In Balapasar (a fictional nation near Indonesia), nationalist forces begin a civil war in order to end foreign influences. The American ambassador and his family (Raymond Weston, wife Ellen, and their children, Connie  and Jerry ) must flee. Traveling a dangerous route through the rain forest, the Westons are separated. Unable to leave the country, they accept a new goal presented by the White Monks, who began the war: the magnificent Temple City at the nation's center.
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On her way to an offworld vacation, Melody Rich is violently kissed by an alien who thrusts something down her throat: the key to a lost planet. Melody’s vacation becomes an adventure as she follows a map to find the solution to the alien creation she bears. After being eaten by a megabug, kidnapped by space pirates, and facing down eternity at…
Though Connie is considered the reincarnation of a 19th century Chinese woman who ended the first war, the first “Blessed Fem” succeeded by killing herself, and Connie is expected to follow history. She travels with murderous nomads who are convinced Connie will reveal their great blessing in life. Utilizing her modern sensibilities in a primitive land, Connie survives dynamite and spear attacks, whip thrashings, and burial to her neck in guano. She proves her spirit by helping native clans cure their sick children, bury their dead elders in trees, and by performing as a truthsayer.
In the end, surrounded by nomads, monks, and her reunited family, Connie is due to end the war via suicide. Interrogated as the Truthsayer, she must answer the nation’s questions of deadly history and future peace. If Connie cannot learn how to make the modern world, her world will end.