Another yarn set in Asaro's far-future Skolian Empire (Catch the Lightning, 1996, etc.). This time, Jagernaut Kelric Valdoria, the Emperor Kurj's half-brother, is attacked and disabled by Traders; he crash-lands on Coba, a planet run by women and protected by treaty from imperial incursions. For various reasons (not least because she falls in love with him), Coban Manager Jeha Dahl is reluctant to turn Kelric over to the Skolians. So 20 years pass while Kelric raises a family and, ultimately, precipitates a civil war before he can return to the imperium, leaving behind a daughter who may one day challenge the ruthless Kurj or his successor. Independently intelligible but likely to appeal most to existing fans.