Book Three in Nebula Award nominated and Compton Crook Award winning series. Science fiction adventure on a grand scale. Caine Riordan, reluctant diplomatic and military intelligence operative, has just finished playing his part repulsing the Arat Kur’s and Hkh’Rkh’s joint invasion of Earth. But scant hours after the attackers surrender, the mysterious but potentially helpful Slaasriithi appeal to Caine to shepherd a diplomatic mission on a visit to their very alien worlds. The possible prize: a crucial alliance in a universe where the fledgling Consolidated Terran Republic has very few friends. But Caine and his legation aren’t the only ones journeying into the unknown reaches of Slaasriithi space. A group of renegade K’tor are following them, hoping to destroy humanity’s hopes for a quick alliance. And that means finding and killing Caine Riordan. Assuming that the bizarre and dangerous Slaasriithi lifeforms don’t do it first.