On a world of ice and freezing water, the Inutkak must claim their home. The Inutkak are one of the genetically engineered races, descended from old Earth stock, who have been sent to other planets to spread human dominion. Tep and his fellows must engage in a fierce struggle against the malevolent climate of their assigned planet and also against those who don't consider them human enough to warrant any consideration of their rights. In this situation, Douglas gives us a well-crafted, exciting, multidimensional conflict in which nothing is exactly as it seems. His most exciting achievement is to make the legal part of the Inutkak's struggle every bit as exciting as their tremendous battle with the elements. Eventually, Douglas' conception of the Arbiter, a civilized society's substitute for warfare, raises his yarn above the level of everyday space opera and makes it an intelligent, fast-moving undertaking.