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Recovering from the events of Cry Liberty, Neil Travers and Curtis Marin are pleased to be mere spectators for a time ... but the scenes at which they are on the sidelines are beyond their imagination.

The super-carrier Shanghai has driven into the Deep Sky, poised for the invasion of Ulrand ... on Kjorin, Dario Sherratt believes he has discovered the key to the Zunshu stasis chamber ... in the storms of the Rabelais Drift, the Wastrel plays pool with cosmic forces ... in Marak ‘city bottom’, Vaurien and Jazinsky pit themselves against old enemies.

And Michael Vidal prepares to fly the mission of his life, into the dark heart of Hellgate. A place the Resalq call El’arne ... ‘The stormy side of the sky.’ Into this void, the explorer Ernst Rabelais vanished many years ago; and out of it, the Zunshu strike at the new human worlds as they once destroyed the Resalq...

For Travers and Marin, these are strange, bittersweet days, on one hand filled with self-discovery, on the other, shadowed by fear. They long for the so-called ‘Colonial Wars’ to be over, yet find themselves at the very crux of the danger, politics and intrigue as General Harrison Shapiro makes his gambit.

The stakes are the liberty and the survival of the Deep Sky.

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