A new novel in the popular and exciting science fiction Liaden Universe® series. Over a half million Liaden Universe® books sold with an audience that keeps growing! Beset by the angry remnants of the Department of the Interior, challenged at every turn by opportunists on their new homeworld of Surebleak, and somewhat low on funds, Clan Korval desperately needs to reestablish its position as one of the top trading clans in known space. To this end, Master Trader Shan yos'Galan, aboard Korval's premier trade ship, Dutiful Passage, is on a mission to establish new business associations and to build a strong primary route that links well with existing Loops and secondary routes.
But reestablishing trade and preserving the lives of the few remaining members of the clan aren't all of Korval's problems. For instance, there's the untrained, deteriorating, and illegal AI that needs to be brought under control before it goes full rogue and destroys a space station. Then, of course, there's the Uncle, a serially-cloned mastermind with interests of his own, who has temporary custody of two of Korval's precious elders. Not to mention whatever it is that Korval's damned meddling Tree may be up to.
Matters come to a head as Dutiful Passage, accustomed to being welcomed and feted at those ports on its call-list, finds itself denied docking, and blacklisted, while agents of the DOI mount armed attacks on others of Korval's traders, under the very eyes of port security systems.
Traveling with Dutiful Passage on this unsettling journey is Padi yos'Galan, the master trader's heir and his apprentice. Padi is eager to make up for time lost due to Korval's unpleasantness with the Department of the Interior. She is also keeping a secret so intense that her coming of age, and perhaps her very life, is threatened by it.
Sharon Lee was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1952. She graduated high school in 1970, attended University of Maryland Baltimore County as a mild-mannered night student while simultaneously cutting a fearsome swath through the secretarial field by day.
In 1978, she decided life was too tame and predictable and left her plush job as administrative aide to the Dean of the University of Maryland's School of Social Work and Community Planning. Shortly thereafter, she engineered her first adventure by opening a genre bookstore, using the money from her retirement fund as her seed.
After Book Castle went bankrupt, she worked a series of odd and odder jobs, the most memorable of which was delivering tractor trailers, though ... (more)