The constellation of Hydrus, known as the Serpent, is compact and obscure as seen from Earth. Even in the era of interstellar colonization it remained obscure for it was under strict quarantine--harboring an intelligent race, powerful, alien, and inhuman.
Yet there were human colonies within the Serpent's Reach, cut off from the galaxy beyond, with their own inbred culture, their Families and traditions and their special relationships to the inhuman majat species. The larger human culture feared contamination from these minority human-and-other colonies.
This is the strange and brilliant novel of Raen, the last of the massacred Sul Family, and of her lifetime pledge to find vengeance. It was to take her across worlds of the Reach into the very center of the alien webwork, into the strands of thought and counter-thought that knit the forbidden constellation into a complex of interbred cultures that no outsider could hope to unravel.
A fascinating attempt to portray an alien point of view, self-consistent but truly not human in outlook.