Before accepting clan duty in a contract marriage, Er Thom yos'Galan tracks down the Terran scholar he can't forget to tell her he will always love her. When he finds her, she has a surprise for him. Anne Davis never told Er Thom she was pregnant and she followed local custom when giving her son his father's last name. Unfortunately for Anne, to Er Thom that means the child is clan and should be raised on Korval.

Anne is adamant about not going to Korval until her presence is requested there to complete a murdered Liaden scholar's research. Anne accepts this duty, and Er Thom brings Anne and Shan to Korval. Now the killer is after her and Er Thom's clan is after Shan.

Superb storytelling by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller create the Liaden Universe. The clash of cultures, ritualized manners, succinct prose and vividly depicted characters blend into the perfect space opera. (Feb., 320 pp., $5.99)

Reviewed by: 
Kelly Rae Cooper