This is the eighth book in the RCN series by David Drake and it continues the story of the adventures of Daniel Leary, an extremely competent and lucky starship captain in the Republic of Cinnabar Navy. This book finds CAPT Leary escorting a Cinnabar Commissioner to a world allied with the alliance of Free Stars shortly after the end of the recent war between the Alliance and Cinnabar. Once he gets there he discovers a plot that could drag the two exhausted star nations back into war and with the able assistance of his crew sets about to derail it.
Along the way there is plenty of intrigue and adventure. Drake has done a great job of writing space opera that does not require a lot in the way of physics knowledge to read. This book would work just as well if the setting were different nations on earth rather than planets. The characterization is somewhat stilted but it is a still a good read nonetheless. One caveat, do not read this book first, read the complete RCN series in order because there is a lot of back-story in the book that can be confusing for someone who has not read the whole series. That being said, this is an excellent book to take to the beach or pool and read while relaxing, the story is not so involved that you cannot put it down and then pick it back up.