Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Tor Books (27 April 2007)
The third and final novel after The Ghost Brigades, this initially seems to be a more idyllic volume. At least, we initially encounter John Perry (from volume 1) and Jane Sagan (from volume 2) with their adopted daughter Zoë, as administrators of a colony. But it seems life isn't going to let either of them live quietly, for Perry and Sagan are persuaded to head up a team to found a new colony: Roanoke.
Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.
Roanoke is a political cats paw between the Colonial Union, and an organisation that most humans have never heard of - the Conclave, a confederation of hundreds of alien races that have determined that since the major cause of war is fighting over colonies, that therefore no new colonies will be founded. When the CU sends out the new colony, the colonists don't even know that they have a huge big target painted on them.
Of course, there's the usual shenanigans of colonising a badly surveyed planet. But Perry also has to find a way out of a political hard place more than once. In the end, he comes up with a solution that is honourable, and non-militaristic. There are a couple of info-dumps that might be better integrated, but on the whole, it's intelligent entertainment.