Sylvia Engdahl is the author of ten science fiction novels. Though best known for her Young Adult novels, which are also enjoyed by many adult readers, most recently she has written four novels for adults: the Hidden Flame series and the RIsing Flame series.
Starship Captain Jesse Sanders hasn't expected to be responsible for the settlement. Peter is the leader, the visionary on whose inspiration they all depend. But Peter has his hands full, not only with maintaining morale but with grueling ordeals of his own. So the job of ensuring the colony's survival falls on Jesse. And in the end, he must stake his life in a desperate attempt to prevent the loss of all they have gained.
This is a sequel to "Stewards of the Flame," but it can be read independently. Unlike Engdahl's other earlier novels, it is not a YA book and is not appropriate for middle-school readers.
Although this book has the same heroine as Enchantress from the Stars, it is an independent story for much older readers and should not be considered a sequel.
Through a strange turn of fate Terry Steward, born Terry Radnor, was in the right place at the right time to save the secret colony Maclairn from terrorists who would have destroyed its plan to spread advanced mind powers to Earth and the other worlds of humankind. Now with his own starship Estel, he sets out to further that plan by journeying from world to world, heralding the hopeful future about which he alone knows the full truth. Yet he is all too aware that Maclairn’s enemies still pose a threat, and that on Earth the persecution of people who develop such powers is increasing. Soon targeted by bounty hunters, Terry can see no way to combat a planet-wide conspiracy—nor does he guess that if he lives long enough, he is destined for an even greater role in human history than he has played as a defender of Maclairn's cause.
This is the second book in the Rising Flame series. The first, Defender of the Flame, should be read before this one, but these two can be read independently of the preceding Hidden Flame series, Stewards of the Flame and Promise of the Flame, which are set more than two centuries earlier.