For twenty years, Dr. Malcolm Renbourn and Tribe Renbourn faced adventure after adventure, struggle after struggle on Beta-Earth.
Now, Renbourn and five of his Betan wives are forced to cross the multi-verse once again, this time to the strange world called Cerapin-Earth. After startling and frightening physical transformations, the altered Renbourns meet two new kinds of humanity. One is the dominant pairs who are able to share thoughts and sensations at the same time. The other are the nams, single-bodied people the pairs deem defective mono-minds. As a result, nams are exiled from the overpopulated cities of pyramid hives.
Tribe Renbourn must join the outcasts and teach them they are as worthy of love and acceptance as any unkind pair. But helping the nams learn how to stand up for themselves ultimately leads to a catastrophic war. At the same time, Cerapin scientists plan another multi-versal jump that must also end in a costly catastrophe. Along the way, two sexy spies complicate everything.
On a world where technology is worshiped like a religion, how can the nam rebels overcome the superior armaments of the pairs using primitive weaponry? While this conflict brews, Tribe Renbourn explores what it means to be human in ways they never expected. Will their epic end like it began, forced to sacrifice themselves to save a doomed city?