This is the second half of Asaro's Triad story, which began with Schism, in which the Skolian Empire was torn apart by interpersonal conflict within the royal family, precipitated by the Euban Traders, a society based on the selling of slaves.

Soz, the 17-year-old heir to the empire, hasn't finished her military training when she is pulled into the conflict after the Traders decimate the royal family by subterfuge and assassination. Told from the perspective of a number of different characters, the finely choreographed threads of the plot come together for an agreeable finish Asaro is a facile writer and, while this is a satisfying conclusion to the Triad story arc, newcomers to the series may be confused at the multiplicity of characters, irrelevant details about Skolian society and customs and by the sheer predictability of the dialogue. Readers who are already invested in Asaro's tales of the Skolian Empire will likely enjoy this volume, which is of a piece with Asaro's other work. (Dec., 352 pp., $25.95)
Reviewed by: 
Natalie A. Luhrs