, it turns out, lives on the planet Tananius-Ofo in the distant galaxy 722C12009. And now, after countless millennia, He’s invited us to come visit Him.
Not everybody, mind you. Just an odd assortment of heathens, heretics, pantheists, perverts, and true believers of every sect and creed—all crammed into a single white spaceship piloted by a slightly crazed biocomputer. Each pilgrim is determined to be the first to reach God and learn His secrets . . .
If they don’t all kill each other on the way there.
These words catapulted Dyan of Buza System into a nightmare of initiation, betrayal, flight, and murder. Against all odds, Dyan survived the Cull and so did Jak, the young man she was supposed to kill.
Now Jak and Dyan go back into Buza System. Dyan’s mother is held prisoner there and scheduled to be executed for letting her daughter live. Rescuing her will push Dyan and Jak to the limits, unveiling to them the dark secrets at the heart of Buza System, and teaching them the truth of Magister Zarah’s words:
“Every Urbane knows the secret of life—that it is cheap, and easily taken.”
He is an archangel, after all. It was he who cast out Qayna, the first murderess, and inscribed on her flesh the name of her brother Abil that embodied her deathless curse. It was he who formed the Sons of Light, and it was he who was set to watch over Azazel in the well of his imprisonment in Dudael.
And now, a failed rebel, Raphael wanders the heavy earth alone. The Sons of Light find him, though, and offer him another chance. Raphael is to Bear the Word again, to call the first prophet in centuries.
Can Raphael find the appointed prophet? Can he reach him, across apocalypse-torn America? And when he does find his man, imprisoned by the Fallen Kokhabel, can Raphael and the new prophet both survive?