An addition to Cherryh's superior medium-future spacefaring saga (Tripoint, 1994, etc.). With the Company Wars now at an end, the warship Finity, owned and crewed by the extended Neihart family, docks at Pell Station with several problems to solve. Stationmaster Elene Quen demands that the Merchanter's Alliance build their own ships and compete for galactic trade; Finity's Captain James Robert agrees but insists that smuggling must be stopped in order to squeeze out the renegade Mazian and his pirates. Seventeen-year-old Fletcher Neihart, born and raised on the station after his mother was unavoidably marooned (she later committed suicide), hopes to stay on planet Pell and study the native hisa, with whom he has formed strong relationships. But Finity, battered and short-handed after years of combat, has first claim on him. So, once the chronic legal wrangle over his status is settled, Fletcher--angry, resentful, furious with his estranged family--is obliged to join the ship. Slowly, in a splendid spaceship coming-of-age, the boy finds his space-legs and comes to the realization that Satin, his wise olf hisa advisor, intended for him to discover his destiny in space. Again, Cherryh confronts real, raw issues in an utterly convincing future setting: another absorbing, accomplished, and fully accessible effort.