A new standalone epic space opera, set in the same world as the Humanity's Fire trilogy.
No world is safe.
The Warcage: two hundred worlds harnessed to an articial sun in a feat of unprecedented stellar engineering. Built to travel through space as a monument to peace between alien species, now its voracious rulers have turned it into a nightmarish wasteland, capturing new planets for slaves and resources, then discarding the old.
Now, when a verdant agri-world is pulled out of its orbit, the captain of a smuggler ship must journey into the Warcage to rescue his crew.
In Cobley's overcrowded fourth Humanity's Fire space opera installment (after The Ascendant Stars), a deal gone sour draws smuggler captain Brannan Pyke and his raucous crew into a rebellion against the Gun-Lords of Shuskar. The grotesque, despotic Gun-Lords rule an "exotic mega structure" once known as the Great Harbour of Benevolent Harmony and now called the Warcage, where the populations of stolen planets are pitted against one another in eternal conflict. Also involved are an alien military leader guided by the spirits of his ancestors and a human officer who is pulled from a dead-end job by a sentient combat drone working for an enigmatic machine intelligence. Cobley's space opera is plainly influenced by the works of Joss Whedon and the late Iain M. Banks, but he lacks their finesse. This uneven agglutination of ideas and underdeveloped characters has at least one major plot thread too many.