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Humanity and the Viskr are at each other's throats, and for the first time in a generation open war is a credible threat to the many worlds of mankind. No longer certain that the Empire's old enemy brought this conflict on themselves, operative Elm Caden is determined to root out the fugitives he believes orchestrated the hostilities. But they have fled into the barely charted Deep Shadows, and after the battle at Woe Tantalum it is clear they are allied with a previously unknown power... a power as hostile as it is mysterious. While the Imperial Navy engages the Viskr fleets, Caden and his companions - the stoic soldier Rendir Throam, and redoubtable pilot Euryce Eilentes - have received new orders from up on high: find and kill Maber Castigon, before he can assassinate any more Imperial Shards. But with the Viskr making increasingly desperate strikes in Imperial territory, such things are easier said than done. And through the gathering chaos along the border come the rumours. Whole cities turn on themselves, great ships prowl in the darkness between the stars, and the wind whispers a warning across the many worlds: Fear the Deep.