Book One of the JACOB'S LADDER sequence.
On a broken ship orbiting a doomed sun, dwellers have grown complacent with their aging metal world. But when a serving girl frees a captive noblewoman, the old order is about to change...
Ariane, Prince of the House of Rule, was known to be fiercely cold-blooded. But severing an angel's wings on the battlefield - even after she had surrendered - proved her completely without honor. Captive, the angel Perceval waits for Ariane not only to finish her off - but to devour her very memories and mind. Surely her gruesome death will cause war between the houses - exactly as Ariane desires. But Ariane's plan may yet be opposed, for Perceval at once recognizes the young servant charged with her care.
Rien is the lost child: her sister. Soon they will escape, hoping to stop the impending war and save both their houses. But it is a perilous journey through the crumbling hulk of a dying ship, and they do not pass unnoticed. Because at the hub of their turning world waits Jacob Dust, all that remains of God, following the vapor wisp of the angel. And he knows they will meet very soon.
Originally published in 2007 as DUST.
A remarkable SF writer who's leaving many of her contemporaries in the dust - SFReviews
Bear proves herself to be one of the most talented writers currently working in the field - Romantic Times
This deftly told story . . . is poised on a knifes edge. Bear's talent for portraying cultural divergence and conflict is especially apparent in this intense wrap-up - Publishers Weekly
Elizabeth Bear received the Campbell Award as Best New Writer in 2005 and has since won two Hugo Awards for her short fiction, a selection of which was published as The Chains That You Refuse (2006). She has been immensely prolific since her debut. Her first novel, Hammered (2005), which began the Jenny Casey trilogy set in a post-catastrophe North America, won the Locus Award for Best First Novel.