Theo Waitley and her self-aware ship Bechimo now have a contract with Clan Korval to explore a possible new long-loop trade route, unconnected to previous Korval routes that included Liad. She's got her first crew member, pilot Clarence O'Berin. And she and Bechimo are feeling out the delicate matter of whether he and Theo really want to enter into the symbiosis that would make Theo not acting captain but bonded captain.
So we know things are way too peaceful and some real excitement is going to come along and smack them all.
The world of Eylot, where Theo attended Anlingdon Piloting Academy, has continued to grow more and more insular in the few years since Theo was kickedGui out after being declared a "nexus of violence." Now they're trying to declare all piloting licenses not issued on Eylot invalid, and to seize control of the Guild-run Codrescu Station. Since Eylot authorities have made clear their intention to "make examples" of pilots not trained at Anlingdon and even the Anlingdon-trained who have been too friendly with the offworlders, no one is eager to comply. The Guild declares a "Pilots in Peril" emergency--and Theo and Bechimo are the first to arrive.
Meanwhile, Kamele Waitley is sufficiently alarmed by Jen Sar Kiladi's disappearance and what little information that Theo has sent her about him. He's "safe within the parameters of an active pilot" and "with Korval." Is her onagrata being forced to act as a pilot for Korval? She's taken a sabbatical to "do research" that will take her to Surebleak to demand answers.
Naturally the Department of the Interior is still out to destroy Korval, and has not overlooked Theo--or her mother. There is much intrigue, action, close calls, and general excitement--all the while further developing the characters and the Liaden universe.
Lots of fun Recommended!