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Arsaces Wood is a man both sides wished had been killed the day he ended a doomed rebellion. Critically injured, he is repaired and reluctantly rewarded. A traitor to his own kin and a resented hero of the ruling Caprician Empire, he now commands a Sentient, the AI battleship Westerland, in the Caprician Imperial Navy.
Young, widowed Evi Hyde is fleeing a second political marriage forced on her by her father, the emperor. She boards Westerland disguised as a civilian, glad to use Arsaces' infamy to hide in plain site.
But the solar system's uneasy peace is broken when Caprice is attacked. An unknown enemy tears through their defenses, an enemy with impossible technology and weapons that decimate the Caprician forces. Now, Arsaces, Westerland, and Evi must join the system's battle for survival, before they are overrun and destroyed.
Yet, even as they mount a desperate defense, Arsaces begins to realize more than these aliens threaten the system. That those he trusts most have been lying to him, hiding secrets about who and what he has become. That the repairs to his body have changed him into something dark and destructive, a thing of nightmares: a Gol.