The second novel in Tiedemann's Secantis Sequence series is convincing military science fiction with an emphasis on the human costs of war. Cira Kalinge and Alexan Cambion are officers of the Armada, the military force that keeps the peace among the settled worlds of the Pan Humana. When Alexan's home world declares secession from the Pan, Cira and Alexan are part of the force dispatched to enforce order among the dissidents. What seems like a straightforward mission escalates into a conflict that will force all parties into difficult and damaging choices, and will change their lives irrevocably.
Although this is a standalone novel, Tiedemann builds successfully on the background established in his first Secantis novel, Compass Reach (a Philip K. Dick Award nominee), to create a highly believable historical background and political system, weaving the experiences of various characters together in a fast-paced story that never loses its emotional focus on the effects of war on the people involved.