Sharon Lee and Steve Miller tell the tale of Clan Korval, a small but powerful family on the verge of extinction. Desperately, the clan leaders invoke Plan B (2), scattering family members throughout the universe. Among the homeless are the renegade Val Con yos Phelium and his lifemate, Miri Robertson. Miri swallows her pride and seeks help from her blood kin Caln Erob, Clan Korvals oldest ally, though this ex-soldier has always considered herself without family. After proving her genealogy, they welcome her with open arms. All seems well until the belligerent Yxtrangs attack, forcing Miri out of retirement. Meanwhile, other Korval clan members are having problems of their own. Just to name two, eccentric Anthora is under threat of assassination, and the peaceable Shan is forced into battle.
The characters are a bit unrealistic and the book is long on war craft commentary, and short on story. However, the reading experience is saved by many moments of tenderness and humor, and the thoroughly thought out, fascinating universe.