After the declaration of peace between Cinnebar and its rival, the Alliance of Free Stars, Capt. Daniel Leary of the Republic of Cinnebar's Navy and his friend, the spy Adele Mundy, accept an assignment to the fringe planet Zenobia, an easy mission that should afford them a period of respite from their previous wartime efforts. Instead of a vacation, however, Leary and Mundy encounter a multipronged threat to the peace of both systems: space pirates in state-of-the-art vessels and factions that would undermine the fragile peace. The latest addition to Drake's popular series (With the Lightnings; The Far Side of the Stars) features a pair of appealing heroes, fast-paced military action, and first-rate storytelling. VERDICT A rousing tale of space battles and personal courage, this sf adventure should appeal to fans of David Weber's "Honor Harrington" novels, as well as those who enjoy the works of John Ringo and Eric Flint.