In Child of Venus, the Project—the terraforming of Venus—has been going on for centuries, and it will be many more years before the planet’s surface has been rendered fully habitable and the human settlers, the Cytherians, can leave their protective domes. But there are those who are foolishly unwilling to wait. In a colony still ravaged by the after-effects of a battle between two religious cults that divided families and created civil war, Mahala Liangharad, a true child of Venus, conceived from the genetic material of the rebels and brought to birth only after their deaths, is seen as a beacon of hope and a pointer to the way of the future. Nonetheless, Mahala sees herself in conflict, bearing the burden of a strange birthright and the responsibility of lifelong service to the Project.
Mahala fears the expectation of duty and that she may miss the chance to discover her own destiny. Her world (and the worlds) are being torn apart by a drive for independence from Earth by the Venus colonists and by the rumors of a secret plan developed by the “Habbers,” cybernetically enhanced dwellers of the mobile asteroid “Habitats” who are another, and very different, set of humans no longer tied to Earth. A mysterious call from deep space offers a chance at her dream of her own destiny, along with the terrifying possibility of losing touch with everything she has ever known and loved.
Child of Venus completes the Venus sequence, and Pamela Sargent delivers a dramatically and emotionally satisfying ending to this epic tale of the terraforming of Venus by human colonists as she builds imaginatively detailed new worlds of breathtaking wonder and shows that humanity may travel far but retains all the challenges that come with being human, whatever form their evolution may take.