Space opera at its finest and most action-filled, from the bestselling author of fantasy quests, epic tales, and swashbuckling adventures. Vaun, born a peasant in the stinking mud flats of Ult, a thriving colony planet, claws his way to survival and fame by becoming the toughest young officer in the Space Patrol. A veteran of the brutal training academy, he seizes opportunities as they arise, leading the first ship out against a surprise attack by the mysterious Brotherhood. He returns to a hero's welcome as the Brotherhood ship falls to the surface of his home planet in shattered pieces. The Brotherhood is elsewhere unstoppable, though, as neighboring planets, one by one, fall silent, conquered. And then, the Patrol detects a huge spacecraft launched from one of the now-silent worlds and headed for Ult. Facing a challenge greater than he can truly hope to overcome, Vaun nonetheless sets out to save Ult for a second time.