Intergalactic voyager-turned-mercenary Aleytys risks death on a planet overrun by madmen in the thrilling fifth installment of the Diadem Saga. Brave and beautiful Aleytys has been gifted with mental abilities far beyond those of ordinary humans-thanks to her genetic heritage as a homo superior Vyrhh as well as the alien technology she wears called the Diadem, which, once donned, can never be removed. Her long, strange journey across the galaxy in search of her past now takes an unexpected turn as she accepts a position with Hunters Inc., and begins training as an interstellar mercenary. Aleytys's first assignment comes before her schooling is even complete as she finds herself dispatched to Sunguralingu, a planet owned by the powerful Chwereva Company. The world and its endangered humanoid population are being ravaged by telepathic creatures spreading a plague of chaos, destruction, and madness, and the Vyrhh's intervention has been specifically requested. There is more transpiring on Sunguralingu than meets the eye, and Aleytys and her ex-lover, Grey, set out to track the civilization-obliterating insanity to its source. But their perilous hunt leads Aleytys into an insidious web carefully woven by a psychopathic member of her superior species and, once ensnared, her only possible escape will be death. Thrilling science fiction with strong elements of fantasy, author Jo Clayton's epic Diadem space opera saga stands with the best of its genre, from the novels of Andre Norton, C. J. Cherryh, and Marion Zimmer Bradley to the humanist sci-fi masterworks of Ursula K. Le Guin. In the enthralling fifth installment of this classic series, a courageous star-traveler's new life as an intergalactic soldier for hire begins-and nearly ends-on a distant planet in turmoil.