The Atheling... heir to the kingdom. In the year 2047, on an Earth ravaged by "limited" nuclear war, this archaic word may hold the key to mankind's survival. As nations escalate the arms race in a futile attempt to stave off a final holocaust, a message is received by the Director of PanAmerica, Pitar Ellison. Pylar Fazhakian, the elderly charismatic leader of a worldwide anti-war movement, has mysteriously appeared at a defense installation, claiming to have secret information that world give PanAmerica advantage over the other two power blocs.
When Fazhakian arrives in Ellison's underground "Eastern White House" indeed has the secret codes he promised. But the Hesikastor, as he is called, has something much more startling even than top-secret codes. First he shows, via a machine that can project his thoughts on a screen, vivid scenes of the destruction from the last war. Then the scene shifts to another, more peaceful place. It is another planet, seemingly unrelated to Earth's troubles.
Yet what happens on Phrynis, the distant world whence the signals were psychically beamed to the hesikastor, will affect Earth's destiny in a powerful way. For the tale that unfolds is that of the atheling who completes a spiritual journey that changes him from a callow, macho prince of lust into a thoughtful, idealistic seeker whose throne is at risk before he ascends it. The struggle between him and his power-hungry, grasping brother, mirrors the struggles within Ellison as he wrestles with his conscience, and with the fate of our war-torn planet. The drama that unfolds on two worlds is an entralling tapestry of war, passion, and commitment that will grip the reader until the very last page.
The Atheling is the first volume of The Last Legacy, a four volume saga of Earth's future. The second volume, The Orbegon is currently being written, and will be published in 1989.