Rejuvenants fear the backlash caused by bad drugs; they want to ensure that nothing interferes with their pursuit of long life-or the profit that comes from promising it to others. Neighbor states fear the aggressive expansion of the Familias Regnant, fuelled by population growth and extended lifespan. Within the Regular Space Service, those who have received experimental rejuvenations fear they may have been given bad drugs on purpose. Esmay Suiza's family fears that her marriage to an offworlder will damage their position. Barin Serrano's family fears that his marriage to a Landbride of Altiplano will damage his career and their reputation.
Fear begets violent reactions-from foreign governments, from great Families determined to maintain or increase their power, from internal rivalries in the Fleet-and nothing escapes the resultant bloodbath unscathed. As Esmay and Barin struggle to reconcile their families, others have more cosmic struggles to win.
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