This is last book of the seven-book Foundation series. Chronologically, this is the second prequel. I read this after the book Prelude to the Foundation.
This is one of the most systematically written books I've come across. Asimov divides this book into four parts. One for each person. Eto, Cleon, Dors, Wanda. Like how Ayn Rand split the book Fountainhead (1943) into Peter, Ellsworth, Gail and Howard. Each part is a hundred pages and has around 20 chapters. The epilogue ties the loose ends.
This book was first published in 1993, a year after Asimov's death. There is a sad theme running through the book. Some of the sadness may be related to the illness at the end of his life. Many people die in this book. I like to think that Asimov was finally giving his characters rest as well. Maybe if the characters died too, they would meet Asimov in some other realm.
Part 1 with Eto has exciting turn of events with political factions rising against him. There is an exciting cat-and-mouse game with Jo-Jo Joranum. Raych goes in as a double-agent. Eto triumphs but there is a turn of events.
Part 2 deals with the resurgence of Joranumites. Raych goes in again as a spy. Things almost go out of hand. Asimov has a quiver of plot-twists and he furnishes yet another one.
In Part 3 Dors puts on the Nancy Drew hat. She goes investigating a plot to assassinate Seldon. Asimov shows amazing wit as he plays with the words "lemonade death". This part has yet another twist.
Part 4 intrigued me when I started this book. I read Wanda Seldon. I knew Seldon did not have any kids. I also knew that Dors did not change her last name after marrying Seldon. Asimov reveals the mysterypretty early in the book. I want to avoid spoilers and I will let you find out the details yourself. Seldon and Yugo come up with the Prime Meridian. Seldon discovers the seeds of the Second Foundation.
This is a great book. It is full of plot twists and mysteries.