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The Zero Stone (1968)
by Andre Norton
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A gem trader becomes the hunted as he seeks the truth about a mysterious stone rumored to be the key to all the power in the universe Apprentice gem trader Murdoc Jern lives on Angkor, a thriving hub of interstellar trade. One day, a furtive visitor brings him a ring discovered on an alien corpse. It?s made of age-pitted metal surrounding a dull and lifeless stone. Yet it exerts a powerful hold on Murdoc. And when his father is killed, Murdoc begins a quest, taking with him his only legacy, the mysterious ring, which he knows is the key to his dad?s death. Accompanied by Eet, a feline mutant with paranormal powers, Murdoc hurtles through space, where he?s pursued by a religious order called the Green Robes. His journey takes him to distant planets and once-great armies marooned on vanished worlds. In a desperate battle to learn the ultimate meaning of the Zero Stone, Murdoc must bargain for his freedom?and his life?and confront the fate that befalls seekers of knowledge.
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