This is the fourth book in the (currently) five book Chanur series. It's also the end of the trilogy that's left incomplete in the supposed "omnibus edition" "The Chanur Saga." As usual for Cherryh, this is an excellently written book that reaches down into your gut and shakes you around. As I'm re-reading these books in quick order, I found this book to be a better read than the previous two in the trilogy. Essentially, it's written at a more sustainable emotional pitch. The first two books in the trilogy just never let up. From the minute you pick them up to the minute they (don't) end, everything goes wrong and everyone's either evil, an enemy, or a fool (or some combination of the three). This book gives you a bit of a break. There are actually other people in it besides the protagonists who are good, competent, and/or an ally. The pacing is also more reasonable. You're not on the edge of your seat on every page. The pitch actually increases fairly smoothly throughout the book. An excellent end to the middle trilogy of the Chanur series.