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Ancients of Days:
Paul J. McAuley's Confluence trilogy, with its far-future bioengineered setting, lush prose, and messianic themes, adds up to brilliant, literary storytelling. Ancients of Days is the second book in the trilogy--the first was Child of the River, in which young Yamamanama (referred to as Yama, thankfully) began to search for the secrets of his bloodline. His world, Confluence, is an artifact of a civilization long gone, a vast, keeled structure that rocks back and forth on its long axis as it travels around its sun. Confluence is populated by nanoengineered peoples tracing their origins from thousands of animal species. The entire galaxy, including the locations of stars, has been artificially manipulated in this unimaginably distant future, presumably by ancient humans--known as the Preservers--as they extended their reach beyond earth. In Ancients of Days, Yama continues his quest, learning that he may be one of the Builders, the first bloodline created by the Preservers. He can control the many machines that roam Confluence, and people of other bloodlines obey him. But Confluence is a world in conflict, and the evil Prefect Corin continues his hunt for Yama, in order to use the young man's powers to control weapons of war. Yama's friends help him as best they can, but as his power grows, they must decide whether to trust him or fear him. Is Yama one of the Ancients of Days, a messiah come to raise up the bloodlines from their base existences? Or is he a hapless tool of the malevolent feral machines that hover in orbits just off the horizon of Confluence? Don't miss this amazing series, destined to be one of the most memorable in science fiction. --Therese Littleton [via]