First of a new five-volume series, as Donaldson moves away from fantasy and into technological science fiction--where, in the medium-future, faster-than-light journeys ("crossing the Gap" by means of other dimensions) are a reality, though some travellers go mad, and space mining is controlled by Earth-based UMC, provenance of the rich and influential Hyland family. When a UMC police cruiser comes to space station DelSac to seek out the pirates that infest the spaceways, lowlife Angus Thermopyle is the UMC ship's first victim--but then beautiful Morn Hyland succumbs to "Gap sickness" and destroys her own ship. Angus captures and enslaves Morn, taking brutal vengeance on her until he realizes that his real foe is rival pirate Nick Succorso. Now a reformed character, Angus uses Mom as bait; but, despite all his efforts, Succorso comes out on top. Repetitious and mediocre but readable, which is to say a definite improvement on gnarled melodrama (the Thomas Covenant series) and on vacuous reflections (the Mordant yarns).