A rewrite and expansion of Card's early novel A Planet Called Treason (1979), about the descendants of gifted exiles struggling to escape the planet on which they have been confined. Many generations ago, a band of the intellectual elite attempted to take over the galactic government and were exiled to planet Treason for their plans. Now they trade the refined products of their skills through Ambassadors--teleport machines--for iron (Treason is metal-poor) with which to build spaceships. Lanik Mueller, descendant of a genetic-whiz who discovered the secret of regeneration, turns out to be a "rad"--one in whom the regeneration runs wild; thus horribly disfigured, he must seek salvation in the world at large. The tree-dwelling, conquering Nkumai have recently acquired much iron, he learns. How? Well, their ancestor was a physicist, so they've traded the secret of faster-than-light travel. The Schwartzes have learned how to commune with the rocks (geology ancestors) and can perform all kinds of lithopathic miracles. The Ku Kuei (philosophy) have acquired the ability to slow or speed time. But the real enemies of everyone on Treason, Lanik learns after many trials and adventures, are the Andersons (politics), who've perfected a method of projecting illusions so convincing that all are fooled into submission without realizing it. Still rather hurried, somewhat mushy and juvenile, but a large improvement over the original.