This book takes place about ten years after A Meeting at Corvallis. The focus has switched to a younger set of characters, the first generation to grow up after the “Change”, the event that knocked the world back into the Dark Ages.
A traveler arrives in Oregon from the East, bearing a compelling prophecy that requires Rudi Mackenzie to travel to Nantucket, the apparent source of the Change. A group of nine (the number is traditional) head eastwards. But the fanatical Church Universal and Triumphant wants to stop them.
Plenty of action keeps the story moving as Stirling continues to explore the ramifications of his post-apocalyptic scenario.