Far in the future, the human race has colonized thousands of worlds across the galaxy but hasn't found any sign of other intelligent life. Then a sunless planet is discovered at the very edge of the galaxy, orbiting at unnaturally high speed. The world they name Danann is frozen solid, covered with artificially shaped continents and oceans and thousands upon thousands of perfect, yet utterly abandoned, towers and canals.

An expedition made up of scientists, historians, artists and other experts has been sent to uncover Danann's secrets before the mystery planet enters an area of singularities that will make exploration impossible. Unknown to the expedition team, however, there are malevolent forces that would destroy the mission, even if it means an interstellar war.

As usual, Modesitt's work shines with engrossing characters, terrific plotting and realistic world-building. This stand-alone novel addresses relevant political and economic issues within the framework of rip-roaring space adventure, making it a must-read for fans of interstellar fiction. (Oct., 368 pp., $25.95)
Reviewed by: 
Jen Talley Exum