A lively, half-thoughtful exploration of varied sexual models--the current science-fiction preoccupation. The premise: a clash between human imperialism and the simpler, braver ways of the planet Delyafam, home of an intelligent humanoid species in which the female is not only more deadly but also taller, stronger, fiercer, and more intellectually developed than the male. Carr has great fun showing us various anatomical and cultural whys and wherefores of this situation through the eyes of her Delye protagonist, the lionhearted Kimassu. And she succeeds in conveying the austere attraction of the Delye ethos without sentimentality. But she fails badly with the human interlopers, whose society is not shown to consist of anything more than fancy hardware, greed, and male arrogance. The adventurer who eventually wins Kimassu's love is an annoyingly rickety construction--and why is no human female permitted to enter the story? Thematically erratic, then, but when it's good, it's very good.