When burned-out starship captain Jesse Sanders is seized by a dictatorial medical regime and detained on the colony planet Undine, he has no idea that he is about to be plunged into a bewildering new life that will involve ordeals and joys beyond anything he has ever imagined, as well as the love of a woman with powers that seem superhuman. Still less does he suspect that he must soon take responsibility for the lives of people he has come to care about and the preservation of their hopes for the future of humankind.
Winner of a bronze medal in the Independent Publisher (IPPY) Book Awards, this controversial novel deals with government-imposed health care, end-of-life issues, and the so-called paranormal powers of the human mind. Despite being set in the distant future on another world, it appeals not only to science fiction readers but to others who question the dominant medical philosophy of today's society, or who value personal freedom of choice.
This is the first book of the Hidden Flame series and is followed by "Promise of the Flame." They precede the Rising Flame series, consisting of "Defender of the Flame" and "Herald of the Flame." Unlike Sylvia Engdahl's previous novels, these two series are not Young Adult books and are not appropriate for middle-school readers.