Far across the galaxy on the planet Maske, young Jubal Droad leaves home to make his fortune. Droad attaches himself to the powerful court of Nai the Hever, and is made an interplanetary economic spy. Jubal courts Mieltrude - the cold-blooded, beautiful daughter of the house - and becomes the rival and enemy of the brutal Ramus Ymph.
In disguise, Jubal leaves the planet and proves Ramus' connection to a sinister interplanetary cartel that covets a foothold on Maske; Jubal pursues Ramus, and finds him among the Waels - a strange people who worship intelligent trees. The trees will determine the outcome of their final confrontation...
John Holbrook "Jack" Vance (1916–2013) was an American mystery, fantasy and science fiction writer. Though most of his work has been published as by Jack Vance, he also wrote 11 mystery novels using his full name John Holbrook Vance, three under the pseudonym Ellery Queen, and once each using the pseudonyms Alan Wade, Peter Held, John van See, and Jay Kavanse.
Vance won the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 1984 and he was a Guest of Honor at the 1992 World Science Fiction Convention in Orlando, Florida. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America made him its 14th Grand Master in 1997 and the Science Fiction Hall of Fame inducted him in 2001, its sixth class of two deceased and two living writers.