I'm trying to remember a book I can only remember the setting to but not the story.

I think there are two separate types of people on a planet, nomadic style people with their horses and the "not nomads". The planet was landed on long ago by people in a great ship or some such thing.

Since being cut off from humanity the people have technologically regressed to a typical fantasy type era. Some forms of "scrying" or "farseeing" with some kind of glass spheres actually uses some kind of satellite system in place, but the users of this don't realize what it is and think of it more as magic.

I think one of the two types of peoples wants to try and go home in the ancient "ship" to their real homeland over an ocean, but the characters end up finding out humankind really came from off world, not over the vast ocean, and the ship is a spaceship.

This is all I can remember. Thank you so much if you can remember this book!


2 Answers 2


I think you want the Homecoming series by Orson Scott Card

On Harmony, the colonists established the Oversoul - an artificial intelligence, monitoring the planet with a small army of satellites. It also influences the actions of humans. Though it does not prevent them from doing evil, it keeps their destruction limited by suppressing any thoughts that might lead to things like long-distance travel or instant communication. Thus the technology on Harmony includes basic computers, presumably without advanced Internet capabilities, although the Oversoul was used for basic data transfer, and solar-powered handheld energy weapons, but no cars or even wagons.

The Oversoul, designed to last only twenty million years, eventually begins to break down. It decides to send an expedition back to Earth to seek advice from the entity of which it is an imitation: the mysterious Keeper of Earth. Soon after, the people begin to receive dreams similar to those that the Oversoul sends; these come directly from the Keeper of Earth, demonstrating faster-than-light transmission on its part.


When the Oversoul realized that it was in danger of decaying completely without having completed its purpose, it began influencing certain humans to breed so that their descendants would have greater and greater ability to hear the Oversoul. In The Memory of Earth it begins directly instructing these people to engineer a return to Earth, in the hope of receiving instructions from the Keeper of Earth, on which the Oversoul was modelled

  • Perhaps you can give some examples as to how this meets the criteria for the story, as set out in the question? Something more than just a link is required for answers here.
    – Jeff
    Commented Oct 20, 2014 at 15:58
  • That's not it, sorry.
    – Sam
    Commented Oct 21, 2014 at 22:48

Janny Wurts used variants on this trope in both the Cycle of Fire and the Wars of Light and Shadow. The Wars of Light and Shadow seems most likely of these two.

In both the Cycle of Fire and Wars of Light and Shadows the human arrived on their current world via spaceship - the Corrine Danne (or similar) in the Cycle of Fire, remembered in myth at Kordane, a god. In the Wars of Light and Shadow, following a revolution, the 'noble' class in society has been reduced to the status of nomads.

  • I have read the Cycle of Fire, and it is similar to the book I am searching for. I looked at the other books, but none of them seem to be the same one I'm searching for.
    – Sam
    Commented Oct 20, 2014 at 4:25
  • Could you please expand your answer a bit, explaining how these series match the question and perhaps excerpting a summary? Commented Oct 20, 2014 at 7:47
  • Similar in the way that it feels and reads like a fantasy story, but with a few sci-fi elements thrown in. I also remember that fairly early on in the story the nomadic groups/tribes all met in a yearly "get together" (can't remember the proper name). I also vaguely remember the nomads having horses, but the more civilized people didn't have any/only had a few.
    – Sam
    Commented Oct 20, 2014 at 13:06

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