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The Rise of Endymion

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The Rise of Endymion is a 1997 science fiction novel by Dan Simmons. It is the fourth and final novel in his Hyperion Cantos fictional universe. The novel won the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel, and was nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1998.

The Rise of Endymion begins after the end of Endymion on the planet Pacem, in Vatican City, with the announcement of the death of the pope, Lenar Hoyt. Hoyt is then reborn, and when elected Pope again, takes a new Papal name: in this case, Urban XVI. Urban announces a new Crusade upon his conception as Pope, and with the development of the new "Archangel"-class starships, sends his fleets out to make war on the Ousters, still hiding along the edges of human-populated space. The focus then shifts to Raul Endymion and Aenea, still living on Earth (at Taliesin West) and learning architecture from the "Old Architect" (a cybrid Frank Lloyd Wright). Aenea reveals to Raul that he has to leave and travel via Farcaster portal along the River Tethys, but she will meet him at the end of his journey. Upon reaching the end of his perilous trip, Raul finds the starship they had abandoned in the previous book. The ship informs Raul that Aenea had programmed it to take him to T'ien Shan, a planet that Raul knows nothing about. He finds out that the time it will take to get there will create a 5-year time debt, and when he arrives, Aenea will be 21. During their time on T'ien Shan, Raul and Aenea's relationship shifts from protector and friend to lover and teacher, as Raul becomes a prominent member of Aenea's "congregation." Aenea takes on a nearly messianic persona at this point, preaching to her followers gathered on T'ien Shan about "the Void which Binds" and "the music of the spheres", the secrets of which are revealed later in the story. Unfortunately, the Pax discovers them, and Raul and Aenea, along with their close friends are forced to flee, taking refuge with the Ousters on the edge of civilized space. There, Raul learns just what secret it is that Aenea carries that makes the Pax so afraid of her, and their journey comes to a dramatic climax in the Vatican, where they confront the Pope, and seemingly meet their respective destinies.

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