Book III of The Foreigner Universe. Six months have passed since the reappearance of the starship Phoenix – during which the alien atevi have striven to reconfigure their fledgling space program in a breakneck bid to take their place in the heavens alongside humans. But the return of the Phoenix has added a frighteningly powerful third party to an already volatile situation, polarising political factions in both human and atevi societies and making the possibility of all-out planetary war an ever more likely threat – a war that no-on e can win.