Caught in the middle of a titanic struggle between two alien superpowers, the factions of humanity and their allies, the Ildirans, are under siege. Can they resolve their differences to fight a common threat?
For the leader of the Roamers, survival means extending a helping hand to others, while the chairman of the Terran Hansa plans to use a new, untested alien weapon regardless of the consequences. And for the new Ildiran Mage-Imperator, survival involves throwing off the choking traditions of the Empire - even if it might trigger a civil war.
As old intrigues and dark secrets come to light, a man who is believed to be long dead returns with an ally who may save mankind. But this new fragile hope will be threatened by a fresh betrayal - the most bitter and brutal of them all...
The interstellar conflict between hydrogues (aliens that live at the core of gas-giant planets) and faeros (fire entities that dwell within stars) and its impact on a dazzling array of alien and human species propel bestseller Anderson's third thrilling installment in his Seven Suns saga (after 2003's Hidden Empire and 2002's A Forest of Stars). In the third wave of this SF tsunami, an important Earth Defense Force asset, ekti star fuel, is compromised when rebels refuse to donate all ekti to the defense effort, leading Terran Hanseatic League Chairman Basil Wenceslas (the power behind semi-puppet monarchs King Peter and Queen Estarra) to declare war on the rebels. Adding to the fireworks are human-hating Klikiss robots who break an old Ildiran peace pact, a brewing Ildiran civil war and Ildiran secret experiments that impinge on Mage-Imperator Jora'h's relationship with green priest Nira Khali. Crackling with energy and buzzing with action, this hot summer read bodes well for future nail-biting episodes. Agents, John Silbersack, Robert Gottlieb and Kim Whalen at Trident Media Group. (July 29) Forecast: Anderson broke the Guinness world record for "Largest Single-Author Signing," surpassing the previous records set by Colin Powell and Howard Stern. A Nebula Award nominee, he may well win one on the strength of this series. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.