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The final instalment in Ada Palmer's award-winning, critically acclaimed Terra Ignota series. For years, the leaders of the Hive clandestinely committed terrible deeds in order to maintain an outward semblance of utopian stability. But the facade could last only so long. Global travel and worldwide abundance may have tempered humanity's darkest inclinations, but conflict remains deeply rooted in the human psyche. A catalyst - in the form of a special little boy - was all it took to ignite half a millennium of repressed chaos. Now war spreads across the globe, splintering old alliances and awakening sleeping enmities. All transportation systems are in danger, fracturing a long-united world and threatening to obliterate everything the Hive system built. With Mycroft Canner nowhere to be found, his successor must attempt to restore order in a world spiralling ever closer to irreparable ruin. But is the key to salvation to remain Earth-bound or, perhaps, to aim for the stars? 'Incredibly ambitious and groundbreaking... Palmer writes gloriously lush prose stuffed with asides, allusions and nods to the reader' Guardian