Sequel to Navigator's Syndrome (1983) and The Treasure in the Heart of the Maze (not reviewed), set on the backward planet Rabelais, where slavery is institutionalized through a brutally enforced contract system. The rich, unchallengeably powerful contract-holders--slave owners--freely indulge their most corrupt whims and passions; the slaves are a miserable lot, beaten, cowed and hopeless. One plot line here involves the efforts of spoiled, sadistic brat Emerald to lure the handsome Golden Singh--formerly one of those corrupt, vicious slave-owners, now reborn and reformed--into her painfully lecherous clutches. In another plot line, a powerful unidentified madam kidnaps Navigator Esteban Xavier for unknown purposes; Navigator Jael and friends search for him in vain. Meanwhile, the mysterious Sandman roams about preaching sedition, revolution, and an end to slavery. No prizes for guessing how it all comes out--if you've read either of the first two entries, you'll soon catch on--and the details are no longer fresh. Another exercise in science-fiction sadomasochism, then, which few nonaddicts will bother to investigate.