A new adventure by the author of the best-selling Crimson Worlds and Far Stars series.
The Confederation has fought three wars against the forces of the totalitarian Union. Three generations of its warriors have gone off to war, held the line against the larger, more powerful enemy. Now the fourth conflict is imminent, and the Confederation's navy is on alert, positioned behind the frontier, waiting for the attack it knows is coming.
The battleship Dauntless has spent the past 10 months patrolling the border, deployed far forward of the main fleet, a forlorn hope, an advance guard positioned to give the warning of invasion. But no attack has come. Her crew is exhausted, and the aging battleship needs maintenance. With the fleet mobilized and the forward bases overloaded beyond capacity, she is sent clear across the Confederation, to a planet along the quiet and peaceful far frontier. Her crew is looking forward to a rest, and Dauntless herself is scheduled for a long-overdue maintenance session.
But the quiet frontier isn't what it seems, and when a distress call is received from one of the mining colonies on the edge of Confederation space, it falls to Captain Tyler Barron to take Dauntless forward, to find out what is happening, and to put a stop to it.
Barron and his crew have their ship - and each other - but they can expect no other help. Suspicion is strong that Union deceit is at play, that the attack is some sort of diversion intended to draw Confederation forces from the disputed border. The orders are clear. No ships will be transferred from the prospective battle line. Stopping whatever is happening on the rim is Barron's responsibility and his alone.
Barron is the grandson of the Confederation's great hero, the father of the modern navy. His family name has always carried privilege with it - and crushing responsibility. And now he must prove that he has inherited more from his famous grandfather than name and privilege. He must face the enemy and win the victory before the Confederation is caught between two enemies and destroyed.