A novel by Iain Banks
. Easily one of the most emotionally stunning stories I have ever read. I refuse to go heavily into the plot because it would ruin it, but a few details won't hurt. Cheradenine Zakalwe is one of Special Circumstances
' best agents, but he's tired. Diziet Sma, his Culture
contact, pushes him towards one more adventure, backed by the drone
Skaffen-Amtiskaw. Both think they know him, but there's something in his past even he barely remembers... the great battleship Staberinde
The ending is like a literary punch in the face - it's got that much impact. I strongly suggest reading Consider Phlebas and Player of Games first to understand the Culture better before this - it should be a background to the story.