On his way to a prison planet, Tanard, a renegade Fleet officer, escapes and vows vengeance. First Scout Terrllss-rr must find the secret base that is supporting him before the Wanderers rise up and unleash Death's wrath on the Serrll. Terr meets Teena and his life is suddenly thrown into turmoil. When she discovers that he is a Discipline adept, she rejects him. To regain her love, he is forced to show her what it means to stand in Death’s shadow.
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Reviewed by Stephen B for Readers Favorite The Serll Combine is a region of space inhabited by several factions. Terr and Dahr, two members of the religion order The Wanderers, each of whom possess a power to inflict Death, work for the Diplomatic Branch of the main governmental body of the Combine. Their main enemy is Tenard, a raider working for the Paleans and indirectly under the Alikan Union Party. The Paleans figure if they raid enough ships, several independent factions of the Combine will align with them, giving them more power in the Combine's Committee. However, both powers behind Terr and Tenard have internal problems and conspiracies. Terr is dealing with his spiritual beliefs as well as a new love interest. Tenard just wants to survive after escaping from a prison barge and continue raiding, even though he knows he and his faction are being used as pawns in a bigger game. Vucak presents a complex web of alien races, technology, and terminology. You really need a score card to keep the characters straight. He has problems with several misspelled words and a problem with tense in many sentences throughout. Example: "He wondered what he was about to unleash, but as with everything, he suspected that fates have already sealed their destiny." However, beyond these errors is an interesting science fiction tale loaded with political intrigue, the horrors of warfare, personality conflicts, and personal struggle, and realizing the consequences of one's actions. Science fiction fans will enjoy this one. Be sure to also look for others in this series.