Since the dreaded Xik destroyed Earth, the corps of Beast
Masters and the animal teams with which they have
telepathic rapport have served as sentinels against the Xik
and other threats to colony worlds throughout the galaxy.
Now a conspiracy with ties to the Thieves Guild is trying
to kidnap the Beast Masters' team animals. On one world
after another, they are attacking Beast Masters and
targeting their animals, leaving a trail of dead or wounded
Beast Masters and their animals in their wake. They haven't
yet succeeded in capturing one alive . . . but they are
still trying, and they're becoming more desperate---and
Laris is a young woman who works for a spacefaring circus,
a bonded slave to its manager. An orphan with a troubled
past, Laris is gifted with animals, a valuable asset to the
circus and to her boss. But she's learned that somehow
there's a connection between him and the Thieves Guild, and
also the attempted abductions of Beast Masters' animals.
She also knows that if her boss finds out what she has
discovered, it would make her a problem, and he usually
disposes of problems.
When the circus lands on Arzor, home to Beast Masters
Hosteen and Tani Storm, Laris feels a kinship to them and
to Hosteen's family, the Quades. She realizes, however,
that she may be endangering them by exposing them to the
dark interest of her boss and his ill-intentioned friends.
Hosteen and Tani like Laris, too, as does Logan Quade. She
would give anything to tell them her dangerous secret, but
cannot. Because she knows that her friendship with the
Beast Masters could be their downfall, as well as her own!