Daw, Feb 2005, 24.95, 480 pp.
The Atevi send the spaceship Phoenix to Reunion Station where the inhabitants encountered the sentient space faring Kyo who planned to blow up the facility because it was in territory they considered theirs. Deploying diplomacy, interpreter and Human-Atevi advisor Bren Cameron convinces the Kyo to allow the four thousand inhabitants to peacefully leave and then the space station would belong to the Kyo. Now they are days away from home and both human and Atevi are looking forward to enjoying the little luxuries found on their planet.
They come back to a world that is in the middle of a civil war and onboard the Phoenix is the dowager and the heir. No one knows where the ruler and his wife are and many think they are dead. Bren and his staff, the dowager and her staff, and the heir shuttle down to the planet where they travel through enemy territory to find the heir's great uncle. They hope to enlist his aid in returning the former ruler or his heir to power, but a traitor alerts the rebels who plan to kidnap or kill them.
Relations between humans and Atevi are in jeopardy. Many of the native race believes humanity has too much influence and technology that disturbs the conservative elements of their society. Bren blames himself for pushing the space program and other technological advances on the leader who trusts him and he is desperate to undo the damage he has done. This novel features two sentient races struggling to co-exist peacefully.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner