The central character in this book is the planet Helliconia. The story shows how the primitive civilizations and flora and fauna are influenced by planetary forces with seasons that last thousands of years. Readers must keep in mind that this book is the start of a trilogy or they will not like the ending.
All in all it is a good start and makes me want to read the next book in the trilogy.
This is the finale of the Book of the New Sun which is a part of the larger 12 volume Solar Cycle. As many have mentioned you can't read any of the four books on there own. All four volumes are actually one long continuous novel. I really liked how things were wrapped up in this final volume. However, I came away feeling that I still did not understand a lot of things. This by no means takes away from the quality of the story, but does mean that I will be re-reading this series at some point. Even the narrative on the last page recommends a re-reading! I will have to decide whether to do my re-read before I read the 5th volume/sequel "The Urth of the New Sun" and any of the follow on series, The Book of the Long Sun and The Book of the Long Sun.
f the follow on series are only half as good as The Book of the New Sun, I have some intensely enjoyable reading ahead.