It is the aftermath of civil war in the vast pageant of planets and stars known as The Spin. Three years since he crushed the rebellion Viklun Haas industrialist and leader of the Hegemony is eliminating all remnants of the opposition. Starting with his own daughter. But Fleare Haas fighter for Society Otherwise has had a long time to plan her next move. Sprung from her remote monastery prison and reuniting with a team of loyal friends Fleare’s journey will take her across The Spin to the cluster of fallen planets known as the The Catastrophe Curve – and from exile to the very frontiers of war. Meanwhile in the brutal and despotic empire of The Fortunate word is reaching viceroy Alameche of a most unusual piece of plunder from their latest invasion. For hundreds of millions of years the bizarre planets and stars of The Spin itself have been the only testament to the god-like engineers that created it. Now buried in the earth of a ruined planet one of their machines has been found . . .