In the somewhat distant future, Japanese and Arab emigrants share a small planet where they live in separate colonies. They name the planet Hon’ya, ‘world of books’ because the Arabs are a ‘people of the Book’. The Japanese colony into which Skoshi is born has reverted to ancient social norms whereby women are severely repressed and treated as chattel.

Nonetheless, Skoshi acquires an education by stealthily reading books from her father’s large library. While she contemplates with dread an arranged marriage, the premature death of her beloved younger brother frees her to flee with grandmother. A brilliant student, Skoshi integrates very successfully among foreigners in the Space Corps. But she and her grandmother are being pursued...