It’s been almost a year since Fiammetta Alba was appointed Pilot of the jumpship Umbra. As the new second in command of Azure Traverse, settling disputes and maintaining relations between traders, miners and the daunting aliens called Enosi are now part of her daily life. A sudden, seemingly absurd request of Azure Traverse’s oldest ally, Golden Sails, pushes her at the center of the centuries-old, muted strife between the three regions of human space – the Core Worlds, In Between and the Rim.
Could there ever be truth in the Earth Alliance’s claims that jumpship travel is dangerous and unreliable, that the Spacefaring Guilds should be brought to heel and forbidden to fly? Why would Terra Ascending, closest to the Core Worlds, bow to what amounts to self-anihilation? Why, when to them as well, there is nothing more wondrous than Sailing the Deep : Sharing drops of Life, In Diving into the Sea of Chaos, and Out Falling among sparkling clusters of stars?
And why do the Dwellers, the eerie, wraith-like alien beings found at the remotest edge of human space, choose this same moment to start spewing out nonsensical warnings regarding a Tower touched by Winter?
What’s the meaning of this illusion they weave, of a sky of blue and green breaking?