Expansion of a story, "The Glass Cloud," and sequel to Planet of Whispers (1984)--another in Kelly's far-future series about the "messengers," star-traveling aliens bringing immortality and galactic secrets to various civilizations (including Earth). Architect Phillip Wing is pressured by alien messenger Ndavu into traveling to planet Aseneshesh, whose religious dictator Teaqua is dying and desires a suitable mausoleum; the natives, you see, are prompted and guided by subconscious "whispers" from their sun-god Chan--and he has instructed Teaqua to end the theocracy in favor of a more pluralistic approach. Various factions have other ideas. Meanwhile, on the journey, advanced messenger biology changes Phillip to physically resemble the Aseneshesh. Phillip will eventually explore the planet and its people, hoping to think up a suitable design for Teaqua--and he will also learn more about the messengers and their mysterious message. He discovers that the messengers are interfering subtly in the affairs of Aseneshesh, by attempting to influence Teaqua. Phillip, becoming more and more native, finally solves the problem in native terms--not entirely to the satisfaction of Ndavu--and opts to stay on Aseneshesh. Kelly's alien society is carefully worked out and convincingly detailed--but, what with the lifeless characters and plot that moves only in microscopic increments, this one's too fussy and trudging to really satisfy.