The Oversoul of the colony planet Harmony selected the family of Wetchik to carry it back to long-lost Earth. Now grown to a tribe in the years of their journey to Harmony's hidden starport, they are ready at last to take a ship to the stars. But from the beginning there has been bitter dispute between Nafai and Elemak, Wetchick's youngest son and his oldest.
On board the starship Bailica, the children of the tribe will become pawns in the struggle. Two factions are each making secret plans to awaken the children, and themselves, early from the cold-sleep capsules in which they will pass the long decades of the journey. Each side hopes to gain years of influence on the minds of the children, winning their loyalty in the struggle for control of reclaimed Earth.
But the Oversoul is truly in control of this journey. It has downloaded a complete copy of itself to the Ship's computers. And only Nafai, who wears the Cloak of the Starmaster by the Oversoul's command, really understand what this will mean to all their plans for the future.