DAW Books – 1999
ISBN: 0886777992
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It is the second stage of human colon-ization–the first age, humanity’s initial attempt to people the stars, ended in disaster when it was discovered that Earth’s original superluminal drive did permanent genetic damage to all who used it–mutating Earth’s far-flung colonists in mind and body. Now, one of Earth’s first colonies has given humanity back the stars, but at a high price–a monopoly over all human commerce. And when a satellite in earth’s outer orbit is viciously attacked by corporate raiders, an unusual young woman flees to a ship bound for the Up-and-Out. But her narrow escape does not mean safety. For speeding across the galaxy pursued by ruthless, but unknown adversaries, this young woman will discover a secret which is buried deep inside her psyche–a revelation the universe may not be ready to face…

Book Reviews

Publishers Weekly
“Friedman keeps her tale moving at a vigorous pace that’s boosted through an abundance of well-chosen details, such as those accruing to the characterization of Jamisia’s unruly guest personality. The novel may read like a cross between cyberpunk and Star Wars, but it is likely to hold readers’ interest tenaciously. The ending neither requires nor precludes a sequel, so readers are left with some hope of again encountering Jamisia and the duel between the Guild and Earth that backdrops her adventures.”
Amazon.com
“C.S. Friedman’s galaxy full of altered humanities and vicious politics has room in it for tenderness and honor; this is a satisfying space opera because it is full of characters, some of whom will do the right thing. She is good on what stays the same when things change–the austere, mad, security expert Masada and the sweet slob Phoenix are recognizable types, but attractively individualized.”
NYT Book Review
“In interweaving the many threads of her narrative, Friedman has created a potent metaphor for the toleration of diversity”
SF Review
“Very highly recommended”