Corta Helio, one of the five family corporations that rule the Moon, has fallen. Its riches are divided up among its many enemies, its survivors scattered. Eighteen months have passed.
The remaining Helio children, Lucasinho and Luna, are under the protection of the powerful Asamoahs, while Robson, still reeling from witnessing his parent's violent deaths, is now a ward - virtually a hostage - of Mackenzie Metals. And the last appointed heir, Lucas, has vanished from the surface of the moon.
Only Lady Sun, dowager of Taiyang, suspects that Lucas Corta is not dead, and - more to the point - that he is still a major player in the game. After all, Lucas always was a schemer, and even in death, he would go to any lengths to take back everything and build a new Corta Helio, more powerful than before. But Corta Helio needs allies, and to find them, the fleeing son undertakes an audacious, impossible journey - to Earth.
In an unstable lunar environment, the shifting loyalties and political machinations of each family reach the zenith of their most fertile plots as outright war between the families erupts.
In this powerful sequel to Luna: New Moon, the Dragons, five great industrial families of the lunar colony, fight viciously to increase their power. At the end of the first volume of the series McDonald has referred to as "Dallas in space," House Corta was brought down by legal skullduggery and violent attacks. This sequel chronicles the fallout from House Corta's demise as the other Dragons squabble over the remains and hunt the few Cortas still alive. Meanwhile, Earth's powerful spacefaring nations maneuver in the background. The plot follows a half-dozen surviving Cortas: young Robson, who once survived a three-kilometer fall during a race through the city's support structure; Lucas, the presumed heir, who must make a near-fatal trip down Earth's gravity well; and Lucasinho, long deemed a worthless sex addict, who saves a young cousin through an act of great bravery. Although this middle volume in a trilogy does not end so much as pause, it is still compelling throughout. Each of McDonald's viewpoint characters is made human in fascinating and occasionally disturbing detail, and the solar system of the 22nd century is wonderfully delineated. Fans of the first volume will love this one and eagerly look forward to the next.