Timescape Books, 1982
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|Sub-Genre Tags:||Human Development|
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The planet of Geta is a harsh and unforgiving world where only one source of meat exists: man. Cyclical famines have made a distinct, ritualistic form of cannibalism a necessity, and intricate rituals involving courtship, love, death, and multiple marriages are the rule. Gaet, Hoemei and Joesai are three sons of the old Prime Predictor, Tae ran-Kaiel of the Kaiel clan. They are bound to each other, as well as their two wives, Noe and Teenae. They hope to soon complete their most-desirable Six-marriage with Kathein, a scientist. But the new Prime Predictor, Aesoe, has other plans.... In order to gain an outlet to the sea, Aesoe orders the brothers to marry Oelita, the Clanless One.
The Gentle Heretic has a legion of followers that would give the Kaiel allies against their powerful opponents, and a foothold in the coastal lands. The brothers choose to court Oelita - and have her prove her worth - through a complicated Death Ritual. Oelita has the audacity to question the existence of the God of the Sky - who has begun to speak. Pestilence, plague and conflict are brewing across the land. Now the courted and her suitors find themselves in the center of a violent storm where destiny and death walk hand-in-hand with the secrets of an ancient past....
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