It was well done, with beautiful prose. Interesting dual storyline style. I understand other reviewers' complaints about realism and incompatible biologies, microflora, etc., but I think the story is, at heart, a parable. There is sophisticated play with words throughout the book which adds to the depth of meaning. In one of the later hearings, she writes "Sometimes they were dealing with a Spaniard... Or Mephistopheles... Most often, it was Dr. Emilio Sandoz, linguist, scholar..." The passage ends with the final devastating revelation about Jana'ata manipulation of Runa breeding, leading off with "It was Mephistopheles who laughed." Brilliant.For me, the sour notes surround the pacing at the end of the book and the theme of rape. The deaths of D.W. and Anne seemed too important to be disposed of so quickly, both in story line and in page numbers. Their deaths should have echoed through the mission longer. I think the horror of their having been "poached" would have further set up the shock of the storyline, of discovering the Jana'ata are predators of the Runa population. The adventures of the first day in the city were similarly undigested; it would seem that Marc should have shared his vision of Runa being ceremonially slain and discussion would have started them wondering.