The third novel in The Shoal Sequence space opera series continues on from Stealing Light and Nova War The nova war is spreading as the Emissaries wage a fierce and reckless campaign, encroaching on the area of space occupied by humanity and forcing the Shoal into a desperate retreat. While Dakota Merrick goes in search of the entity responsible for creating the Maker caches, Corso, left in charge of a fleet of human-piloted Magi ships, finds his authority crumbling in the face of assassination attempts and politically-motivated sabotage. If any hope exists at all, it lies in an abandoned asteroid 1,000 light-years beyond the Consortium's borders, and with Ty Whitecloud, the only man alive with the skill to decipher the messages left behind by an ancient race of star travelers. But Whitecloud is locked in a prison cell aboard a dying coreship adrift in space, awaiting execution for war crimes against Corso's own people. For humanity to survive, Corso must find some way to keep Whitecloud alive—and that's only if Dakota doesn't kill him first.