Another good book by the author of THE REGIMENT, THE WHITE REGIMENT, and THE KHALIF'S WAR. Dalmas likes to work with characters who develop their talents to the max, and this book is no exception. An agent for a dirty tricks department in a galaxy-spanning confederation has extraordinary permission to do whatever seems necessary to help 'develop' a planetary culture. Oddly, this permission is "to kill a king". But inconsistencies crop up, leaving the agent in doubt not only of his mission, but of the department who sent him out.