Title: The Awakeners (Northshore/Southshore)
Author: Sheri S. Tepper
Publisher: Nelson Doubleday, Inc.
Format: Hard Cover/Dust Jacket
Publication Year: 1987
Special Attributes: Book Club Edition
Used Condition: tight binding, clean text, no marks, not ex-library, minor edge wear to dust jacket
The vast World River separated the populated Northshore from the remote and mysterious Southshore. Boat traffic on the River moved forever westward to encircle the world again and again. And on land it was the same. Like the River's current, life moved to the west. To travel east was a sin ...or so the pious believed.
Mankind had worshiped many gods before, but Potipur, Viranel and Abricor were different, for humans shared them with the natives of this world -- a union shrouded in ambiguity ... a religion that bound the two species together in life and death.
The Awakeners were the link -- a constant reminder for people to live as the gods commanded, so that in death, when their bodies were taken to the pits west of each town, they would be Sorted Out by the Servants of Abricor and carried to the bosom of Potipur. It was well known what became of sinners who weren't Sorted Out. They were given the Tears of Viranel by the Awakeners and brought back to the zombie-like existence of Workers until labor led to atonement.
For those who questioned the creed there were no real answers. Yet there were heretics who gave their dead to the River rather than to the Worker pits ... doubters who saw the grim Servants of Abricor -- huge, intelligent fliers whose ancestors had lived on Northshore long before humans came -- and could not believe in the creature's holiness.
And there were others who sought and found their own kinds of truth:
Pamra Don, whose faith was shattered by a cruel revelation, and replaced by a deadly naivete.
Thrasne, a boatman whose way of life spared him from many of the gods' restrictions, leaving him free to read forbidden books and to dream.
Fibje, the Queen of the Noor, desperately trying to protect her people from the persecution of a religion that offered them neither consolation nor salvation.
Tharius Don, who believed himself capable of saving humanity -- if he managed to survive the machinations of other ambitious leaders.
And Sliffisunda, a leader among the fliers -- more intelligent, more cunning and more arrogant than ordinary Servants of Abricor, with his own vision for the future of this world. A future untainted by humans.