Heartsick after losing Nichole, Hafrin is furious with Marrek, his foster father for supporting the Wanderer hierarchy who shipped Nichole off world. He knows has no other option but to rely upon Marrek and the Wanderers. Without them there is no hope of building a solid network of contacts amongst the Fimiahri if he wants to regain his heritage as their ruler.|
Once again Nichole is an outsider. In most Academy classes she is an adult amongst adolescents, while in others she is the junior, but with field experience. All too soon she discovers two things which alter all of the plans by the Wanderer powers-that-be.
Compounding problems on Fimiah, the Craneeno cease their covert actions and prepare for all-out war. One prong of their attack is aimed directly at the Fimiahri. Alien agents goad the Usurper, Jikpryn, into a collision course with Hafrin and his allies.