Scott Westerfeld, the acclaimed author of Fine Prey,
Polymorph, and Evolution's Darling, reached new heights of
excitement in last spring's The Risen Empire, and left
readers begging for more. Now he comes through with the
dazzling payoff in book two of Succession, The Killing of
Captain Laurent Zai of the Imperial frigate Lynx is a
walking dead man. Unjustly held responsible for the death
of the Child Empress, sister of the immortal Emperor, Zai
has been sent to fight an unwinnable battle. The Lynx must
stop a vastly superior Rix ship from reaching the planet
Legis, a suicide mission that will almost certainly end in
oblivion for Captain Zai and his crew.
On the planet Legis below, a Rix compound mind--a massive
emergent AI formed from every computer on the planet--as
been isolated by their Imperial blockade. But the mind has
guided a lone Rix commando, Herd, to the planet's frozen
north, and will soon order a desperate attempt to seize a
polar communications array and break the blockade. Herd is
a single warrior against an Imperial army, but moving
silently behind her is the intelligence of an entire planet.
Ten light-years away, Captain Zai's true love, the psychic
(some say mad) Senator Nara Oxham is engaged in a deadly
game of political intrigue. From her position on the
Emperor's War Council, Senator Oxham must find a way to
forestall the Emperor's final solution if the blockade is
broken: a nuclear strike to destroy the compound mind,
which will also kill millions of Imperial citizens. She
suspects that the Emperor has a hidden weakness discovered,
by the mind, a secret so dangerous to his immortal dynasty
that to prevent its discovery the Emperor is willing to
countenance the ultimate crime. . . .
The killing of worlds.
With this powerful conclusion to the first story arc of
Succession, Scott Westerfeld confirms his stature as one of
the leading writers of high space opera.