(This book is known in the UK as Heritage of the Star.)
Children of the Star trilogy, Book One. Noren knew that his world was not as it should be—it was wrong that only the Scholars and Technicians could use metal and Machines. It was wrong that only they had access to the knowledge hidden in the mysterious City. He was a heretic. He defied the High Law and had no faith in the Prophecy’s promised fulfillment. But was defiance enough, or could some way be found to make it come true?
This classic science fiction novel is enjoyed by readers age 12 and up as well as by older teens and adults who go on to read the other two books of the trilogy, Beyond the Tomorrow Mountains and The Doors of the Universe. Originally published in hardcover by Atheneum in the US as Young Adult fiction and by Gollancz in the UK under the title Heritage of the Star, it was the winner of a Christopher Award, given for "affirmation of the highest values of the human spirit."
In 2000 an updated omnibus edition of the entire trilogy Children of the Star was republished as adult science fiction. Ebook editions of the three novels were issued under the author's personal imprint Ad Stellae Books in 2008, a new paperback edition of this book alone in 2010, a paperback edition of the omnibus in 2012, and an audiobook edition of this book alone in 2013. The covers of the ebooks were changed in 2015 and again in 2016 without any change to the books themselves.
From the reviews:
“Tension-filled, beautiful and haunting.” —Commonweal
“Both logically and consistently suspenseful.... This Star will Abide a good deal longer than most here today, gone tomorrow sci-fi.” —Kirkus Reviews
“An excellent plot and remarkable character development make this tale of the future highly satisfying and thought-provoking.” —Top of the News, American Library Association
“This is not the electronic-light-flashing-exterminate-him-thing from outer space type of science fiction. It is an allegory which poses one of the most heart-searching dilemmas of the human race, perhaps in the C. S. Lewis tradition. I mean Perelandra rather than Narnia.... This is a thought-provoking book distantly related to Lord of the Rings and The Glassbead Game, and may appeal to a similar readership.” —The Junior Bookshelf, London
“The story is noteworthy for its dramatization of the crucial meeting of man, science and the universe.” —Horn Book
“Superior future fiction concerning the fate of an idealistic misfit, Noren, who rebels against his highly repressive society.... The attention of mature sci-fi readers will be held by the skillful writing and excellent plot and character development.” —School Library Journal
“In another superior and thoughtful science fiction novel, the author has created a believable civilization ... on a far-off planet in a far-distant time.... What happens to the hero Noren when he forces admission to the inner city makes for fascinating reading.” —Chicago Daily News
“This is more than an exceptionally fine book about outer space. It is a wonderful book, perhaps telling the subtle story of many faiths. Watch for this for awards.” —Fresno Bee
“I read this, fascinated, right to the end. The sequel that Miss Engdahl promises might benefit from a reduction in soul-searching, but I’m sure it will be worth reading.” —Christian Science Monitor