The Needle extends over the heads of all who live upon Jeroun. Composed of iron spheres massive enough to affect the tides, it is the god Adrash's ultimatum to the people on the planet below:
Prove yourselves worthy, or be destroyed.
Vedas is a member of the Black Suits, an order of men and women who show their opposition to Adrash by staging battles in the streets. After witnessing the death of a child in his care, knowing himself to be responsible, he sets off on a journey to the decennial fighting tournament in Danoor.
Traveling with him across the continent are Churls, a mercenary haunted by the ghost of her daughter, and Berun, a constructed man possessed by the soul of his creator. Both come to understand that Vedas's victory would start an all-out religious war.
Unbeknownst to these three travelers, the aristocratic outbound mage Ebn and her protégé Pol use powerful alchemy to travel into space. Their plan: engage Adrash in ways that threaten to bring the god’s wrath down upon the world.
Meanwhile, one of the world’s deepest secrets is gradually revealed. A madman, insisting he is the link to an ancient world, a pantheon of forgotten gods, offers the most tempting lie of all...
Jeroun collects the two novels No Return and Shower of Stones in a single new omnibus edition. Together these works combine the mythic inventiveness of early Roger Zelazny and Samuel R. Delany, the dark weirdness of China Mieville, and the dramatic scope of George R. R. Martin, creating a literary science fiction epic that defies easy categorization, resulting in one of the most critically acclaimed narratives of recent years.
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