Far-future struggle against slavery, from the author of the mass market Speaking Dreams. On planet Bellea-Naya, young Frenna is the slave of the brutal veterinarian Olney Mallau of the Emirate Extension Service. Like most slaves, she's been dosed with a virus that will give her 20 years of perfect health, then cause her to fail and die within hours. Meanwhile, the Faraqui, also slavers, are now attempting to reconquer the empire they lost generations ago, and everyone's rushing to get off-planet. Frenna visits her old friend Renee, who gives her three doses of a cure for the virus and a ticket for the next ship out. But instead, Frenna's grabbed by a Faraqui spy, Rasha, and taken aboard his ship. Frenna and her race were bred by the Faraqui to be their helpmeets, and Rasha expects her to fall into line; when she resists, he dumps her on planet Traja among a gladiator team--where Rasha's disgraced, enslaved sister Troah immediately attempts to dominate her. Frenna teams up with fighter Hallie, revealing that she has a cure for the virus--the key to freedom for all slaves. But how can Frenna tame Troah, save Hallie, and free herself from the clutches of Faraqui and Emirate alike? A roaring, clanking bulldozer of a yam: does the job with its blade, despite the fumes and noise.