Amel is happy, at last! But his mission to unite warring Sevildom through the gentle branch of Okal Rel may cost him more than his life. Meanwhile, his Nesak ally, Herver Glorian, must live with the death and violence brought about by his earnest efforts to reform Nesak religion, while Horth and Ilse are locked in the embrace of their impossible love on the fatal Nesak Front.
Quinn’s desire to overcome his adopted people’s dread of bioscience is hampered by the discovery he is a clone. And not just anyone’s clone, but the illegal clone of Di Mon, the 103rd liege of Monitum. What kind of relationship can he have to Di Mon’s foster son, Erien, who is close to his own age, or to Di Mon’s soul mate and lover, the Reetion anthropologist Ranar, a generation older than himself?
Ranar is keen to study the Nesak culture, in person. But even his unshakable calm is challenged by the civil violence on the Nesak homeworld, stirred up by Alivda’s ambitions.
Lovers, friends and parents struggle to keep up the fight for the empire with their dear ones caught in the Nesak occupation of fabled Demora.
And Quinn’s mother, Dartha Lorel, presides over it all, weary of philosophy, empowered by her genius, and caught between loyalties in the battle to define the future.