"Walter Jon Williams has succeeded in creating the perfect contemporary space opera, revved up and ready to take the SF genre by force with all the artistry and panache one could ask for."
"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?"
The Empire of the Shaa has collapsed into civil war. The alien Naxids, striving for dominion, have already won a massive victory, and stand ready to take the capital.
Two star-crossed lovers, the young officers Gareth Martinez and Caroline Sula, have developed a plan to thwart Naxid rule, but first they must overcome the opposition of the entrenched political establishment, as well as their own distrust of one another. Only then can they enter combat, and try to reunite the sundered empire.
"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."