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Han Qing-jao

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Han Qing-jao

Han Qing-jao (Traditional 韓清照) is a major character in the science-fiction novel Xenocide, by Orson Scott Card. She is the sixteen-year-old daughter of Han Fei-tzu, a respected leader from the colony world of Path. Qing-jao is named for the poet Li Qingzhao.

Qing-jao originally appeared in the short story "Gloriously Bright," which was later expanded into the novel Xenocide. Despite sharing the family name Han, Card has stated that she is not related to the character Han Tzu from Ender's Game.[1] However, this may be contradicted by hints in Shadow Puppets.

Qing-jao is quoted at the beginning of each chapter in the final book in the series, Children of the Mind.

Qing-jao and her father belong to a class of people known as "godspoken"; they are highly intelligent but have a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) that forces them to carry out strange rituals. For example, Qing-jao has to trace woodgrain lines with her eyes whenever she feels that she has displeased the gods. Later in the book it is discovered that the godspoken have had their intelligence genetically enhanced by the Starways Congress, and have been given the OCD to keep them under control.

Qing-jao was raised to see everything in the world in terms of her faith in the gods and is determined to serve them perfectly. (She is shocked when she finds out from her servant Si Wang-mu that not all the common people are content to have the godspoken rule over them.) Because of this, she is never able to accept that her compulsions are not really caused by the gods, and when all the godspoken are finally cured of their OCD, she devotes her life to performing her rituals in hopes of calling the gods back to her world.

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