Assigned as a military attach... at the Taran embassy on Scandya, Van is seriously wounded foiling an assassination. Decorated, promoted and summarily retired while still in a coma, he wakes to find himself honorably but intolerably unemployed. Then the harmless sounding Integrated Information Systems foundation of the Eco-Tech Coalition recruits him to fly a starship, Van finds he now has a powerful new vantage point not just for observation, but for action. The IIS has interests everywhere and Van is not just a pilot, but their point man in a conflict that will shake the worlds.
Modesitt uses a distinctive blend of space battles, political and economic intrigue, and issues of race and religion to address deep questions of good and evil, ethics and self-interest. Van Albert makes his decisions; it is for you to decide if he is a hero.