A girl, trapped between two clashing worlds, must make sense of the past and face the future. The first novel from the Hugo Award-winning author of 'Folding Bejing', Hao Jingfang, translated by the Hugo Award-winning translator of The Three-Body Problem, Ken Liu.
A century ago, the Martian colonies rebelled against the rule of Earth. Having declared an independent Martian Republic, the two planets evolved along separate trajectories, becoming two incompatible worlds vastly different in their scale, economy, socio-political system, and mostly importantly of all, ideals.
Inhabitants of the two planets have come to view each other with suspicion and even hatred. Five years ago, with the apparent goal of reconciliation, the Martian government sent a group of students to Earth to study humanity's home planet and act as goodwill ambassadors from the Red Planet. Now the students have returned to Mars, accompanied by a group of prominent Earth delegates, to see if the two worlds can learn to co-exist in peace and friendship.
Almost immediately, negotiations break down and old enmities erupt.
Luoying, a gifted Martian dancer, finds herself caught in the crosscurrents of political intrigue and philosophical warfare. Martians and Terrans, artists and politicians, old friends and new mentors, classic books and revolutionary ideas - everyone and everything challenges her, pushing her to declare her allegiance. Attuned to the hopes and fears of both her native land and the world on which she came of age, Luoying must shoulder the burden of discovering the truth through the web of lies spun by both sides. She must chart a new course between history and the future that is coalescing around her. If she fails, everything she's ever loved will be destroyed.