“This is a hugely fun ride. It has empires crashing, civil wars, aliens, humans, scheming clans, plucky young heroes and villains fighting battles in huge starships--- what more can you ask for?”
“Walter Jon Williams has been compared to writers as diverse as Patrick O’Brian and Jane Austen; both comparisons, bizarrely, make sense. This is classic space opera, elegantly written and beautifully plotted.”
For millennia the alien Shaa have ruled their empire with a merciless hand. But soon their rule will end, and their subject species are already beginning to bid for power. Will their ruthless competition lead to bloody chaos, or a tyranny even worse than that of the Shaa?
Cadet Caroline Sula is a brilliant, beautiful, brittle officer with a deadly secret that could bring her career crashing in ruins. Lt. Gareth Martinez is a provincial who struggles for recognition by the glittering lords of the empire. Together they discover that one of the empire’s subject races is planning a murderous conquest that will leave humanity helpless, and soon they’re in a fight against overwhelming odds to save humanity’s last hope from extinction.