This sci-fi fantasy by Greg Bear makes for good enough escapist reading, but while it's fairly entertaining and imaginative, it really has nothing else to recommend it. As the title suggests, the story follows three men on an extended trek across a vast planet, not so subtly named "Hegira". One of the main plot threads focuses on the question of what they're searching for, and what they'll do when they find it, but the payoff doesn't nearly live up to the long journey that precedes it. Bear creates an interesting geography, and a couple of mildly interesting social orders, but there really isn't much that could be called new. There's very little science, and the more creative ideas aren't really explained very well and come off as mere fantasies. Younger readers (say, mid-teens) should find this novel a quick, easy read, and may be intrigued by its imaginative setting, but it's doubtful that they'll understand the story's resolution any better than this reviewer did. This book's greatest strength is that the main characters are fairly well drawn (at least for a science fiction/fantasy) - Bar-Woten fleeing from his murderous past, Barthel worshipfully following Bar-Woten, and Kiril searching for his soul mate - but it's a pity Bear didn't find better use for them than simply journeying across this enormous planet. Another weak point is the treatment of female characters. Few as they are, they function entirely as objects of male desire, and seem to have no will or even life of their own: not exactly a useful lesson for young minds. In summary, some good characterizations and a fairly interesting setting simply aren't enough to carry this novel all by themselves; there's too little conflict, too little action, and too little plot. Perhaps no one will hate this novel, but it's hard to believe anyone will really love it, either.