The titanic war between the elemental alien hydrogues and faeros continues to sweep across the Spiral Arm, extinguishing suns and destroying planets. Chairman Wenceslas and King Peter must now unify the human race with iron-fisted policies in a final bid to stand together -- or face total annihilation. But disparate civilizations are forging new alliances that threaten the old order. The Roamer and Theron clans will not yield their independence, and the new Mage-Imperator Jora'h now faces a threat that no other Ildiran leader has ever seen -- a civil war that could break apart the entire Empire.
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.